Sometimes the best cure for a stressful work week is blazing and watching an episode of ‘Our Planet.’ Something about David Attenborough’s voice is hella calming. It really makes me feel like I’m doing something for the planet – smoking green while watching green, you know? Welcome to the Vegan Cave!
A few episodes in and my stomach starts narrating the stages of hunger to me. What’s something I can eat while Sir David educates me about the planet? I’m still low-key craving pizza from the last time, when I ended up crushing some Japanese food. I’m feeling like whatever I eat needs to stick with the environmental theme of the night. I want some za, but I also want to be conscious about my impact on the planet.
Smoking green, thinking green.
That’s when it hits me. My buddy is always talking about a place vegans hang out at in Gastown – The Vegan Cave Café. I check out the menu and they’ve got just what I’m looking for, the ever-elusive za. I’ve decided to give them a chance.
I make my way to Gastown, imagining Sir David narrating my journey the whole way. After reaching my destination, I already knew I’ve made the right choice. The place gives off solid vibes of goodness, from the ambiance and the staff. Just being at the restaurant made me feel like I was already positively impacting the planet.
They’ve got a few strong options on the menu. I thought I had my mind made up before I got here, but whenever I catch a whiff of someone’s order I’m sent into a spiral of indecision. You know, that savage feeling of panic you get right before you order like you’re experiencing an existential crisis? The person at the counter could see the panic in my eyes and was super friendly and offered to help me with my decision. It’s hard to peg down my mood.
I find myself halfway between Zen, and freaky Friday. After trying to explain this to them they suggest a half and half pizza. The genius behind the half and half pizza is an unsung hero. I finally find the perfect balance with a half and half order of the “Buffalo Buddha” and the “Freaky Greeky.” I reach a state of Zen freaky. They give you three options for the crust: real deal organic, nutty almond and homemade roots. I decide to double up on the real deal organic.
Would pizza be enough? Planning for the future, like Elon Musk, I decide to grab some dessert. Once again, I can’t make up my mind. An Ice Cream Cake is clearly out of the question. I can’t get a half and half dessert, but I can definitely order two items. Who knew choosing what dessert to get while saving the planet was such a difficult task? I go with the “match green rice crispee” and the vegan cheesecake. I can never turn down cheesecake.
The Main Event
Buffalo Buddha – Tomato, hickory sauce and sriracha base topped with chickpeas, vegan chicken, red onion, and fresh chopped garlic, drizzled with Bleu cheese dressing.
Freaky Greeky – Pesto base pizza topped with cashew Feta, garlic, tomato, olives, red onion, oregano, and crushed walnuts, drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh basil.
Match Green Rice Crispee
I leave the café with my order and head back to my own cave. When I know my true animal is about to come out, it’s best I eat at home. I’ve been inspired by the documentary and I don’t need my animalistic behaviour to be a public spectacle. No word of a lie, I’m howling over this pizza. The food is so lit. I’m not about to tell you it’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had because I don’t know if you’ll believe me. Fuck it – it’s some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.
The flavour on the Buffalo Buddha is so loud it would make a Buddhist monk lose focus. The Freaky Greeky is equally tasty. The way I’m raving, Aristotle would struggle to hear himself think. I slow myself down, I should try to savour the flavours.
The Buffalo Buddha brings the right amount of heat and marries it with the coolness of blue cheese. The chickpea and vegan chicken combo are a kill shot.
The Freaky Greeky from Vegan Cave brings its flavours together better than those kids that summon Captain Planet. The fresh basil is an underrated addition. This cheese, is this even vegan cheese? The homemade vegan cheese is the secret weapon for both flavours that I ordered. I don’t know if I’m helping to bring pollution down to zero, but I know I’m enjoying every bite.
Dessert is calling to me. I can hear Attenborough now, “the beast focuses on its next target.” He’s right. I dive into the cheesecake. Once again, I am floored, flabbergasted and fucking impressed. How is this vegan? As a professor on cheesecake, I can tell you this is legit. I’m feeling a bit of regret for not eating the cheesecake last as I get ready to dive into the rice crispee.
It’s good. Although not as good as the cheesecake, but I’m most likely biased based on my love of cheesecake. The rice crispee is solid enough that I would easily get it again.
My night started off as a stress relief ritual and turned into a great experience from what I would say is one of the better vegan joints that I’ve been to. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Vegan Cave Café and treating yourself to one of the more flavourful destinations this planet has to offer, in Vancouver anyway.
Vegan Cave Café gets a 4.5 out of 5 and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll take a trip down there and see what the hype is all about.
Frank @ T&S Tours
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