Calico Cafe

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Good evening!

I hope you have had a great weekend. Today we had a fun meet-up at Calico Cafe in Toronto.

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I was really excited to enjoy ‘lupper’ with these fabulous ladies.

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I love these ladies!!! We had a blast.

In attendance were: Kristin, Angela, Jess, Jenn, Therese, Callie, Susan, Laura, Jenn, and I.

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Please don’t mind the dirt on my leg. I swear it wasn’t there when I left the house!

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We started off with drinks and were disappointed to find out that none of their juices were fresh and you couldn’t customize anything. Not knowing this, I asked for a veggie juice and was told that would not be possible. Then, I asked for the lemonade without agave and was also told that wasn’t possible.

Lemon water it was!

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They serve Brunch all day on Sunday until 4pm.

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A bunch of us ordered this Seared Butternut Squash sandwich with sweet potato hummus, rutabaga, and Dijon.

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…and none of us liked it.

It basically tasted like oodles of Dijon sandwiched between two pieces of curry flavoured bread. It was a very strange flavour combination.

You know how sometimes you throw together sandwiches and they seem so wrong, but are so right? This was just wrong.  I also wasn’t thinking to ask them to hold the Dijon since I don’t eat honey. I tried scraping it off, but it still strongly over-powered the sandwich.

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The pan fries also weren’t great…

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Same with the salad.

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Verdict: Boo.

Others had the crispy tempeh sandwich

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Verdict: It was quite salty and a bit too heavy on the tempeh and not enough veggies.

The Creamy Seitan Omelette:

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Verdict: The omelette was pretty good with a weird texture. The potatoes weren’t great.

The tempeh scramble had a good review!

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Verdict: It was excellent and tasted like stuffing! lol.

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Overall impression:

  • The food did not meet expectations 
  • The menu was very heavy on tofu and tempeh (which is a nightmare for someone who can’t eat much soy).
  • The service wasn’t overly friendly and the cafe lacked atmosphere.
  • I did love that they grow their own herbs out back…!

 

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To date, nothing compares to Fresh restaurant. Not Fressen, Kindfood, or Calico cafe (click links for my reviews).

Calactus Cafe is a very close runner up to Fresh. The reason why we didn’t go to Fresh for this meet-up is because Fresh doesn’t take reservations and last time we ended up waiting 40 minutes for a table with such a large group.

The company was fabulous and we had a great time chatting away! :biggrin: What a fun group of ladies.

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PS- Sketchie says: WHATZZZZ UPPPPP my peeps?

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His mad face when I pick him up:

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He loathes when I hold him and squirms and digs his claws into me until I put him down. A tear hits the ground and I admit defeat finally putting him back on the ground.

I’m off to finish up some laundry that I started earlier and then plant myself on the couch. I need to rest up for another crazy week ahead.

Have a good night!

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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly July 11, 2010

What a disappointment! I hate leaving a restaurant unsatisfied with pretty much EVERYTHING.

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 11, 2010

Yeah, it’s nice when you actually have at least something that you enjoyed.

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Dawn Linklater July 11, 2010

Too bad about the lunner! I love it when cats get that face, it’s so cute that they have such an attitude!

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Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ July 11, 2010

That is awful that at a restaurant like that you can’t customize. I’m glad the company was enjoyable.

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Susan July 11, 2010

It was great meeting up with you again Angela!! Boo, I didn’t know you guys didn’t care for the sandwiches. Sweet potato hummus still intrigues me though. I really dug the seitan omelette, although I probably wouldn’t compare it to a real egg omelette ;)

You know Calactus will always be #1 in my heart!!

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner July 11, 2010

Looks like a fun time even if the food wasn’t the best :-)

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Nancy July 11, 2010

This post makes me jealoussssssssss.

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Laura (Starloz) July 11, 2010

Shame the restaurant wasn’t any good. Vegan food is restrictive but it just takes some creativity.

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Jenn @ So Very Fabulous July 11, 2010

It’s really too bad no one liked the butternut squash sandwich, it sounded like it might be good! I got the tempeh sandwich and actually liked it, though a bit salty. I may go back and try the omlette or scramble at some point. I live so close by, I can’t believe I hadn’t been there before! Didn’t even know about it.

Had such a fun time at the meet up today, was great meeting you! Thanks for the Glo Bars, looking foward to trying them. :)

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 11, 2010

Oh, boo :-( That is very disappointing to hear. That last smoothie listed sounded good, though. You should got back to try it, haha.

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MarathonVal July 11, 2010

Awww what a disappointment! It’s always a bummer to have a bad restaurant experience. At least you had good company :)

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Jo July 11, 2010

I need that squash sandwich in my life!!! nom nom nom

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 11, 2010

That’s too bad that your meal wasn’t good – there is nothing worse than paying for a meal at a restaurant and having it be crappy. Boo for sure!

I love your nail colour, and how it matches your dress perfectly! You look beautiful – as always!

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Lisa July 11, 2010

Shame about the food but at least the company was great!!!

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Alexa@Running the Road to Recovery July 11, 2010

I know what that’s like – at work, I have to handle puppies and those guys just do not like being picked up! They squirm and whine and nip and howl and cry and make passersby think that you’re hurting them. Little stinkers!

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Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen July 11, 2010

Thanks for putting together such a fun get-together, I had a blast with you ladies :) I’m sorry you didn’t really enjoy the food, I guess I lucked out by switching to the scramble last minute! I think the pictures you have there were actually of the egg scramble, because the tempeh scramble came layered with butternut squash fritters :)

It looks like I really need to check out Fresh – it seems like it always gets rave reviews!

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Shannon July 11, 2010

Ok so red is definately one of your colours. I need to know where that dress is from. Please share! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Its from target in March 2010 :)

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Candice July 11, 2010

So disappointing! But I’m glad you had a great time with friends anyway.

Makes me so excited for HLS. I’m excited to meet you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

I can’t wait to meet you too! Its so soon

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Jen July 11, 2010

One of our boys makes a similar face when I pick him up…he is definitely not a lap cat! Bummer about our lupper date, but at least you had good friends to make up for the less than stellar menu!

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Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 11, 2010

Bummer about the food but you have such a beautiful cat!

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Rachel July 11, 2010

You HAVE to try The Vegetarian Haven in Toronto on Baldwin St. It is one of my favorites! It ties in first place with Fresh. I love that I can choose between two awesome restaurants for dinner so I don’t have to choose from one menu all the time!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Yes…so I heard today!!! Will have to check them out next time :)

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Fueling for Fitness July 11, 2010

Sounds like lots of fun!

Next time you’re looking for a good restaurant to try in Toronto, I loved Vegetarian Haven on Baldwin Street when I went (although it’s not very big), and I’ve heard really really great things about Urban Herbivore in Kensington (http://www.fressenrestaurant.com/index.html) but I never make it there before sunset (when they close!). Their upscale sister restaurant, Fressan, sounds really great from looking at their website, but I don’t know anybody who has been yet!

I really liked Fresh when I went, but my only complaint is that they’re really heavy on their sauces. I had this zucchini pesto dish which was soooooo good, but everything was drenched with their pesto and it ended up giving me a bit of a stomach ache after I was finished. :/

-Alison

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Lol I love how two comments are both suggesting Veg. Haven! :) I heard that today from some ladies to go there. Perhaps the next stop!
I was not a fan of Fressen

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Fueling for Fitness July 11, 2010

haha, just above me, too! I took too long looking up the name of that other restaurant (urban herbivore). :P another hidden hole in the wall that my family has been going to for years is buddha’s vegetarian restaurant (address is is 666 dundas – LOL – so I never forget that). ;) mmm.. HUUUUGE portions, teeny tiny prices. :) they cater to a buddhist vegetarian diet which means no onions or garlic though – but their food is so flavourful, I never notice the absence of it! if you ever go, you must get the “imitation duck”. they’re famous for it, and everytime I bring friends there, they get hooked!

but yes, it’s a sign that you should try it! :)

-Alison

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

This place also sounds interesting! Thank you. Now if only I could get all of these Toronto restaurants to move out to the country where I am, haha

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Laura (youngDCliving) July 11, 2010

Haha, my cat does the exact same thing and it’s the most frustrating thing in the world. I try to make him so comfortable too and he always can’t wait to squirm away. It’s so funny too because when I adopted him, I asked the rescue group whether he liked to be held and they were all like “ABSOLUTELY!”….yah, right. Good sales ladies, I tell you.

I love him anyway though :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

hahaha yes they are all super friendly. But you fall in love with them and couldnt imagine your life without them…

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Cynthia (It All Changes) July 11, 2010

I get to try a cool vegan restaurant in Hartford this month and I’m so excited. You make the food look so good :-)

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Tracy July 11, 2010

I’m so happy to see a Sketchie appearance! My cat Charlie also hates to be held but sometimes he’s just too cute to not pick up and hug & smooch.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Sketchie says Thank you for the love! hehe ;)
He is currently trying to eat a moth.

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Gail July 12, 2010

I don’t think there’s a cat out there that likes to be held. None of my cats ever did, sometimes they’d put up with it for a tiny amount of time, but it always ended with them squirming, scratching, and clawing to be let free. Sketchie is such a beautiful kitty! How old is he?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

He is 3 years!

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Ann July 12, 2010

He’s a gorgeous cat! What type is he?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

oops Imeant to say he is a Bengal :) he has 7th generation asian leopard in him…and ohhh boy he is a WILD one

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KatieTX July 12, 2010

My cat likes to be held! She is dog-like though. When she meows too much I pick her up and carry her around and she just sits there perched on my shoulder. It is probably because Sketchie is part leopard(!!) he is too crazy to be held!

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Gail July 12, 2010

I had a cat that was dog-like. We were able to train her to fetch a little ball. We’d throw it, she’d make this funny little noise, run and get it and bring it back to us. She was part oci-cat. I miss her.

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KatieTX July 12, 2010

My cat fetches a tennis ball in that I throw it up the stairs and she will hit it back down to me repeatedly!

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Lauren M. July 11, 2010

BUMMER! That’s the worst when you go to a restaurant you’ve been dying to try it and it no where meets your expectations.

Banana-Date-Almond smoothie, though? Yes PLEASE! Did anyone try it????

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Nope I dont think so! haha.

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chelsey July 11, 2010

love the red dress – where is it from?

and it stinks the food wasn’t that great – i hate when that happens!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 11, 2010

Target March 2010 :)

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Krystina July 11, 2010

It’s a shame that the food wasn’t good because it sure looks tasty!

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Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 11, 2010

What a cutie kitty! :)

Too bad the restaurant was a bummer. :{ Some places are just like that, but at least now you know not to go there again. It probably wouldn’t work for me since I try to avoid soy.

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Jennifer July 11, 2010

Plain Dijon mustard shouldn’t have honey in it – honey Dijon is something different. I guess it doesn’t matter much since you were stuck with it either way and the sandwich was bad! Also, tt’s nice to know that somebody’s else’s cat behaves like he’s being eaten alive when picked up. And don’t worry, I often have dirt on my leg. :]

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Amber K July 11, 2010

Ahh one of the many reasons I can’t stand cats! But the main one is the horrible red, super-itchy rash I get when I’m anywhere near one.

Bummer that the food was so bad!

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Stephanie @ Off The Eaten Path July 11, 2010

I’ve read your blog for ages, but I rarely comment. That’s all changing right now, because I must know what kind of cat that is?

He is SO cute…looks like a little tiger! :)

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Kailey July 11, 2010

hahahahha my cat gives me the SAME look, but she looks a tad bit more evil.

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Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness July 11, 2010

It was so nice to see you again:) So much fun with all the ladies!! When Jenn and I walked around my new neighbourhood we found a vegetarian restaurant!! We’ll check it out and if it’s good we need to meet up there!!!

Hope to see you for the Sept race:) Would be SO much fun!!
xoxo

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Camille July 11, 2010

Bummer about your meal!
You win some, you lose some :(

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Ashley July 12, 2010

Pretty lady!! What a cute dress. But what a FAIL of a restaurant. That sounds way worse than KindFood!! So lame! I mean…you’d think they would know the sandwiches suck. How could they not? If like 8 foodies say “blegh” it HAS to be evident there is a problem! haha I hate meal fails when out at a restaurant!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) July 12, 2010

Oh I just had to click over from Susan’s blog to tell you that I wish I could have been at your meetup…how fun!!! I have met tons of bloggers but never in a group of more than 3 of us..what a great day! As I always say on my “food blog”, it’s not about the food. It’s about the connection with others, the camaraderie and new friends I have made; and it sounds like your meetup was the same…clearly not about the food given your review of the place! but about the connections. How awesome!!! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

Totally agree! =)
Will u be at the HLS by chance?

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) July 12, 2010

Ohhhh I would love to be but I have a 3 year old and between her needing me and the cost$$ of going, I am sitting it out this year. But there’s always next year! Have a blast as I’m sure you will!!! :) I already know some fabulous chicas that I’d love to meet that are going to be there…next year, next year…. :)

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Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 12, 2010

O how lovely to meet so mant bloggers! I’m yet to meet one – though that’ll all change at the HLS! – but it looks lovely :)
I’m glad the tempeh scramble was good; that’s the one I would’ve picked :P

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

Looking forward to meeting you soon!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 12, 2010

Aw, that’s too bad. At least the company was good!

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Sarah July 12, 2010

Bummer about the restaurant! It’s always depressing with icky food :( But it looks like you had a blast with the fellow bloggers!! Sometimes the company can make up for the less than appetizing food. Do you finish meals at restaurants that you don’t like? I always battle wastefulness versus listening to my tastebuds.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

No I didnt finish it, I reeeeeally didnt enjoy it. I had half of my plate (all the salad, a few potatoes, and 3/4 of the sandwich I think). I left hungry! aghhhh

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Laura July 12, 2010

Too bad!! That butternut squash sandwich should have been out of this world!! I absolutely love this squash with all my heart. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see YOU tackle that recipe. OH PLEASE DO IT!!!

You KNOW you could kick some ass and make a delicious version.

CSA will have some delightful squashes for you this fall, to be sure. I’ll cross my fingers that you’ll make my dreams come true!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2010

hahaha I love your enthusiasm!!!

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