Remedy at Super Sprouts (720 Bathurst, at Bloor, 416-977-7796) Complete meals for $12 per person, including all taxes, tip and a tea. Open Monday to Saturday 11 am to 6 pm. Unlicensed. Access: seven steps down into café, two more up to the seating area. Rating: NN Rating: NN
The physical space that Remedy (retail sprout shop cum café) occupies is like a swanky loft. Open concept, huge windows and hardwood floors - it's a great environment for lounging with a beverage. The food, though, needs a little work.
Roasted squash soup ($4) is thick and homey, but it's got an incongruous lingering citrus tang. The brown jasmine rice wok ($6), a pretty mélange of red pepper, bright green sprouts, tofu, rice and a teriyaki-style sauce, is tasty but seems slightly teriyaki à la bottle.
The black-eyed pea and tofu stew ($6) tastes like a recipe from one of those Becoming Vegetarian cookbooks written for progressive 17-year-olds who suddenly find themselves cooking their own meals when their parents refuse to make an alternative to chicken pot pie. Basically, it's black-eyed peas drowning in Gerber's carrot surprise, garnished with sprouts.
The raw sandwich ($5.95) includes sprouts, red onion, avocado, hummus and tomato shoved between two thin, solid pieces of pure fiber made of compacted and dehydrated vegetable mulch - an acquired taste.
Soy schnitzel ($6) offers two round, flat, battered and fried pieces of tofu, garnished classically with a lemon wedge and sprouts and served with a salad of more sprouts and brown jasmine rice. The schnitzel is texturally pleasing but has an oily richness that means it's hard to eat both pieces.
Squash risotto ($6) is cooked surprisingly well but under-seasoned.
While I wait to pay, a chipper elderly woman buying sprouts asks how I liked the meal. It was healthy, I say.
"I eat completely raw. I'm 80 years old and teach yoga to seniors," she pipes up.
Impressive. But frankly, until the flavour of Remedy's food is remedied, I'll take my chances at burger joints.