Cheap Eats

Cheap Eats: Blossom Vegetarian Cafe

Sri Chinmoy promotes the philosophy of unlimited spirit — Carlos Santana believed; Roberta Flack believed. Others call it hokum — and worse. Furthering the sect’s cause is partially accomplished through cafés offering peace, love, and vegan cooking. Two in Ottawa (dedicated to Sri Chinmoy but independently owned) have been going for more than 20 years now: Perfection-Satisfaction-Promise and the Peace Garden. Blossom Vegetarian Café is the third.

True to form, hung on the walls are Sri Chinmoy’s brightly coloured, but hardly mind-blowing, paintings. One urges us to “Love the children.” However, little vases of fresh flowers at each table do bring great cheer. (I wonder if Phulero Dola Flowers on Albert Street, also under the auspices of Sri Chinmoy, has delivered them.)

Running the gamut from Asia and the Mediterranean all the way to Mexico, Blossom’s vegetarian dishes are prepared, unbelievably, in a very tiny kitchen. Take your choice of burgers, wraps, or burritos. Or try one of their bowls, such as a Mexican roasted tomato and jalapeno pilaf with black beans, guacamole, and house plantain chips. Another is the gingery Thai Peanut Bowl with tofu and tempeh: apart from the topping of spicy peanuts, the dish is bland, though the toasty flavours of the brown rice come through nicely. Apples make the house salad sing, providing good foil to the sesame dressing. The sweet potato burger with cheddar and cashews is definitely sweet. And nutty. The spice in the barbecue sauce gives pizzazz too.

For dessert comes a truffle-like date coconut cocoa ball. Ahhh. Bliss envelops me.

Soup $6; salads $6–$12; sandwiches, burgers, bowls, and combos $8–$12. Open Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays.

Blossom Vegetarian Café
209 Gilmour St., 613-422-7788