Gorilla Food: delicious vegetarian food in Vancouver
"I think that if a person wants to remain vegetarian, they’re just going to have to go hungry." – Robert Atkins, nutritionist.
Before I came to Canada from India, my friends told me I needed to adapt to the non-vegetarian lifestyle. They had come to this conclusion because I was going to a Western country.
I am vegetarian (not a vegan) partly for religious reasons and partly out of choice. As a religious Indian, I've seen my mother not even entering restaurants which serve non-vegetarian food.
Relatives from back home don’t even share the same utensils which are used to serve or eat non-vegetarian food. Having grown up in such a strict atmosphere, I thought that it would be very difficult for me to follow my vegetarian lifestyle in Vancouver.
As I was walking on 436 Richards Street, I came across Gorilla Food, an organic, vegan and raw food restaurant.
As I stepped inside the vegetarian restaurant I was welcomed by a refreshing green colored Ganesha idol (one of the most popular deities in the Hindu religion). The wooden furniture and the earthen bright colored ambiance gave the place a warm feeling.
“I think the number of people turning into vegetarian and vegan are rising exponentially,” said Aaron Ash, founder of Gorilla Food.
“This lifestyle is the answer to all our problems if we need to save our planet.”
Great Vegetarian Food in Vancouver, British Columbia
Gorilla Food vegetarian restaurant is the brainchild of Aaron Ash, who moved from Saskatchewanto Vancouver more than a decade ago. When he moved he was working in a vegan juice bar, which was his inspiration.
“In the initial days when I moved here I saw that there were really not many options in vegetarian food here,” said Ash. “The idea of starting a vegan restaurant was in my mind for 15 years. I switched over to vegan food to know the benefits of the this lifestyle.”
Gorilla Food boasts an all organic and raw food menu.
“Everything here is cooked with organic products. The menu undergoes changes according to season,” said Ash. “Most of the stuff is not locally produced throughout the year, coz we don’t grow here the whole year round. One of our specialties is that we serve all raw food.”
A major hurdle for people to permanently adapt to a vegan and organic lifestyle is the price factor.
“Prices at the restaurant are made to fit everybody’s pocket,” said Ash. "Since eating organic food is considered to be expensive, we have prices that generally suit everyone."
Ash has travelled to India and says his inspiration to turn vegan comes from there.
“One of the major reasons I got into vegetarian lifestyle was through yoga, Buddhism, eastern philosophy and ahimsa (non-violence).”
In the recent past there has been a lot of awareness around the world about the sattvic diet (yoga diet). The demography of people interested in this is changing vastly.
“There has been a change in customers who prefer eating here,” said Ash. "First we had hippies and artists eating here. But now we have a lot corporate people coming in.”
So how does Ash rank Vancouver in the vegan friendly city scale?
“Vancouver is the easiest place in Canada to get vegan food,” said Ash.
“Almost everyone restaurant has made an effort to accommodate not only vegetarian but vegan food in their menu.”