Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Montreal Restaurant Review: Crudessence!


Summer has been a delicious vegan adventure, this year around. We've been barbecue-ing a plenty, eating lots of yummy cold salads, teaching the bear how to nibble on corn on the cob, and enjoying fresh Québec berries by the basket-ful. This means that although our own private terrasse has been very well-used, we've been missing out on all the yummy vegan goodness that Montreal's restaurants have to offer.

A while ago, Mary from This is Vegan asked me about good cruelty-free eats in Montreal, for her upcoming trip. I reviewed all the restaurants I had tried in the city, and was really excited to hear that she agreed with me about the awesomeness of Aux Vivres and Chuch!  The best part was that she also gave a rave review to Crudessence, a raw vegan restaurant in the heart of the plateau. 

Aside from the occasional green smoothie for breakfast, the raw food bandwagon is not one that I've ever had much interest in jumping on. It's always seemed a touch weird to me to avoid heating foods above 46 degrees celsius (if that's not right, blame wikipedia!!), but then again, it seems a touch weird to a lot of people that I choose not to eat animal products, right? Ok, so it's not quite the same, but who cares when the food tastes so delicious?!?!

Roger and I actually ended up at this raw delight mostly by accident while checking out a possible wedding venue. Although I was ecstatic at the chance to finally see what the Crudessence fuss was all about, Roger was more than a little hesitant. He has only recently gotten used to having nothing but vegan options on the menu... throwing the word "raw" into the mix didn't help my case very much. Ever a trooper, he poked through the menu with trepidation, and settled on nachos! 

These, my friends, are not your regular everyday nachos... they're WAY better.

... so much better, in fact, that I had to snap this picture after more than a few bites had been taken!

I have no idea how they made these "rosemary chips", but they were VERY flavourful, and nice & crispy. The cashew sour cream (my next recipe undertaking) also hit the spot. Roger's only complaint was that the sides weren't plentiful enough.

As soon as I opened the menu, I was ecstatic to have two very delicious items jumping off the page at me: lasagna and quiche - two yummy foods that are tough to veganize to my satisfaction. After hemming and hawing, I ordered the lasagna, and started drooling with imagination. My dreams were dashed 30 seconds later when the (very friendly) waitress informed me that they'd had some sort of mix-up in their weekly order and were unable to make the lasagna OR the quiche. I took a minute or two to get over my seemingly great loss, and ordered the tomato pizza, which boasted sun-dried tomato sauce, mixed veggies, cashew cheese, and "crumesan" as its toppings. 

The verdict?

Delicious! And huge! The green side salad was crispy and fresh, with a yummy creamy dressing. I was also really intrigued and impressed with the zucchini "pasta" salad. It looks like they used something akin to an automatic apple peeler to create long raw zucchini "noodles", and smothered them in a tangy tomato sauce. It's definitely on my at-home to-do list!

The pizza itself, was dyanamite. The flavours were really strong and complemented each other so well. The crust was really surprising - I think it had an olive-base. It was crispy and delicious.

I definitely recommend this restaurant. They seem to have a catering company as well, which could be neat for any of you planning vegan events in and around the city. I can't wait to go back for the quiche and lasagna!


  1. It looks lovely, pity I am so far away.

  2. I wish I could visit Québec and eat there; the food looks so fresh and you make it sound absolutely delicious, which I'm sure it is.

  3. From a fellow Montrealer, I have to chime in on this one. Crudessence is absolutely amazing. I've been there twice so far and it is just to die for.

  4. I wish I had such a nice restaurant by my home, but alas....I will have to stare at these pictures instead hahahah. All of this food looks really fantastic.

  5. My friend raves about this restaurant as well! It looks delicious. Lots of variety. I will definitely visit after I recooperate from all of my Europe expenses.
    Might I add that I missed Montreal for the food it offers vegetarians. I feel extremely lucky to have so many options around me.
    Megan :)

  6. Very nice Looking food..It's looking Like Noodles n chinees food..Really Montreal Is very famous for Dining..

    Thanks For Sharing..

    Montreal Restaurants

  7. i wish i could figure out their saint-graal recipe. i'm going to try -- going to make cashew yogurt soon!

  8. I just found a great site where people save huge discount from 50%-90% OFF on best stuff to do SEE, EAT & BUY in major city of Canada at They have special promotion on registration where you get $5 COD money and can use on any deal.


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© Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan, 2010