May 5th, 2005
At health food joint Bonnys, virtue never tasted
It's like walking into an explosion of
cuteness. But in a good way.
The small resto Bonnys is bonny indeed, what with its
décor of little plants, homey paintings and small
shelves with gewgaws like wee pots, a copper teapot
and an old wooden coffee mill.
The two wooden inlay tables flanking the
doorway are pieces of art in and of themselves. "I
want to sit at the bees," my honey said, when we
nipped in for a late lunch. "Oh, look at the fish
one," he paused. But the hexagon-shaped table with
a honeycomb motif and bees won over the design of pretty
swimming fish. We sat on wood chairs with floral cushions
and perused the chalkboard menu.
Bonnys serves simple fare, really, but
with an important twist. Nearly all of it is organic,
much of it is vegan, and save for a tuna sandwich, the
wooden fish are as close to meat as you'll get.
We shared a mushroom-barley soup to start.
"It's got finesse," my swain said of the hearty
mix of grains and multiple mushroom types.
The special that day was "gourmet
lasagne" made with brown rice pasta and tofu ricotta.
(Stop groaning, pasta purists! It was nice indeed with
a tangy tomato sauce, thoughtfully spiced.)
My Boca Burger was an ersatz meat patty
comprised of black beans, chickpea flour and well-chosen
spices on a kamut flour bun. It was topped with dollops
of sour cream, avocado and salsa. Both meals came with
salads: a medley of greens sprinkled with flakes of
dark purple dulse (a.k.a. seaweed) for a barely-there
boost of salt.
Other options include whole-wheat cannelloni,
black bean chili with king-of-grains quinoa, pesto and
noodles, and sandwiches made with humus, végé-pâté,
tuna or tempeh.
As befitting the emphasis on healthy crunchy
goodness, there are salads of tofu, wild rice, and more
variety in veggies than you can shake a carrot stick
Lest you think they're too serious, frivolous
mousses and puddings and carrot cake will assuage your
sweet teeth, if not the puffed rice squares that smell
of nut butter and cinnamon.
I could see a staff member rolling out
dough in the open kitchen. The soft taupe rounds were
for empanadas stuffed with spinach, tofu and sheep's
cheese. Hot from the oven, I couldn't resist one, and
the tasty beast made me glad to be so weak of will.
The server with a sparkling nose gem urged
me to take a muffin for later, fresh made that morning.
"It's so full of good stuff it'll make you feel
like a million bucks!" She paused. "Well,
I mean, it's just a muffin." (There are limits,
I suppose, to the miracle of multi-grains.) We settled
on the probability of the tasty bomb of virtue making
me feel like a C note, a pretty good return on a toonie.
Bonnys weaves a potent spell. When I said
to the server she must be happy working at a place she
obviously loved so much, she agreed, and said, "I
came as a customer, and I stayed." The only downside
to the upbeat neo-hippie joint is that it's only open
until 7 p.m. That will change soon, though, and virtuous
vegans and others seeking tasty wholesome food will
be able to linger until 9. Just phone first to check,
or pop by in time for their take-out options.
1748 Notre-Dame W.; 931-4136
Meal for two, not including tax or tip: $18-$26