I love ending up in Collingwood at lunch time! It’s a great place to find a bounty of plant-based restaurant options. I don’t let the lockdowns get me down, I make the best of it with what I call Covid curbside picnics. I support vegan restaurants all over Ontario and I get to try new food, in the front seat of my car, and with the best view possible. Use your dashboard as a serving table and you learn over time to master the art of balancing a plate between the steering wheel and your stomach.
Today was the perfect setting, it was bright and sunny, a brisk -19. The Blue Mountains were in the backdrop, and I was parked beside a snowbank on Simcoe Street in downtown Collingwood and ready to try Press Juice Co.
Just off Hurontario Street, look for the Press Juice Co.’s black and white signage contrasting the historic red brick building. Here you cant grab some nutrition dense, healthy, and colourful on-the-go options.
Through the door you enter a bright and airy space; the walls are painted and tiled in white. There are elements of natural stone and wood accents with huge windows and amazing bronze pendant lights. The design is completed with an abundance of tropical plants that are thriving in the space. There is no doubt to me, that this is going to be a great experience.
I already had a plan for what I was ordering, but after watching a mother and toddler in front of me, I knew I had better add a smoothie. That interaction was amazing to witness. Press offers “Baby Smoothies” and when that smoothie hit the counter, the toddler in front of me could care less that her mother was trying to pay the tab. She was determined to figure a way out of that stroller so that she could get her hands on that smoothie.
I ordered the raspberry lime sorbet smoothie – coconut water, avocado, raspberry, lime, and maple syrup. This may have been the best smoothie I have EVER had. It was so fresh, creamy, and tasty that I am still dreaming about it. And there are 10 more smoothies on the menu that I can’t wait to try!
For lunch, I ordered the small salad which comes with leafy greens, and your choice of rice or quinoa. Then a choice of three toppings from an offering of fifteen! I chose quinoa, Buffalo cauliflower, spiralized beets, and edamame with a tahini ginger dressing and sunflower seeds. This was an amazing salad, paired with quinoa for added protein; it was so fresh, colourful, and incredibly filling. The tahini dressing was creamy and delicious with a bit of a bite. Get the dressing on the side if you are going to eat the salad later in the day.
If you have read my column, you know that I always enjoy a good curry, so had I better take one for the road. Press’s vegan green curry is served over your choice of quinoa or brown rice and served with pea shoots and seeds. The curry is amazingly sweet and tasty. It’s filled with sweet potato, chickpeas, and green peas in coconut milk green curry sauce. The pea shoots add a fresh crunchy element that complete the dish and leave you wanting to lick that compostable bowl clean.
I am always tempted by desserts and today was no exception. I was drawn to this delicious looking bar in a glass cupcake tray, and I just had to have it. The Carmelita bar was totally indulgent and an absolute delight. It had two thick layers of chocolate and caramel baked into a coconut and gluten-free oat crumble. If this is ever in the case, I dare you not to leave with it!
Some of the baked goods are supplied by Bunner’s, one of my favourite plant-based bakeries in Toronto, they are located in Kensington Market – check them out if you are ever there.
The fridge is also loaded with take-away fresh pressed juices including:
The OG: kale, swiss chard, apple, lemon, ginger and parsley
Queen Beet: beet, apple, spinach, cucumber, lemon
The Barber: carrot, apple, turmeric, lemon
Press Juice Co. is located at 11 Simcoe Street in historic downtown Collingwood and are open Monday to Friday 9-4 and Saturday 9-3:30.