lots of love for Aphrodite’s Café
posted: September 18, 2013
Jamieson is on our social media and online community team, a registered holistic nutritionist and a passionate runner. As well, she’s a local improv comedian, which is super cool.
Vegans of the world, I’ve got eight words for you: roasted eggplant and heirloom tomatoes with nasturtium pesto, which is just one of the tasty delights served up at Aphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie Shop.
Aphrodite’s is a quirky restaurant tucked amongst the beautiful boutiques, coffee shops and other dining establishments on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood. The café’s founder, Allan Christian, was working and living on an organic farm co-op in BC’s Fraser Valley when he was struck with a passion to bring beautiful, fresh, local farm food into the city where it could be accessible to all. So, in 2003 he opened the doors to Aphrodite’s and—thanks to tons of hard work—it soon became a must-stop eatery.
We arrived at the café hungry and, although the menu had many tongue tantalizing options, my mom, dad and I had our choices pinpointed in the short time it took our waitress to fill our water glasses. Mom and I teamed up for one of the restaurant’s rotating three-course dinner options. Our meal began with a hummus plate and wheat and rice crackers for dipping. With a smoky bulb of roasted garlic that enhanced the platter’s fragrance and a roasted tomato on a bed of local spring salad, all drizzled in a sweet balsamic reduction, this was no run-of-the-mill hummus experience. And if this weren’t enough to whet our appetites, our waitress also delivered slices of in-house baked whole wheat bread with pads of warm, organic butter. So. Darn. Good.
Next up was the roasted eggplant dish (mmmmm); its tofu ricotta tasted so similar to dairy ricotta that it completely fooled my Dad. With layers of creamy eggplant, juicy tomatoes and a nasturtium pesto that must have been crafted with the most vibrant quality olive oil ever pressed, we thought we’d died and gone to foodie heaven while eating it. Seriously, this dish was more of an experience than a meal.
As someone who practices a vegan diet myself, the organic turkey potpie was off-limits to me, but Dad tucked right into one and proclaimed it the “best dinner I’ve had today!”
After a chuckle, he let me in on the comforting and creamy flavours he discovered inside the pie crust, describing the vegetables as “cooked perfectly” and the organic turkey “melting in his mouth.” Sounded like a rave review to me.
The three of us washed down our main courses with local lagers before focusing on dessert. Mom and I shared the raspberry rhubarb gluten-free, vegan pie with coconut vegan ice cream (try saying that five times fast). All the words you could ever want to hear to describe pie applied to this one: the crust was light and flaky, and the sweet raspberries were the perfect complement to the tart, tender rhubarb. Adding vegan à la mode pretty much made my day.
Dad also jumped on the sweet tooth wagon with a chocolate banana cream pie, which Mom sampled. “It’s rich, chocolaty and sinful in each and every way you want it to be,” she said.
Perfect in every way you’d want it to be—kind of like Aphrodite’s. I’ll be back.