"The Ethical Kitchen." I had heard great things about this place from some North Shore people recently, one of them being middle sister. I went on their website and started getting pumped.
|Ethical Kitchen front garden|
So even as I struggled through traffic over the busy Lions Gate Bridge on Saturday to meet with Tricia and Jayme, I remained positive and eager, looking forward to the feel-good hippie feast I was about to eat. I feel like I actually skipped into the restaurant, pausing to check out the expansive garden in front of the Ethical Kitchen. It's sandwiched between Capilano Mall and busy Marine Drive with large pubs (Hurricane Grill/ Taylor's Crossing) and Indigo book store chain as neighbours.
The inside feels like a country kitchen with antique furniture and an interesting dine-in seating set up with 4 large tables...I think mixed group seating is encouraged. When I arrived just before 1:30pm, there were maybe 5 other people, but due to the set up, it still felt kind of busy.
|The deli counter with yesterday's specials|
Tricia ordered the Chai Pancakes ($10) and a latte, Jayme ordered their quesadilla ($8), and I tried to order the Chorizo Burger, but they were quick to let me know that they couldn't make it for me because they were out of some ingredients. Instead, I went with the Mushroom and Onion Burger ($14). Aside from the cryptic, unavailable specials and regular menu items, I was disppointed with our server at the counter. I was expecting a bubbly, outgoing hippy, eager to tell me all about their philosophy, where all the ingredients were sourced, and recommendations on the best dishes. Instead, she was quite short with us- pretty much giving one word answers to the questions we were throwing out, and not once did she bring up anything about the food being local, organic, peace, waste-free. Overall, my experience at EK was lacking passion and enthusiasm-, which was a real disappointment for me because I'm really excited about businesses that are making an effort to be eco-friendly, healthy, and good for the environment.
Around 15 minutes later, a different server brought us the food.
LOOK AT THIS PLATING! This messy, open burger is on a long narrow plate and is actually hanging over the edge. I immediate asked for a side plate because I knew this was going to be a challenge. Simply sandwiching this burger meant fillings spilling all over the table. Then I tried to cut through the crusty baguette bun and dropped 3 knives in the process. It was a really tasty meal but extremely awkward and ridiculous to try to eat. I was actually embarrased when I left because the table was pretty much covered in food when I left. But it was absolutely delicious.
Man, even though my meal was tasty, I really didn't love my Ethical Kitchen experience.
The service wasn't great, I didn't feel any of the enthusiasm about being local, organic, and enviro-friendly that was all over their website, I found the menu to be really limited and was disappointed that many dishes weren't available, and the the bizarre plating that made eating my meal an extreme challenge sadly put me off. Hopes....dashed.