Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wallflower Modern Diner: Menu options for everyone

It was my vegan sister's birthday this Sunday and she decided that she wanted to celebrate with dinner at the Wallflower Modern Diner on Main Street. She and her girlfriend had been before, enjoyed it, and liked all of the vegan options. I've been wanting to check this place out for a while but just haven't made it yet. 

The Wallflower has slowly built up a devoted following in Vancouver, offering hearty and delicious fare at affordable prices. The menu reinvents traditional diner food, offering a healthy alternative to greasy spoon fare. I knew it had a good variety of vegan and gluten free options but I wondered if my "meat-and-potatoes" mom and "no sauces, nothing spicy" dad would find something that they'd like. 

The sous chef and I were the first to arrive. The place was pretty busy and I was glad my mom had called ahead to make reservations for our large-ish party. This place is a little bit hipster, a little bit mod, a little bit retro, and a bit funky. I really liked the decor- amazing black and white flower stencils/artwork covering the walls and some really beautiful and interesting local art on display and for sale. They also have a cool old jukebox in the back. The crowd was an interesting mix. The atmosphere is comfortable, cosy and clean. When we arrived, there was one server taking care of the fairly busy restaurant. She was doing her best, but obviously things were a bit slow until help arrived just after we placed our food orders.

The menu, or shall I say menuS have an awesome selection that make it hard to choose. They have a "regular" menu, a "vegan" menu, and a gluten free menu. They are clearly making an effort to accomodate different dietary needs and I applaud them. 

My sister (the birthday girl) and I both ordered bowls of the Nathan's Vegan Chilli $12 (beans, corn, veggies, vegan cheddar, foccacia). This was a big old bowl of comfort. It wasn't very spicy so I definitely added some hot sauce. The texture was smoother than I'm used to with Chilli and the flavours all came together really nicely. It was kind of a cold blustery evening, and I felt like I was getting a bit sick, so this was pretty much the warm bowl of comfort food I needed. I think there was a bit too much Daiya (vegan cheese) for me, but I really enjoyed the foccacia toast wedges.

Ashley ordered the Vegan Hummus Melt $12 (foccacia, hummus, spinach, onion, mushroom, vegan mozza, with a side of fries. This looked amazing and according to Ashley it was absolutely delicious. Warm, gooey, flavourful.

M-ister (middle sister) ordered the Portobello Buger $11 (grilled portobello, balsamic, goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo). She had never had a Portobello Burger before and couldn't believe how juicy it was. She loved the fresh-ness and the creaminess of the goat cheese.

Mom ordered Chicken Parmesan $13 (grilled chicken, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parm, mashed potatoes, vegetables). She didn't say too much other that she really liked it and thought it was a fair portion size and liked all of the elements.

Dad ordered the Chef Salad $12 (ham, bacon, tomato, cucumber, egg, cheddar & jack, thousand island). Now, my dad definitely knows what he likes and what he doesn't like and isn't big on experimenting. He took out the things he didn't like: tomatoes and thousand island dressing, and added chicken for $4. He really liked this and appreciated that they actually took off and added what he asked for. I'm guessing since they cater to people with allergies and specific diets, this was no big deal.

The sous-chef ordered the daily special, Vegan Baked Spaghetti Regular $12 but special price was $10 (spaghetti, spinach, onion, mushroom, tomato sauce, vegan mozza, marinated tofu, mixed greens). He was kind of disappointed that this was not so much tomato-ey but more faux creamy/ cheesy. He said it was good but too heavy and he wouldn't order it again.

This is a pretty awesome restaurant to go with a group of friends or family (although, I think it was a bit dark and loud for my parents) and it really does has a menu for every diet: gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and the old fashion meat eaters. 
Wallflower Modern Diner on Urbanspoon

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