After a very long drive into Detroit, we made it in at around 5pm yesterday. Of course, we stopped in London to eat and buy a GPS to avoid getting lost.
Before yesterday I hadn’t ever been to London (Ontario that is), but since we were going to need a lunch stop, and there are a bunch of nice looking restaurants there, we planned to stop there. Veg Out was not the first on my list to visit, but last minute I changed my mind and said, hey let’s go to Veg Out. I’m so glad we did, though at the time I also kind of wish we never left the car, it was windy and freezing out there. Brr.
So Veg Out (646 Richmond St.) is a great little place in London, Ontario. It’s got a casual atmosphere and the service is friendly and welcoming. It was full of people, which is always nice to see.
I started with a Cocobanana smoothie, which with coconut milk, bananas and dates, was a clear winner. Super thick and lightly sweet, it beat JC’s Blue Sky pop choice out of the park.
Next we ordered a dal soup and a home made garlic bread plate with tapenade. The bread was fluffy and sweet and reminded me a lot of the challah I made back when Rosh Hashana was on, so of course, I’m going to try to duplicate this dish. the tapenade was perfectly salty sour and paired well with the… I’m going to say cilantro coulis(???) so tasty.
The dal soup was more lemongrass than dal, but still a nice appetizer, though next time I’d probably just order the bread. We had more food than needed to start with.
JC ordered the Fish and Chips basket, which was either celebrated or reviled on the internet reviews I read of the place. I liked them. It was a little weird, but in a good way. Texturally they aren’t exactly like I remember battered fish to be, but they seem to be a reasonable facsimile. The tarter sauce was fabulous. I kept stealing it from his plate the entire time.
I ordered the Spanakopita, mostly out of curiosity. Prior to this one, I had not eaten spanakopita in any form be it traditional Greek pastry with spinach, feta/ricotta cheese, onions, egg, etc wrapped in phyllo pastry and drizzled with butter, or the vegan version of tofu, spinach, onions and phyllo pastry. Interesting flavour, spiced tofu, well baked phyllo and a little dish of what appeared to be vegan tzatziki. Combining everything, and pouring the tzatziki all over the spanakopita proved to be the best technique, and I loved crunching all the flaky layers.
Then came the dish of magic. Just magic. The Strawberry Creme Torte. Where have you been all my life Strawberry Creme Torte? Thick whipped cream on top of a layer of strawberries, on top of thick dark chocolate ganache. Amazing. It paired well with the coffee from Las Chicas Del Cafe, a directly traded coffee produced by local Londoners.
We wandered over to Canada Computers, to pick up the GPS/TomTom that would be our constant nagging/helpful companion for the next few hours and got us into the United States safely. Instead of taking the Ambassador Bridge (which has a fascinating history – check it out on wikipedia) we took the underwater tunnel, which was quite cool.
Unfortunately, as usual, the border agent on the US side was unsurprisingly rude, asked a dozen questions and requested to see multiple pieces of ID (which I don’t have), apparently my passport wasn’t enough to satisfy this dude that I was who I said I was. I hate the unnecessary abuse of power so many agents seem to play into, and I’m debating signing up for the Nexus Pass in hopes of avoiding interacting with as many agents in the future.
Luckily, our hotel (the Marriott at Renascence Center) was literally right across the tunnel, so I shook off my annoyance and relaxed at the hotel for a while, delighting that we were still connecting with a 3G signal from the Canadian side (Yey, no roaming) and found a nice vegan friendly restaurant, open reasonably late – the newly opened Detroit location of Seva (66 E. Forest, Detroit, MI). But more on that soon!