When we arrived in Magog we picked up some lunch at one of our favorite grocery/cafe stores, "Le Vegetarien". This is an amazing store similar to Whole Foods back home. It has an assortment of natural foods ranging from prepared and hot foods, fresh produce to boxed items. I grabbed a vegetable soup and an olive filled baguette.
After a quick lunch I went to my favorite boutique, Beau et Fou. It's a fun store overflowing with jewelry, furniture, clothing and accessories from all over the world. I struck up a conversation with one of the cashiers. She was an older woman who said she had family in the United States and would be flying south for the Thanksgiving weekend. She ended up telling me that she has been a vegetarian for most of her life. I told her I was as well. She suggested I check out a vegetarian buffet in Montreal called "Commensal". It's a chain buffet restaurant that serves all vegetarian and vegan food. I was so excited! I have only been to one other vegetarian buffet before in Keene at Country Life Cafe. But this seemed like it was going to be on a much bigger level than a mom and pop store in Keene.
While in Montreal I found myself in another small Indian boutique. I ended up chatting with a customer who recommended a nearby Chinese tea store which had vegetarian menu as well as another restaurant. This gentleman and his family make frequent trips to Montreal and try out new vegetarian resturants. He pulled out a piece of paper that had over 20 vegetarian cafes and restaurants in Montreal! He told me he did a search on www.happycow.com. After visiting the site it is very helpful for finding vegetarian restaurants in your area.
Shortly after some lovely Chinese tea, I headed over to Commensal located right on Rue St. Catherine, the city's main street. Somehow I got lost and walked into the restaurant from the exit but nevertheless found my way to the front buffet line. Inside the restaurant was filled with people of all ages sitting down and eating a vegetarian meal. It was absolutley a wonderful sight!
There are green trays provided that holds one large plate, silverware and one more small plate. Commensal charges you by weight. So if you don't speak french and can't properly read the signs like my family and I, it can be rather expensive. We were all so excited to see a vegetarian buffet that my parents got a little carried away. Their dishes came to a grand total of $48 CAD. Mine was about $16 CAD. While all of the food was absoltuely savory, it was a bit expensive.
I managed to fit some 10 different types of dishes onto my plate (mind you they were all small servings). I tried a spring roll, seitan beef stroganoff, seaweed, quinoa salad, fried ginger tofu, Kashmiri rice, mashed sweet potatoe, pesto "chicken" sandwich roll and tapioca pudding. The buffet line seemed endless. It was so refreshing to stand in the huge buffet line and not have to question if any of the ingredients contained meat. I spent a good deal of time in the line trying to figure out what I wanted to try without being a complete glutton. It was a completely satisfactory meal (somewhat of a late Thanksgiving meal for my family and I) and although it was a little pricey, I would definitely go back again. However, the next time I'm visiting Montreal I might be inclined to try a different vegetarian resturant. :)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!