The latest addition to Westboro’s food scene is Pure Kitchen, a restaurant that, despite its vegetarian menu, is drawing everyone from vegans to omnivores to its tables.
Restaurant owners Dave Leith, Amber Stratton, Jen Dalgleish, Kyle Cruickshank and Olivia Cruickshank are not surprised by the loyal following they’ve developed during Pure Kitchen’s first five weeks of operation.
“We saw a void in this area and set out to fill it with approachable food served in a casual, comfortable environment,” explains Leith.
Previously home to Milagro’s, the restaurant’s interior has been transformed thanks to an abundance of white paint and a vibrant accent wall. There is a vibrancy to the menu as well, with its fresh, flavourful fare, all prepared from scratch. Vegan and gluten free options are clearly identified, and the dishes are uniquely named. Modelled after California’s Café Grateful, they’ve chosen monikers like Divine Dumplings, Friendly Fries, Fulfilled Burger and Mystical Bowl. Elements like coconut bacon, house-made vegan cheese curds, corn tortilla croutons and other nice touches contribute to dishes that are abundantly tasty.
“We’ve had so many meat eaters who’ve come in and expressed their surprise that vegetarian food could be so delicious and satisfying,” said Olivia.
There is a depth of talent to the Pure Kitchen team as well. Olivia previously served as chef at the Wild Oat Cafe and Bakery in the Glebe; she is also a trained holistic nutritionist. Leith was one of the original owners of Fresco’s on Elgin and the Empire Grill, among other ventures. Kyle has over a decade of restaurant and catering experience. Pure Kitchen is a proud supporter of many local farmers and food producers, including Equator Coffee, Strawberry Blonde Bakery and Hintonburg’s Beyond the Pale Brewing and Culture Kombucha.
In addition to the sit-down options, Pure Kitchen also has a great grab-and-go case featuring wraps, juices, big salads and power cookies. Starting every Monday, three day juice cleanses and seven day juice and food cleanses are also available.
While the restaurant has gotten off to such a busy start that they’ve had to hire an overnight crew to do food preparation, Leith confirmed they are not resting on their laurels. The whole Pure Kitchen team is looking forward to a busy spring and summer, thanks in part to their large upstairs patio.
“We’re looking at adding a breakfast service to our lineup. We’ll be incorporating daily specials with seasonal produce as farms start harvesting and we’re planning cocktails made with our fresh-pressed juices. And we’ve got big plans for Westfest – it’s going to be such a fun weekend.”