Restaurant Review: The Green Door, vegetarian comfort food

I was back in Ottawa last Friday as a guest on my third episode of Rogers Daytime, for a segment on Back to School Snacks on a Budget (the clips will be up on www.glutenfreeliving.ca in the coming weeks.) So my husband and I decided take advantage of our visit to spend an extra day down there to visit his brother and, well, our favourite restaurant – The Green Door on Main street :)

The Green Door is a cafeteria-style vegetarian restaurant that specializes in “high quality foods and baked goods made from ingredients that are locally grown and produced”. Most (not all) of their foods are made without common allergens – wheat, dairy, eggs and corn. All items are laid out in three sections: hot foods, cold salads, and desserts. Basically, you just go around with a plate, pick your own food, and the cashier charges you by weight (minus your plate). While most foods are charged this way, a few items are charged by piece such as the spelt spanakopitas (not gluten-free) and soups.

Important note: Cross contamination may be of concern here since the restaurant is an open serve concept. I’m not sensitive enough myself to be able to detect small amounts of contamination – so consider this a friendly warning.

I don’t remember exactly how much the restaurant charges per 100g of food, but two generous meal plates plus a couple slices of pies came out to around $30, and my husband and I were pretty full by the end! It’s surprising how satisfying a wholesome vegetarian meal can be since it’s so nutrient dense (a stark contrast to most North American meals which are nutrient poor and calorie dense – read more about this in my previous post). 

This time around, I enjoyed a nice mix of foods: broccoli and tofu stir-fry, vegetarian maki, roasted vegetable stew, spicy peanut tempeh, a quinoa salad, white beans and chard. I’m always taken by surprise at how flavourful and comforting the food is at the Green Door. It helps to be surrounded by friendly people, happy staff, beautiful local artwork, and plenty of natural sunlight.  Of course, nothing can quite finish off a meal than a Green Door dessert! I picked up a slice of triple-berry pie with a crunchy nut crust. The pie is so light in texture (made of a berry, juice and agar filling), but deceivingly filling from its nutty crust.

At the end of this meal, I only had one complaint, which was the same one I had for Rawlicious… that it’s much too far from where I live! If I were still in Ottawa, I would definately be a regular! And if you’re in the area, be sure to walk next door to the Wheat Berry – a wonderful local health food store with plenty of produce, dry bulk, health and beauty products, supplements and more at very reasonable prices.

The Green Door Restaurant
198 Main Street
Ottawa, ON K1S 1C6
Phone: 613.234.9597

Open Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 9pm
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