The Bickford Flexitarian is a really cute, little, black and white coloured cafe on Harbord Street adjacent to a park (think picnic in the shade during the summer or in the fall sun!). Take-out is really easy at this corner spot, as you can walk in and order from the counter, but don’t be afraid to eat-in at a comfy booth or at a bright window stool where you can sit and people watch. We sat at a booth for 4 in the window.
As the name Flexitarian implies, they do really make food for EVERYONE! Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, have allergies, or enjoy eating clean food, organic ingredients or even well-raised meat, you will find at least a few things to enjoy. They even have raw, vegan food for those who haven’t tried that yet, or already follow that way of eating.
My mom, sister and I arrived here for a late lunch, and we were starving, as we had just come from a full day at We Day. In the true spirit of being a flexitarian (I’m actually a Ryan-tarian and have my own rules for eating), I ordered two sandwiches: one was an unusual sounding vegan sandwich that I just had to try, and the other was chicken with blackened spices, and both were served on Organic Red Fife bread baked in Woodlot’s woodburning oven. I must describe the vegan sandwich in more detail because it looked like an actual fried egg sandwich, and tasted like one too. The “vegg” was made from sea veggies, chickpea flour, black salt and I’m sorry, but I don’t remember what else was in it now, but it was great. It was layered with heirloom tomatoes, citrus red onions, greens, vegan Daiya cheddar and vegan aioli. I don’t normally enjoy tomatoes, but I forgot they were in there, and realized that I enjoyed them after I had eaten and loved the sandwich. That goes to show, that you should keep trying to eat things you don’t like in different ways and combinations because you never know when you’ll start liking that certain something! The chicken sandwich was the perfectly balanced flavours and textures in between perfectly toasty bread. Each sandwich came with a different side of slaw, one was a traditional style coleslaw which was “OK” and the other kale slaw was great and very colourful with lots of purple and green, but I would definitely leave the capers out of it next time, that’s just a personal preference of mine.
My sister loved her organic omelette with fresh dill and heirloom tomatoes, and she loved that her side was a fresh fruit cup, complete with a treat for her of pomegranate seeds. Our server was very knowledgeable about allergies and was confident that this was the right choice for her as they do use a lot of nuts in the kitchen, but make this fresh and clean and avoid cross-contamination. The people who work here were all exceptionally nice and always had big smiles on their faces, it really does make a difference!
My mother ordered a vegan savoury pate sandwich which had a sunflower seed base, with portobello mushrooms, and roasted peppers. She held the arugula pesto because it had walnuts in it, and they put something else great on it. It was awesmazing and I would go back there right now to have this sandwich!
I devoured both of my sandwiches and thoroughly cleaned off my plates. See pictures below. If only I had room for dessert, because they did look great (although mostly with nuts). They also offer a great beverage list with lots of organic house made sodas, teas, coffee, smoothies and much more. It’s not a fancy place, in a good way, and it’s a great place to go for really solid, simple food. I look forward to going back many times, and eventually making my way through trying almost everything on their menu.
So, gather up your friends and head to the Bickford Flexitarian, because it’s good food made by nice people, and we need more restaurants that care about serving us all good food!