The other day my friend Lorra joined me on an afternoon outing. Lorra's been following a predominantly raw food diet since last year. While Vancouver's an extremely vegetarian-friendly city, the raw food lifestyle is still particularly niche and you have to go out of your way to find the few restaurants that specifically cater to it. Since she was coming downtown, she wanted to drop by Gorilla Food.
Gorilla Food appears to play a major role in Vancouver's raw food community. They're located downtown at #101-436 Richards Street (between Pender and Hastings), open daily from 11am until 5pm, and it should be noted that they only take cash. But when you walk down the steps and through their front door, it feels as if you should be in the Gulf Islands or in Tofino, not bordering Gastown!
I probably would have never visited Gorilla Food if it wasn't for Lorra. I'm sure like most people, when they imagine raw food diets, they might think little beyond salads and carrot sticks, but it tends to be a lot more complex than that. The secret to having interesting raw food, aside from fresh ingredients, is having access to a good food processor and a food dehydrator. That's when you can really be creative and make a diversity of uncooked recipes you would have never thought possible. As a result, Gorilla Food's menu is creative and satisfyingly delicious.
Now this wasn't my first time to Gorilla Food - my first visit was with Lorra back in October. We visited for lunch and sat down to a full meal. Lorra had their Veggie Burger ($7.50) - two veggie burger patties made from walnuts, sunflower seeds, hempseeds and veggies served on a lettuce leaf "bun" with guacamole, ginger tomato sauce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and shredded seasonal veggies.
I had their Cashew Alfredo Zucchini Linguine ($10) - raw zucchini carved into thin noodles smothered in a rich creamy cashew garlic sauce, served with a green leaf salad (with ginger dressing). For dessert, we both had their dark raw chocolate fudge ($2.50 a bar) made simply with raw cocoa and dates.
The food was incredibly refreshing and, contrary to what one might believe, it was very filling. So to all the skeptics, don't necessarily write off a full raw food meal before trying one!
This time during our visit, Lorra quickly popped in and picked up a snack of fresh guacamole and tomato herb flax crackers ($7.50) which she ordered to go, and then we were off to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.