After a summer of excess (wine counts as a fruit, right?), our bodies were in need of a little TLC. So we decided to visit downtown Oshawa’s vegan fast-food joint, Nourished On The Go.
First impressions of this small, tidy restaurant were good: The space was clean and bright, decorated with paintings from local artists, which, incidentally, are for sale. Minimalist and streamlined, with a chairs and tables at the front of the shop, a few pieces of art on the walls, with counter and kitchen at the back, the look is no-frills efficient. The menu is bright, easy to read, and, for anyone interested in learning about veganism, there’s a collection of pamphlets and other literature on the counter.
We were greeted by Gabriella Budani, the congenial chef who started the restaurant in 2014, who guided us through the menu. We decided to try two popular wraps, the Veggie Dream ($6.99) and the No-Chicken Club ($6.99), the Moroccan Peanut Soup ($6.99), and the Super Green Juice ($4.99).
After a short wait, we collected our food from the counter. The Super Green Juice, 250 mL of blitzed kale, parsley, cucumber, granny smith apple, lemon and fennel, was a pleasant, healthy-looking light green colour, and tasted fresh. The apple cut the bitterness of the raw kale, and the lemon added a needed bit of zing.
The Veggie Delight wrap was filled with romaine, with thin strips of carrot and cucumber, peppers, red cabbage, avocado, vegan mayo (made in house) and dressing on a 7 inch whole wheat tortilla. The veggies were fresh and crisp, the mayo was creamy and added a hint of texture. And, after a summer of over-indulgence, we could practically hear our bodies wheeze a faint, “Thank God. It’s vegetables.”
The No-Chicken Club delivered what it promised: A vegan version of a club sandwich, which actually channelled a traditional club. Chunks of vegan chicken, smokey vegan bacon chunks, plus lots of romaine lettuce and chopped tomato, plus homemade vegan mayonnaise, were wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. The wrap was light, yet satisfying, although we wished the vegan mayo was a bit more spread out in the wrap. Our only issue was with the whole wheat tortillas, which fell apart, making for a messy meal.
However, the Moroccan Peanut Soup was a revelation, and we don’t use that word lightly.
While selling the virtues of the Veggie Delight wrap to a dedicated meat-eater might prove challenging, the Moroccan Peanut Soup is vegan food for the masses. Rich, smooth, slightly spicy, with a bit of tomato acid, whole chickpeas added for texture, and a subtle peanut flavour, we scraped every last bit of Moroccan Peanut Soup out of its take-out container. Truth is, if we hadn’t been in public, we probably would have licked it clean. It was that tasty.
Would we go back? You bet. Nourished On The Go offered exactly what it promised: High-quality, healthy, vegan fast-food at affordable prices. Check it out – your tastebuds will thank you.
Nourished On The Go is located at 16 Simcoe Street South in Oshawa.