Construction is a necessary evil when you live in a building thats well into it’s fifties…our apartment building is being retrofitted with brand new waterproofing, shingles and just a general all around check up for its age. While I’m able to tune out peripheral external noises very easily when I’m at home, it becomes increasingly hard to do so when I’m trying to study at the same time. That Friday, the noise of the drill and the saw was loud enough to even drown out aimless thought, let alone focused study so we decided a trip to the library was in order if study of any real value was to be achieved. That was before we got to library, settled down with our books and were rudely interrupted by the jack hammer in Civic Center. Not our day….
By this time I was irritated and also starting to get cranky. I get like that when I can’t do something I want to; also when I’m hungry. And with the sun moving higher in the skies, it was time for a meal, something we forgot clean about for that day because of our pseudo-war with construction equipment. Then we remembered that just a block from the Civic Center is a wonderful little restaurant called Ananda Fuara.
This gem of a restaurant is run by the Sri Chinmoy mission. It serves vegan and vegetarian food that draws interpretations from various world cuisines. With items on the menu like ‘Neat Loaf’ they also display their tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. The food is light and healthy and as close to eating healthy without eating in your own home as you can get. Certainly you don’t feel overly full, there is just a feeling of satiation and satisfaction that comes over you when you eat a meal here. They have a vast menu consisting of an assortment of entree combinations, wraps, sandwiches, quesadillas, falafel and the like with a plethora of sides to go with them. While they do serve eggs for brunch (which I haven’t had the opportunity to try), I don’t believe I’ve seen it on their regular menu. Any reference to meat is to the fake or soy kind, which I normally hate just by itself, so I’m not likely to order the turkey wrap here.
I hadn’t been here in over a year but ordered the Neat Loaf meal without glancing at the menu, since I’ve always loved it. This looks like a slice of meat loaf but is actually made with a combination of rice lentils and soy and comes comes with a combination of salad or dal. I chose the dal which they make with red lentils. The entree comes accompanied with a side of mashed potatoes with a luscious and light mushroom gravy, way better than the real deal I think and certainly healthier! Amey had the samosa dinner, which consisted of samosas accompanied by rice, chutney, raita and naan, thus converting samosas, which are served as a snack in India, into a meal. We washed the meal down with generous portions of plain lassi, a drink made from buttermilk, which is served here with a touch of rose-water; and a mango one for Amey.
The restaurant has been around for a while and is popular with locals and tourists. Loosely translated the name means a fountain of happiness. The waitresses walk around in beautiful crisp cotton saris and the atmosphere inside is very serene, something that soothed my frazzled nerves after a noise-ridden morning. We spotted Cliff Curtis, the actor who played Paieka’s father in the movie Whale Rider, having his lunch there too. Apparently the restaurant isn’t just popular with locals!
The meal put me in good mood and arguably brought with it good luck, since on my return to the library I saw the workmen and the equipment packing up to move on. What more can you ask from a good meal??
located on the corner of Market St. and Larkin St