When I first went to Doomie’s, one of Toronto’s greasiest vegan restaurants, arranging a time that worked for my party of three was a nightmare. I was warned by friends to expect long wait times. Although the place wasn’t spacious, I didn’t have to wait to be seated. Doomie’s opened in late April of this year, and since then, they have smoothed out many of the bumps from the first few months.
I’m not vegetarian, but my friend was. The menu doesn’t list the ingredients used in the dishes, so it was strange to hear my friend order a “BBQ pulled-pork burger.” She found it even more strange to bite into, marvelling at how “meat-like” the food tasted. They offer all kinds of ‘meat’ mains, from burgers to hot dogs.
My favourite part of the menu was the wide selection of fun fries. Our group ordered three types to share, with a general consensus that the pesto fries were the best. I would return just to have them again. The portion sizes were gigantic, and all of us ended up taking sizable chunks of our meal home.
Doomie’s is a great restaurant to go to for meat-lovers and vegans alike. It has definitely changed my perception of how diverse vegan food can be. Now, when I talk to people who deride the limitations of a vegan diet, I send them to Doomie’s.
It’s not somewhere I would go often, however, since with drinks in addition to food, the meal can get a bit pricey for anyone on a student budget. And while it is vegan, it’s far from healthy. I left feeling as bloated as I would be after eating a regular burger or poutine. If that’s the kind of meal you’re looking for, this makes for a great alternative with the same after-effect.
— Linh Nguyen, Varsity Staff
Varsity restaurant is an interesting place. It boasts a fusion-style menu that may not suit everyone’s tastes. The first time I went was in a moment of desperation near the end of last year, around mid-March. I had heard mixed things: many people were aware of its long-time presence on campus, some told me they were too intimidated by it, sticking instead to old favourites like New Ho King and Canton Chilli.
I was hungry, cold, and tired from studying at Robarts all day though, and I wanted something more for myself than a sandwich from G’s Fine Foods.
The interior of the restaurant felt old and the menu signs were faded, so the pictures of the dishes looked less than appetizing. I ordered the slightly overpriced beef and rice, sat down, and waited. The space was busy; groups of people chatted about their courses while others hastily shovelled large helpings of rice into their mouths. The aroma of oil hung in the air above everyone.
My order arrived and I was disappointed to see that the portion was smaller than I was used to. But as I went back, each time I become more and more familiar, figuring the place out and getting to know the servers and cooks. After a while, I felt more comfortable, staying for longer periods of time, getting larger portions, and feeling like I was a part of the campus community.
I’m glad I decided to do something different that day because it was definitely worth it.
— Lisa Power, A&C Editor
Let me start by saying: no one willingly eats at 7-Eleven. It’s never anyone’s first choice. Some people don’t even know they serve food or how far their hot food menu has extended in recent months. And certainly no one feels good after waking up from a night of drinking to find a half-eaten meatball sub in their coat pocket.
That being said, I tried out some of their food for the purposes of this piece and because I only had fifteen minutes in between appointments.
I had the salt and pepper chicken wings, which are a mere $0.75 each, or 10 for $7.00. As I bit into the thickly coated, greasy, slightly overcooked meat, I had a flashback to a moment in time when I was a small girl and my grandmother would take me to The Ex at the end of each summer. I could see the food stalls bustling with patrons, engulfed in clouds of steam. The sizzle of the oil rang in my ears. When I was transported back to the present, I stood on the corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street, feeling slightly disgusted with myself for having broken my pledge to eat heathier this week.
The next item I tried was the pepperoni pizza. The slice was tiny but suspiciously cheap. I soon realized why: it tasted more like a frozen Pizza Pop than a fresh meal, except with gooier cheese. It was predictably cardboard-ish, but I was reminded of my first kiss. It was Pizza Day at my elementary school when my crush, Logan, led me behind a tree. With our eyes closed and sauce on our faces, he gave me a smooch. When I opened my eyes, I found myself halfway down Bloor Street with a slice of pizza dangling from my mouth.
Overall, 7-Eleven food is great if you’re in a rush but don’t expect much else.
— Lisa Power, A&C Editor