Lesser veggie burgers crumble under pressure. Not The Lo Pub & Bistro's Mushroom Nut burger. It is a sturdy, dense and delicious meat-free feast anchored by a mushroom, almond and walnut patty.
Lo Pub and Bistro
Address: 330 Kennedy Street
Phone number: 943-5581
When I dine out I love to be surprised and discover a place, new or old, that hasn't been on my radar.
The Lo Pub & Bistro is one of those places. Located on the main floor of Hostelling International, a hostel on Kennedy Street at Ellice Avenue downtown, Lo Pub and Bistro is an all-vegetarian eatery that makes you feel like you've had meat.
The menu is modest yet considered and features favourites like burgers, fries, soups and salads and noodles.
In this case, the menu's brevity isn't a hinderance. One gets the sense that every ingredient, every combination of flavours has been well-thought out to satisfy even meat-eaters.
In a vegetarian place, trying the veggie burger is a must. If you can't serve a decent veggie burger as a starting point, then you've failed on the first step.
Lo Pub's nut mushroom burger is meaty and magnificent. And unlike lesser veggie burgers, it holds its shape and doesn't crumble into a big sloppy mess with each successive bite. There is a lot going on in between the whole-wheat buns. The moist patty is made with minced mushrooms, almonds and walnuts and delivers dense nutty notes with each bite. Tomato, lettuce and red onions add the requisite crunch. The big, bold burger flavour overtakes the pesto mayonnaise and the toasted blue corn relish a little bit.
The Grilled Cheese was a quadruple threat with smoked and white cheddar, Oka and brie. Unlike lesser grilled cheese, Lo Pub's version is not butter-heavy or greasy. The slices of whole-wheat bread hold their toasty crispness while the cheese and tomatoes held within are a great match of melted juiciness.
Lo's vegan Caesar salad is a simple, yet delightful ode to the standard. Garlic croutons and toasted sesame seeds add pizzazz while the creamy vegan dressing leaves you wanting for nothing (not even the anchovies).
Clientele is a mixed bag of travelers, 20-and-30-something hip urbanites and regular folk. At night, the pub is a popular spot for live music, indie bands and DJs.
Next on Peg City Grub's food radar: Boon Burgers newest location on Bannatyne; Chocolatier Constance Popp for her ale-infused father's day chocolates; Buffalo Stone Cafe at FortWhyte; and Gizzy's Pub. Stay tuned.