Last week I visited The Sweet Hereafter Cheesecakery on Quinpool Street in Halifax. I had walked by this place on more than one occasion, thinking that it would be highly unlikely to find anything I could eat. Fortunately, I read about this restaurant in one of the Coast’s features on local restaurants, and learned that it serves a daily vegan cheesecake. The decor is charming; they’ve maintained a lot of the look of the salon that had previously occupied the restaurant. The decor is baroque, girly, and fun; clearly men weren’t intimidated by it based on the clientele :). I had a nice chat with the owners, one of whom makes the cheesecakes, and I made sure to thank them for providing vegan options. They told me that the vegan cheesecakes have become one of their most popular options and that they hope include more into their menu.
The vegan cheesecake of the day was chocolate raspberry (see image below). The texture was smooth and velvety. You could taste the fresh (and real) raspberries. The chocolate wafer crust was moist. In short, a delicious gustatory experience. I ordered another slice to go, since I was told it would freeze well. At $8 a slice, the cheesecakes are not cheap, but they are worth every bite.
Other vegan options include:
Peanut Butter Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Raspberry
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut
I must visit again to try them all …
Eating at the food courts in most shopping centres is a challenge for anyone looking for nutritious food, but doubly so for a health-conscious vegan. I was thus very pleasantly surprised by my visit to the Urban Eatery food court at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. The food selection is rather more upscale and sophisticated than is the norm for food courts. Of special interest to me was the Urban Herbivore, a fully-vegan restaurant that serves delicious and nutritious food, and that was certainly very popular when I ate there. You can order custom salad or grain bowls, or choose from a selection of sandwiches. I had a barbeque tofu salad with miso sauce on an organic olive focaccia. The sandwich was huge and served with a fresh mesclun salad (see image below). It was hands down the best lunch I’ve ever had at a food court and, trust me, I’ve been to many. Another aspect of the Urban Eatery that I liked is that if you order food to be eaten in the food court, you are given real plates, glasses, and cutlery, rather than those pesky plastic plates and utensils. I think Toronto still has some way to go when it comes to providing organic waste bins in food courts (a feature that we’ve had in Halifax for several years), but this Eatery definitely meets with my approval.
Strombo featured animal welfare activist Ric O’Barry last night. O’Barry is a fascinating character, who used to capture and train dolphins for films and marine shows, but who did an about face and has spent most of his adult life fighting for the protection and liberation of dolphins. Strombo, as is usual for him, treated O’Barry with respect and tried to reach a true understanding of this volte-face. I haven’t seen the film The Cove, which featured O’Barry, as I have a very difficult time watching animals mistreated, even if the purpose of such films is to educate people to stop this mistreatment. O’Barry has a very active dolphin project; he’s a little extreme at times, perhaps, but I admire his dedication.
I have never supported the capture and use of animals for the purpose of entertainment and exploitation: This includes zoos, marine parks, aquariums, and “swimming with dolphins.” I entered into a debate with my sister about the ethics of swimming with dolphins, which is something she likes to do when she goes to the Caribbean. Like many people, she sees no harm in this activity, never mind the fact that the dolphins are held captive and against their will. The dolphins might not live in a tank with concrete walls; they are penned within a sea pool, but it’s still a cage. Here are some thoughtful articles about marine parks and other forms of animal entertainment; given what we know about the intelligence of dolphins and killer whales, their exploitation is particularly galling. Perhaps Douglas Adams was right all along. O’Barry made an observation that rings true to me: Keeping animals in zoos and so forth should not be done in the guise of education, as I think it teaches our children that it’s all right to place wild, sentient creatures in captivity outside of their natural habitat. Zoocheck Canada, an organization I’ve supported for years, has excellent resources about zoos and animal captivity.