Friday, October 14, 2011

Searching for Noorishment

A new vegan/raw/organic restaurant has opened in Edmonton and I really have wanted to give it a try. I went there for their grand opening and, well, it did not go exactly as planned (Click here for more info on that one). So, I vowed to try and come back so I could blog about them during Vegan MoFo. So, tonight my James and I made our way to the southside to give the restaurant another try.
Note the tank and scarf/funky hat combo. Nothing matches. This is what James refers to as a hipster.
The iPhone is a must to complete the look. Extra points for live tweeting through the meal.

Unfortunately, a very similar scene to the opening was before us. Staff that had no idea what was going on, no one knew where to seat us. Reservations were getting lost, menus were made out of paper and they ran out. We were able to get a seat though, so I was seeing this through! 

The menu is small and a bit lacking in my opinion. Salads, a soup, pizza, burger, quinoa and nachos. It actually really annoyed me, because this is what I am generally stuck with at all other veggie-friendly restaurants around here. I was really hoping for something different!!

The menu, nothing special on paper, but everything was amazing  once it got to the table
The menu may not have been all that original, but the food? I thought it was fantastic. We had a little bit of everything so that I could give my true honest opinion of the restaurant. First up was a berry blast elixir. Oh man, was this tasty. It was whole berries and it looked super seedy when I got it, but it wasn't (Seeds are my pet peeve in smoothies). The have a citrus one as well as a couple hot ones to choose from. I wish i could make a smoothie as good as that was!

Next up our main course. You have to order from the counter and pay up front for food here. I am not personally a fan of this in a sit-down restaurant. You have to tip before you eat or really have any service. That makes it difficult to gage. When we ordered, the girl at the counter unfortunately was not really an employee, but helping out that night, so she couldn't answer any questions I had about the food. C'est la vie. I paid and she took my name so they could call when the food was up. Unfortunately the person calling out the food did not get names with it and they don't have (or weren't referring to order numbers) so they just call out what the food/drinks are. Our food took a little trip around the restaurant before coming to us.

For an entree, James had a raw pizza which he did not like at all, I loved it though. I think if you are looking for the taste of a traditional pizza, this one will not do it, but I adored the combination of flavours and all the colours on the plate. So pretty and yummy at the same time! The pizza was one a sunflower crust and had a salsa base, veggies... many veggies, and cashew cheese on top. It comes with beets, carrots and some ginger salad thing that go really well with the pizza. I highly recommend this if you go!

This soup didn't look like much, but it was in the top 10 for soups I have ever tried.

Wilted Kale salad. Almost perfect, but the kale wasn't very wilty.
I ordered a wilted kale salad and Peruvian inspired soup. The salad was tasty, but the kale wasn't really wilted. They need to massage that kale a little more. It was very simple, but very good. Something I should make at home sometime. The soup, also simple tomato-based soup had the perfect combination of spices. It looked a little blah, but it tasted like heaven! I was a good friend and traded James soup for pizza. I missed my soup, but it was a good trade to get that tasty pizza.

What does raw, vegan pizza look like, please see above. mmmMMmmm

For dessert I had kiwi lime pie. It had a chocolate coconut crust and some kind of coconut topping. The first bite, I didn't really like this one, but by bite two, I was in love. It was so good, yet not heavy at all. I love that about vegan food. James had a brownie. Again using a lot of coconut, I thought it was good, but wasn't as good as I hoped. I think they need to add some banana to that brownie and maybe some spice. 

Kiwi-Lime Pie. Nuff said.

Brownie - Pretty good, but must like coconut to enjoy this one!
Overall, the people are nice at Noorish. While they were pretty useless if you had a question, needed a table, or wanted them to fulfill a reservation, it was obvious that it was not intentional, they just don't know how to run front of house at a restaurant. The food is amazing. We ordered almost a third of the menu and I was impressed with everything we got (and, might I add, we got the food fairly fast! Hard to find in this city).

On the downside, the menu was a bit flat for me. It did say daily on it, so if they plan on changing it daily, then that would good, but something tells me they aren't. The restaurant appears to be a a sit-down place, but the food is much more cafe. poor James was starving after his food and while I was not so much, I think the dinner menu would have better been used as a lunch menu. The biggest issue is just the complete lack of organization. There were too many people working and not enough people leading. A yoga class broke and everyone just poured into the already full restaurant making it kind of uncomfortable. People coming in with reservations couldn't get a table and I think they were running out of some food so people that should have been running the front were out buying fruit.

James getting his greasy food fix after dinner. I much preferred Noorish, but it is not for everyone.
I will go back to Noorish, but not for a while unless I am getting it to go. They need to get their shit together. I seriously think that they could do well. They got the customers, but the chaotic environment inside will drive them all away if they don't fix it.

If you are in the 109 st area, I do think you should check it out. It is worth it for the food, but be warned if you go during a dinner rush.. things may not be so smooth when you get there.

One last thing, if anyone reading this works at Noorish or knows someone that does, please tell them to put their phone number on their website!!

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