The result is Green Earth Vegetarian Cuisine, a vegan restaurant located at 385 Broadview near Gerrard (see map, below). This may be one of the most unusual restaurants I've encountered to date in Toronto. However, it does succeed in its goal of showing that vegan food can be quite tasty.
|Photos by Jennifer Hollett|
The menu has pages and pages of veggie food options. There are elaborate salads and Asian-style soups, Indian curries, fried rice dishes and pasta. Many dishes have grilled soy protein or grilled tofu.
I ate some tasty spring rolls and surprisingly yummy "shrimp" made out of yam. The crispy lemongrass faux-chicken may be a delight to vegetarians, but if you're a carnivore, you might find it a bit lacking. Prices are reasonable, with appetizers running for $3 to $4, giant soups for $6.50 and entrees for $7 to $10.
It looks like any normal restaurant, except for a few telling details. A TV screen in the corner is tuned to Supreme Master Television, a network that broadcasts the activities of Loan's guru—a spiritual teacher based in Taiwan named Ching Hai—in multiple languages. Stats roll across the screen on the numerous diseases you can get from meat and commentators warn that meat production is causing global warming that is destroying the planet.
|The Supreme Master appears on her TV channel.|
|Green Earth has the Supreme Master's books on display.|
What does Loan say to accusations that her organization is a cult? "We don't care," says Loan. "Just God knows and we know." Loan says she's a buddhist, and that people of any religion can follow the Supreme Master. "We call her a guru, but she says she is just a friend of people."
Green Earth, says Loan, isn't meant to promote the Supreme Master. "I hope my customers become vegan," she says. "I don't care about religion."
|Green Earth waitress Shayna with the owner, Loan|
For a good story explaining the phenomenon, check out this article in VegNews.
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