It’s a good time to be vegan. Gone are the days when “I’m vegan” was met with puzzled stares and polite questions about what you do eat. Vancity, in fact, has been blessed with a recent proliferation of elevated vegetarian and vegan restaurants, like Heirloom and The Acorn.
But there’s something to be said for humble, peasant-y, vegan fare that warms your innards, and if you’re looking for that, Slow Bean is the newest place to go.
Just open three months, and once a car-rental dealership on the corner of Abbott and Pender, Slow Bean is managed by Mairin Cooley and the Chef is Adam Sterling Vincent. It’s not so much a business as it is a collective, social enterprise. The concept is simple, delicious fare made from seasonal and locally-sourced plant-based ingredients, with the aim of being sustainable, socially conscious and with zero waste.
The menu is simple: $5 for a bowl full of stew with a scoop of rice, quinoa and a slice of bread. There are three to four different types of stew on offer any day, and they change based on what ingredients are available. The day I visited, the choices were a curried squash, tomato garbanzo bean and a veggie black bean. For an additional $3, you can add a salad.
I had the curried squash, and found it satisfying and filling, brightened up with fresh cilantro, although I needed to add a little salt at the table.
But the real star here, is the bread. Warm, dense and chewy on the outside, soft on the inside – it’s totally worth it to pay the $1.50 for an extra piece to sop up your sauce.
All the stews are gluten-free and vegan, and you can ask to substitute corn tortilla chips for the bread if you are gluten-free.
99 W Pender
Monday to Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.