By Kathryne Grisim (@foodmuser)
What struck me immediately about an anticipated visit to Beet Happening was that the food would be wholesome and healthy as depicted by its name and my hunch was accurate. The cheery spot at 818 Notre Dame serves gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings.
There were a number of comfortable booths which lined one wall and we were asked to find our spot and then return to the counter to order. Owner Justin might even take care of you himself. As we had arrived, we were encouraged to order our dessert as well, because the counter gets very busy over the lunch hour. The philosophy of Beet Happening is that exciting, nutritious food should be accessible to all people, even busy ones.
My lunch date immediately spied the pizzettes like the ones that you might see at a French-style bakery. But first, she had been tempted by the weekly special of pulled pork with corn bread. She remarked that the personal pizzas were top notch from the deliciously chewy crust, to the gooey cheese and a sprinkling of greens.
I asked what their most popular salad was and received the emphatic answer that the Beet Happening salad was by far the most popular. Perhaps the restaurant itself was named for the salad, I mused. I felt healthy just gazing at the array of red quinoa, chickpeas, beetroot, carrot, grape tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, currants and seasonal greens. Consuming the salad was just as satisfying. I’m always impressed when you do not have to sacrifice flavour for healthy choices.
Having eaten lightly I was not concerned about ordering dessert and had already selected a strawberry/lemon fruit crumble bar. Reminiscent of the classic matrimonial cake, the bar retained a crunchy bottom and a top layer of brown sugary rolled oats as well as a scattering of pumpkin seeds to make me feel good about my choice.
My lunch date selected a gluten-free tart with lemon curd and berries and was delighted with the cool lemony flavours. Beet Happening is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. with breakfast and lunch menus available. There is street parking available and the building is wheelchair accessible.
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