onelove1

The good people at One Love Corn sure know how to make a mean corn-on-the-cob, as we’ve previously reported. But does the charm of their Harbourfront stall translate to their new restaurant space at Bloor and Bathurst? Based on a recent visit during Tornado Thursday in Toronto, One Love Vegetarian (854 Bathurst St.) is run with the same warm service as their summer post with delicious expanded offerings that stretch way beyond corn. Owners Ras Iville and Ikeila Wright have developed a Caribbean-influenced, all-vegan menu of rotis, pizzas, desserts, daily specials and fresh juice.

onelove-ext

When we arrived at One Love, the sky was already darkening and the storm clouds were rolling in. I was also feeling skeptical because my dining partner Christine had committed foodie betrayal by visiting the restaurant the day before (I forgive you Christine!) and found that their corn soup was blander than the one served at their waterfront stall.

So we stayed away from the soup and I chose the Curry Channa ($10) featuring deeply flavoured chickpeas and potatoes with organic basmati rice and peas, organic salad with sesame-ginger dressing, avocado and fried plantains. I’m a happy omnivore and it takes well-prepared and seasoned vegetarian fare to impress me, and this is one meal that didn’t make me miss meat at all. There were all sorts of involuntary “Mmmmms” and sighs coming out of me as I felt this dish warm my body from the inside-out. The serving was plentiful (I took leftovers home), the salad was outstanding, and the added touch of avocado and plantains put the dish over the top.

onelove-food

Christine ordered the Love Sun Stir Fry (shown above right), also $10, which combined cubed tofu, bell peppers, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, garlic and sundried tomatoes. When asked for a review, she said: “The tofu didn’t taste bland (always a hurdle for me), but had a nice, subtle flavouring. Plus, the portions are generous, which always keeps Caribbeans happy.” She went on to admit: “When I think about Caribbean cuisine, the first thought isn’t ‘Wow! Island folk can really hook up a plate of tofu.’ I’m used to seeing and tasting the familiars, and they’re usually meat heavy — chicken, oxtails and goat. So I was pleased at how satisfying One Love is.”

Our orders came just in time because heavy rain began pelting against the window and then the power went out. Thunder cracked around us and hungry patrons soaked like wet dogs came running in. The electricity went on and off several times making the meal alternately more and less romantic. The staff were very caring, lighting candles at tables and providing plastic garbage bags as makeshift rain ponchos for anyone ready to leave.

Both of us agreed Bloor & Bathurst has found itself a winner. Come rain or shine, the family-run vibe and food for your soul makes One Love the place to “get together and feel alright.”

onelove-dark

One Love Vegetarian / 854 Bathurst St., Toronto

416 535 5683 / Tues-Fri 11-9, Sat 11-6, Closed Mon & Sun

Advertisements