It’s Wednesday night and Noorish is so packed we’re seated at stools overlooking 109th Street. It’s great for people-watching, particularly those leaving McDonald’s, carrying bags of food nothing like Noorish’s health-conscious superfoods on a menu dotted with symbols indicating gluten-free, raw or vegan dishes.
But, nevertheless, my dinner companion confesses, “I could go for a burger.” So, she does, and orders the Bodhi Tree burger and Nearly Nirvana nachos to share.
The “living” (that is, unbaked and slightly chewy) corn-hemp chips, topped with marinated zucchini, tomatoes, onions and yellow peppers, surround a saucer of goji berry salsa, and there’s a hearty helping of cashew dip right on the plate. The cashew dip is as rich as sour cream, making the nachos taste like the guilt-inducing snack they’re meant to be. Such deception!
The Bodhi Tree burger, however, looks and tastes like no burger I’ve tried before. The sprouted chickpeas and the bright green walnut basil pesto give it a healthy glow, while the thick chickpea patty covered with melted vegan mozzarella is more substantial than any double Quarter Pounder.
Tempted by the sound of “layered cacao berry compote mousse,” I give in. On its own, the raw cacao mousse is bitter, but the wild berry compote cuts through it. I top it off with a cold Berry Bliss “elixir” and, as the menu promises, my taste buds and I are fully alert. (8440 109 St., 780-756-6880, noorish.ca)