I had made it through my first full day in Toronto and my meeting had gone well. I was working with a wonderful group of people. I left my meeting with a sense of accomplishment and exhaustion. It was time for dinner at Vegetarian Haven. The restaurant was over a mile from my hotel, so I put on my sneakers and headed out. I walked by the University of Toronto before making it to the street where the restaurant was located. After viewing the sign, I realized that I had yet again, stumbled upon a vegan restaurant. Two days in a row-score!
I asked for a seat indoor as it was a bit too humid to sit outside (I should be used to humidity living in NC, but I'm not!). The heat and humidity from my walk had impacted my appetite. Why now?! I am in a vegan haven and my appetite was small. Instead of beating myself up, I decided to order two small appetizers and a dessert to take back to the hotel.
As I opened the menu, I found myself for the second day in a row overwhelmed. Luckily, I had a plan. I was going to order from the beginning of the menu. I settled on the miso won ton soup and mango fresh rolls. I had only had won ton soup once or twice before as it is not usually vegetarian. This particular soup sounded interesting with a twist of miso. I also had to order a fresh juice. Sadly, I don't remember what ingredients were contained in the juice. I do remember that it had ginger in it and I loved it!
As I was sipping my juice and reading a book, the soup and fresh rolls came out together. I had a warm, aromatic goodness in front of me coupled with cool refreshing rolls. Yummo! I wanted the soup to cool a bit, so I dug into the fresh rolls. Instead of the usual tofu, mango was the main ingredient of these rolls. The other ingredients within the rice paper wrapper were vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts. The dipping sauce for the rolls was bright red. I have no clue what the sauce was made of but it was the perfect blend of spice, savory, and sweet.
It was time for soup. As I quietly slurped, I realized that it was the perfect accompaniment to the rolls. The flavors were different, but worked well together. The miso in the broth gave the clear liquid depth. The broth also contained a mix of veggies and tofu. I am not quite sure what was in the won ton wrappers, but it seemed like veggies and tofu. I ate all of the delicious won tons and sipped much of the broth. I was stuffed!
It was on to pick a dessert to take back to the hotel with me. I opted for the vanilla creme cheesecake. The waitress told me that the cheesecake had won an award for the best cheesecake in Toronto. It didn't even contain dairy cheese! It beat out cheesecakes that contain dairy cream cheese! I knew this one was a winner! When I got back to the hotel, I sunk into the vegan cheesecake heaven and knew I made the right decision. It was creamy, smooth, and had the perfect amount of tart and sweetness.
My verdict. Vegetarian Havan is a must stop for any vegetarian, vegan, or person who wants great food. The wait staff was so friendly and the food was great. The dessert was the highlight of my meal. I challenge any skeptic or naysayer to go to Vegetarian Haven and try the vegan cheesecake. If you aren't a believer in tofu cream cheese after that experience, then it is obvious that you have lost your ability to taste and recognize delicious food. :-P