UrbHerb @ UrbEats

24 Apr

A quick lunchtime errand had me zipping down to the Eaton Centre today, meaning I basically gave myself an excuse to visit to the mall’s food court, the Urban Eatery.

Despite its unfortunate name, plague-worthy swarms of teenagers, and complete mirage of tables, I have a soft spot for the Urban Eatery.  I love that all the food court vendors must use the uniform reusable flatware, plates, bowls and glasses!  I love that you can use those glasses to get (TAP!) water!   I fully support this endeavour and am pleasantly surprised that the initiative hasn’t been stopped by over-theft of the dishes and utensils.

I decided to grab something to go from Urban Herbivore, a Kensington Market staple’s foray into the pop fast food crowd (the similarity in names of the vendor and the food court itself is pure coincidence).  I’ve never eaten at the restaurant in Kensington, but have heard rave reviews on their baked goods (warning: according to the Toronto Star’s analysis, their ‘healthy’ sweet potato date muffin packs almost 1,000 calories and 38 g of fat…and as you know, the YYZ Gourmand Ladies are big on not wasting our calories –  I can’t spend half a day’s value on one muffin!).   On Wednesdays, UrbHerb at UrbEats offers a special– a (smaller) salad bowl of sticky black and red rice, romaine and watercress topped with beets, avocado, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds…and probably other things I can’t recall…dressed in lemon-tahini sauce (one of their 6 signature dressings).  Along with this, your choice of half a grilled tofu sandwich or a small soup for $10 + tax ($11.30, FYI).

My order came relatively quickly since all the Wednesday Special salad bowls were pre-made and the soup (Curried Lentil was today’s) was easily ladled into a coffee cup complete with sippy lid.  They threw in a couple of crouton-looking long breadsticks which were extremely greasy – my paper bag was transparent by the time I reached my desk.  I ended up using them to feed a starving intern.  But oh, the soup was delicious.  The tomato based broth had a hint of sweetness and full bodied, yet light, cumin and curry flavours were seeped into the large chunks of potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, chickpeas and lentils.    Perfect for the rainy weather!  It was comfort in a cup.

The salad was…well, it was substantial.  I was certainly not hungry after the small soup and salad combo. And I know the salad was relatively low in sodium since the whole time I was eating it,  I was wishing for a pinch of sea salt (and I NEVER add salt to my food!).  The dressing was boring and unremarkable.  The lemon-tahini dressing could really have used some garlic….or lemon, even!

For the price, I think I got a relatively healthy meal relatively quickly.  The vegetables were fresh.  I’m full without feeling gross.  Certainly a good option available at the Urban Eatery.

However, to be honest, I would probably try another vendor the next time I return…because of an errand, of course.

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