Last summer, Dom and I were looking for a vegetarian restaurant. We stumbled upon Aux Vivres while walking on Saint-Laurent street. I remember seeing an ad in The Hour that mentioned it was voted number 1 vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Montreal. We were disappointed that the terrace was closed on a hot sunny afternoon, instead we sat next to the window and had a couple of flies as neighbours. A great thing about the menu is that it says what items had ingredients that most people are allergic too: nut free, gluten free, soy free, dairy products.
Dom chose the Kosmos plate: souvlaki style seitan, tzatziki, potato wedges, salad and rice. Seitan is made with wheat gluten; it has the look and texture of meat when it’s cooked, an alternative for those who don’t like tofu. I had a piece and found it mushier than regular meat, obviously didn’t taste the same but I personally prefer tofu. The potato wedges were delicious and hot while the tzatziki was refreshing. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of her meal.
I chose the Mumbai plate (I love Indian food): organic brown rice, chutney, chickpea and potato curry with salad. Chutney is a condiment with a mix of spice and vegetable ingredients; it can be either spicy or sweet. Mine was incredibly sweet, but not in an overwhelming way. The curry was nicely spiced and the pieces of potato were a good addition.
I also had a mango lassi, which is an Indian yogourt based drink. It was creamy and sweet with a fresh mango taste, perfect for the day we had. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any more space for dessert and they looked really good at the counter. I’ll probably return this summer to have a lighter meal and a dessert.
I truly respect vegetarians and their way of life, but I have to admit that I was sceptic about a meal without meat satisfying my stomach. I was entirely wrong! I didn’t finish my plate and had to bring the rest home. Maybe if I didn’t order the lassi, I could have finished my plate but I’m not quite sure. I left Aux Vivres with a different perception on vegetarian food and since I’ve tried different places realizing that yes you can be fully satisfied by eating only vegetables and substitutes of meat.
My grade is 6.5/10, not having a terrace available passes but having to eat with flies buzzing around us was not amazing. Also the floor looked dirty, not reassuring but thankfully the food was delicious and worth trying. Prices vary between 20 and 25 dollars with dessert included. You can go there for lunch and things can be taken to go, they had interesting sandwiches. Even if you’re a meat lover like me, I recommend you to try this place to see how meals without meat can easily stuff you and that they taste just as good.
4631 Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC
H2T 1R2 514-842-3479