Aux Vivres

Montréal, Quebec


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I like this restaurant over all but I would say don't go there when it is too busy. The service is absolutely terrible when it is crowded. The waiters totally ignored me for 10 minutes and I ended up leaving.
I am turned off a bit after reading the review of the person who got sick there. I value hygiene and this is why I am not too attracted to eating at restaurants.

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Aux Vivres used to have really bad service a few years back. However, we go fairly regularly now (averaging once a week) and the service is good. They don't let you sit at a booth if you're only two people, but that's not the end of the world and they seem to enforce this equally. I usually have Le Complet for breakfast (tempeh, cornbread, large salad with dill dressing, scrambled tofu, slices of yam) and my appetite doesn't come back for a long time. They've got a smoothie that really tastes like a creamsicle (ah, childhood): I can't resist it. Le Complet comes with a chai latte or coffee and it's $9: not bad for the amount of food you get with bev. included. I've also been there for supper a few times and am a big fan.

Image for Lola

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I had a wonderful brunch at Aux Vivres. I ordered Le Complet, which consisted of tofu scramble, cornbread, coconut tempeh bacon, sweet potatoes, salad and a few pieces of fruit. The coconut bacon was incredible. I was also really impressed with the Bombay Banana smoothie, which consisted of bananas, ginger, coconut milk, masala, raw sugar and dates. All of the coffee drinks were served with a combination of soy and coconut milk, which was a nice touch. There were many vegan dessert choices, although I wasn't very impressed with the one that I chose (a chocolate/vanilla parfait topped with raspberry sauce).

My only real complaint is that the service was slow. It didn't take very long to get our meals, but we waited for more than 30 minutes to get the check. At the same time, we were there during peak brunch hours, so the wait wasn't unreasonable.

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I LOVED the food. It was fantastic. I had, well I forgot exactly what it was called, a bowl that looked like a carefully wrapped gift. The presentation was awesome, and I was reluctant to ruin it by eating, but it was truly worth it (haha). It was pretty big and worth the money, actualy. A little hard to eat with the huge piece of lettuce, but delicious nonetheless. I hope I'm not confusing anyone since there's no title for the dish, but I think it was the Thai-style bowl; the one with the peanut and tahini sauce. The grilled tofu was just spectacular.

The only down side to the meal was the dessert. The cookie was dry and I needed a refill on my water to get the rest down. Odd, since there was obvious use of flax seeds in the cookie (and when used properly, they can imitate the egg-like texture that normaly would have made the cookie more chewy). The cheesecake was more like a standing piece of triangular chocolate mousse and the jelly on top was made with way too much cornstarch, making it hard and unpleasant to eat on most levels. I said most levels because I am an undeniable fan of anything sweet, really. But being someone who had tried a chocolate "cheesecake" at another certified vegan place in Toronto (Vegetarian Haven to be more exact) and having felt that it truly tasted like cheesecake, the one I had a couple days ago was not so good.

Oh, and the staff were great, but you can't eat the staff, can you?

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Aux Vivre is, quite likely, my favorite place to eat in the world. I go there every time I visit Montreal, and I try as best I can to replicate some of their signature dishes at home. I think their BLT (with coconut bacon) on chapati is amazing, as is the Dragon Bowl. All orders come with huge amounts of fresh veggies, and if you come in the right season you can eat nasturtium leaves right out of their garden on the patio! You really have to be trying hard in order to find fault with this place, since the food can't be beat and the desserts are equally unparalleled.

In response to SDB's review stating that this establishment is unclean and gave her/him gastroenteritis, I'd like to politely suggest that that seems highly unlikely. Gastroenteritis is most commonly picked up in developing countries (when I contracted it, I was in a rural area in India). We've all had bouts of the stomach flu, but I wouldn't go so far as to blame it on a restaurant and suggest that they have fecal matter in their food (which is very improbable). Especially when, in this case, the restaurant is excellent and staffed by people who seem to care about their work.

Cheers, and hope you enjoy the restaurant if you choose to visit.

Image for Cass Danger

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Their food was delicious, healthy, and very unique. My friends and I ordered the roasted vegetable pizza (artichokes, mushrooms, peppers, & tofu cheese), coconut bacon BLT (it tasted like roasted coconut shavings with smoke flavor), and a Vegelox sandwich (the vegelox was made of carrots, onions, and some other spices and veggies). All the dishes were very interesting and absolutely delicious.

It was reasonably priced and had beautiful outdoor dining, complete with gardens full of flowers. Aux Vivres is great, however, it is not the best place to take a meat eater who doesn't particularly care for vegan food, as they'll likely consider most of the dishes "weird."

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I used to really like Aux Vivres. Vegan restaurants are rare and vegan restaurants with great tasting food - like at Aux Vivres - are even rarer. I tried a lot of the dishes (and especially enjoyed a recent trip that just happened to be on Robbie Burns Day: the dish of the night was "vegan haggis." It was a delicious meat loaf-type thing with nuts. Mmmm.) and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I have a huge aversion to the taste of onions, so an extra thing that I enjoyed is that - unlike a lot of vegan/vegetarian places- Aux Vivres' food isn't heavy on onions.

HOWEVER, last time I went to Aux Vivres (in mid-February,) I got very sick afterwards. I'm guessing it was gastroenteritis. For several days afterward I could taste the remnants/aftertaste of my BLT on chipati as I vomited it up.

What makes me especially angry about getting sick from eating Aux Vivres' food is that I am very careful about food hygiene (washing hands, using clean utensils/surfaces, etc,) and try to eat at restaurants that espouse similar philosophies and practices: from previous visits, I had though Aux Vivres to be relatively clean.

The thing about gastro, however, is that it is a food-borne disease that is passed mainly through fecal matter. That means that someone involved in the food preparation process that night had not properly washed their hands after defecating. Their fecal matter was transferred into my sandwich. I ate the sandwich and got sick. Yum! That same night, I saw the guy behind the counter (where the juices/smoothies are made,) rub his hand on the sole of his shoe, then continue (without stopping to wash his hands,) to unload glasses from the dishwasher, then make a smoothie. I also saw one of the servers sneezing onto his hands, wiping the hands on his pants, then continuing to go about his business. Yuck.

I will never go to Aux Vivres again and I have told other people about why.

The staff doesn't seem to be too concerned about food safety or basic hygiene.

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Aux Vivres is the best restaurant I know of. Their food is super fresh, delicious and always satisfying. I eat there whenever I can afford to. It isn't cheap but is always worth it. They have amazing chefs. I know their pastry chef and his apple chocolate cake is the best money can buy. Service was fine as far as I'm concerned. Full recommendation with five stars.

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Renovating and renewing their management image is done, finally. The "Macro" bowl was delicious but the smoothy I got was a Pina Colada which had banana in it. I am allergic to bananas and to my knowledge that drink has no bananas in it. A few days later I tried again and was struck by how few staff they had and how slow they were too. They didn’t seem to have a host to handle the crowds/cash. It took hours to eat and I was charged 24$ for a spelt burger, a small juice and half and order of chapatti with hummus. The tea arrived cold and we never got water refills. I’d prefer to pay 14$ max. for all that. Constructive comments from clients is key for a new restaurant to succeed. The name “Aux Vivres” should be changed since it tarnishes the image we all knew and loved.

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I wish I could give this restaurant two ratings - one for service and one for food. Instead, I'm averaging the two. The food was great. I had the brunch plate, which consisted of about five samples of dishes - all delicious. The service, on the other hand, was offensive. I stood at the counter for five minutes and no one acknowledged me - even a guy who stood a foot away from me. When they finally got around to helping customers, they helped the person who was behind me in line. I had to interrupt and ASK where to sit and if I could have a menu. They messed up my take-out order, and by the time I noticed it was a few hours later. I called back to see if I could stop by to have it fixed. The person answering the phone was unapologetic and even rude, saying, "it's a new shift now. I don't know anything about it." When asked for the manager's name, he said there isn't a manager. It's a wonder they can make food that tastes so good, but I won't be back.

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This place is awesome, and it has not closed down. It moved from a side street to it's current location on St. Laurent in November of 2003 (the pic is current). So please visit and enjoy!

The breakfasts are awesome and so are the sandwiches, I've never heard anyone say a bad word about this place. Even the people who work there are great. I could go on and on, but I wont...

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delicious and very much open.
it moved some time ago.
the address listed here is current.
i highly recommend.

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les vivres was awesome, but has closed down to my knowledge (unless it has just moved).

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I could go on and on about this vegan restaurant. Not a single animal ingredient to be found in the whole shop. Let's start with the entrees. Cashew-buttered chipatee (also available with maple syrup) makes a great opener, as does their hearty whole-grain dough pizza, which has different toppings every day. Coffees, teas, soy lattes, juices, all delicious.

Then you get to the main dish. For under $8, you can get any of their very hearty sandwiches. There's the Veggie Pate, which is the crowd favorite; the Lebanese; the Vietnamese (ginger overload, delicious); the Veggie Lox, which does an uncredible job of imitating lox using shredded carrots and creamy tofu; and the incredible BLT, which substitutes smoked coconut for the bacon, yet still has the right taste.

There's also a wide variety of main plates, including a daily special that never fails to look wonderful.

And if after all that you're still hungry, they've got a variety of cakes, brownies, cookies, and other desserts, which also vary daily.

I can't recommend this place highly enough.

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I go to Aux Vivres every time I am in Montreal.

Everything is vegan and everything I've had was absolutely delicious. The staff are very friendly and the atmosphere is very comfortable and laid back.

Portions are pretty generous especially with their sandwiches!

My favourites are: veggie lox sandwich, veggie "blt" sandwich, veggie pate sandwich and their "buttered" chapati.

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