Mythol­ogy Diner


Toronto Life - - Culture -

VE­GAN Cook­book au­thor and chef Doug Mc­Nish (Pub­lic Kitchen) is a mas­ter of the ed­i­ble trompe-l’oeil. His ve­gan diner classics look very much like their meaty coun­ter­parts—but taste and tex­ture are harder to achieve. Once you get past the ini­tial let’s-pre­tend-we’re-eat­ing-meat thing, the stuff tastes pretty good on its own terms (even if it’s served up with a side of righ­teous­ness). King oys­ter mush­rooms sub in for cala­mari, cut into rings, corn­meal-breaded, fried and served with tar­tar sauce that’s creamy with­out the cream. An oth­er­wise tasty blooming onion, how­ever, is soggy with oil, plopped in a pud­dle of its own grease. Stacked high on car­away rye, a pile of beet-red sei­tan “corned beef,” topped with sauerkraut and cashew Swiss “cheese,” makes for a sur­pris­ingly sat­is­fy­ing Reuben pre­tender. From the street, the space seems to share a store­front with Doomie’s, another of Toronto’s ve­gan fast food spots, but in­side, the look is dif­fer­ent—more so­phis­ti­cated, less punk—with black wood pan­elling, red

linen on Formica, high-backed ban­quettes and red diner stools. And there’s the “ve­gan selfie room,” be­cause… well, just be­cause. 1265 Queen St. W., no phone. $$V

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