Recently discovered in a small “food court”-style first floor space of an office building in Byward Market is this petit and quaint vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurant, named “Peace-Garden“. There is a fountain just beside it that makes that water noise often heard in serenity CDs you can buy at a bargain for $9.99 or cheaper. I was sold at “vegetarian”, but the prospect of being at peace in a garden was quite welcomed on this relatively cold November day in Ottawa city. Consider what follows to be an unofficial review.
The place is run by followers of some peaceful Indian dude (recently deceased), whom I’m sure to be ashamed to not have heard of (and can’t remember to tell you here) and they have a sister restaurant in Sandy Hill called “Perfection Satisfaction Promise”, an odd, and frankly less appealing name, though I hear it is bigger and better, yet surprisingly similar. PG is small, but the open concept space is delightful, and the staff are unpretentious and a bit rough around the edges (i.e., well within my comfort zone). The menu was extensive, but I ignored it, being immediately enticed by the specials, all priced at $8.95 and 2 of all 3 completely vegan. I opted for the Pad Thai, since that dish is hard to find vegan, and my comrades chose the Indian platter with dal and other yummy Indian treats (extra: naan, papadum, and spicy pickle). The food was served quickly in these lovely leaf shaped dishes by an Indian woman in traditional Indian get-up (who took our order at the cash and probably also helped cook the meal, as there were only two people working there). The Pad Thai was tasty, though a bit small and lacking in ingredients. The noodles also seemed a bit overdone and I honestly expected more for $8.95. Apparently, the Indian platter was really good. I also hear their vegan dal soup served daily is amazing, so I definitely will have to go back and try it. Upon leaving, I decided to purchase a peanut butter chocolate crisp square for $2.50. It’s true I’m not a sweets person in general, but I am tempted by peanut butter and always curious of vegan baked goods. It was quite good, but much too sweet for my tastes. One of those treats that feels good when you’re eating it, but feels pretty sickly immediately thereafter.
So, if I were to give the restaurant a star rating based on my one and only experience there, I would say 3/5 stars, naturally taking into account prices, service, atmosphere, and most importantly food (e.g., taste, ingredients, presentation, and portion size). A place I will definitely revisit. It’s a close and convenient mostly-vegan restaurant. I don’t think I should have much to complain about. This ain’t Hogtown after all.