How long has it been since lunch dates were a thing?
Lately, I have been lucky enough to have some lunchtime meetups with friends. Although masking and passport restrictions have lifted, the restaurant industry is still trying to recover and get back to pre-pandemic service. It can be challenging to find a place to dine-in that is open for lunch. I thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight some restaurants in Midland, who although are not vegan, are offering some great plant-based options and are open for lunch.
One of my favorites is Zanca. It’s a great place to meet up with some friends for a meal, they have a great plant based vegan section on the menu, and the servings are huge!
If you are looking for a lighter meal, I highly recommend their guacamole and chips on the appetizer menu. The guacamole is so creamy and delicious. I would suggest ordering two guacs for the mound of restaurant-made tortilla chips that come with the order.
The vegan menu includes tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and bowls but my favorite meal lately is hands down the chimichanga. A large flour tortilla filled with fajita vegetables and refried beans, pico de gallo, deep fried and topped with red sauce, melted vegan cheese and avocado sauce. It comes with two sides; I opt for the delicious tortilla soup (with no sour cream to make it vegan) and the house salad. If you have the afternoon off then indulge in a margarita or sangria. If you are heading back to work then try one of the Jarritos, my favorite is lime.
Zanca is located at 290 King and is open Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 12-8, Friday & Saturday 12-9 and Sunday 12-6.
One of my friends suggested we try Minji’s Restaurant, and although I have driven by on several occasions I had never been in. Minji’s offers an array of Korean fusion, Mexican and Diner food with a couple of plant-based options. These include a tofu and miso ramen and my new favorite Do-Shi-Rak, a Korean meal box that is absolutely satisfying and delicious.
When my Do-Shi-Rak arrived, I just couldn’t wait to dive in! Kind of like a Japanese bento box, the Do-Shi-Rak was twice the size and is a full meal. Stir fried vegetables in a homemade teriyaki sauce, and topped with deep fried tofu. It is served with rice, vegetable gyoza, vegetable tempura, edamame, and house salad. This tofu with the homemade teriyaki sauce will keep me coming back for more. Minji’s is struggling to find staff so they limit their dine-in service from 11AM until 4PM. So for now if you are looking for dinner you will have to pick it up or use one of the apps to have it delivered.
Minji’s is located at 854 Yonge Street and is open Monday 11-3, Tuesday-Sunday 11-8.
Pie Wood Fired Pizza Joint
Since going plant based, I don’t often eat pizza, but I had a craving so decided to visit Pie Wood Fired Pizza Joint.
Although they do not have a plant-based pizza on the menu, with a few alterations you can turn five of their vegetarian pizzas plant-based by asking to switch to the vegan cheese offering and omitting an ingredient or two. A must-have for me is their Yukon gold fries. They are hand cut and fried to perfection and the smoked ketchup is so good you won’t miss non-vegan garlic aioli. My favorite pie is the Veggilante with tomato sauce, roasted red peppers, spinach, mushrooms and roasted garlic. Ask for the vegan cheese and omit the pesto to make it plant-based. They offer half-priced pizza on Wednesday’s.
Pie is located at 837 King Street and is open Tuesday-Saturday 12-9.
Head down to the home of Midland’s only waterfront patio and Boathouse Eatery which has added a couple of plant-based options to their menu. Their Thai Curry has fresh garlic, red onion, red pepper, tomato, bean sprouts, red curry, and coconut cream served with basmati rice. Also on offer is a Korean stir fry with portobello and button mushrooms, bean sprouts, green onion, nappe cabbage, red pepper, red onion and soya sauce served with rice noodles. Both meals are tasty and great options for a lunch with a view inside or out, weather permitting.
Boathouse Eatery is located at 177 King Street at the waterfront and is open daily from 11-9.