In continuation of the forays into my personal life and its relevant and many inadequacies, I really cannot swim. Despite the fact that I consider myself a runner and a bit of a casual biker, my triathlon dreams will likely never be realized because I can barely swim 100m without wanting to let the forces of gravity overcome the buoyant force of the fluid and drag me to the bottom of the pool. Of course, I had received instruction in swimming at an earlier stage of my life, but so many aspects of the public swimming pool have admittedly kept me away from furthering the sport. As such, the idea of human excrement, copious amounts of chlorine in my eyes and hair, and the traumatic experience of failing a swimming test kept me deep within the mainland. Nonetheless, I was invited to go swimming with a friend and, being the adventurous, daring spirit that I am, I agreed to tag along. This resulted in an hour of awkward doggy-paddling and bumping into middle-aged Indian women in the “slow” lane, which was still quite a tiring and hunger-inducing exercise. As such, I found myself in line for Naam after this event.
A vegetarian establishment in Kitsilano, Naam purports itself as Vancouver’s “oldest natural foods restaurant.” Line-ups similar to the one above are commonplace around mealtimes, although they are open 24/7 for the convenience of your your meatless cravings.
The interior is not very sizeable, which results in the aforementioned waits. Furthering the hypothesis that hipsters don’t use air conditioning, the restaurant tends to get rather hot and stuffy during the summer, which isn’t bettered by how crowded it usually is.
Apple ordered the California salad ($10.50), a sizeable green creation that included sweet red peppers, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pecans. This was no mere rabbit food, as she struggled to finish the tower of vegetables and nuts that she was presented with.
She found the salad to be somewhat overdressed, which was exemplified as she finally cleared some of the plate to discover the large pool of olive oil underneath. I think this turned her off from this dish overall.
After such an exhausting exercise, I wanted something that sounded a bit more substantial. I thus ordered the chili burrito ($10.50), a mix of chili, organic tofu, yogurt, and salsa wrapped in a flour tortilla, topped with melted cheese, and served with a side of salad. I chose the poppy seed dressing for the salad. It was quite tangy, making the organic greens and ample sliced vegetables more exciting to consume. It did, however, verge towards the size of being too thick.
As soon as I laid my eyes upon the mass of melted dairy covering the burrito, I instantly knew that I would probably be gaining back all the calories that I had just so painstakingly burnt in the public wastewater. As I broke it open, I began to realize that I’d still probably be exceeding my recommended calorie intake for that day. The burrito was loaded full with beans, but it didn’t pack nearly as much in terms of flavour. In spite of its accompanying ingredients, the only thing that really permeated was the distinct mushy texture and plain taste of unseasoned, cooked beans.
In the end, the two of us were uncomfortably stuffed. Given the size of the meal, the value was certainly there. Unfortunately, a touch of bad service left a sour taste in my mouth that had nothing to do with the poppy seed dressing. When we signalled to our server to get the bill, he clearly looked in our direction multiple times within the span of around 15 minutes but did not make any acknowledgement of having seen us; no eye-contact, nod, verbal greeting, nothing. It was not until we waved intensely and called out to him did we finally get a response, and it was quite the snappy “I saw you! Just be patient!“ Needless to say, this put the two of us off from our entire meal at Naam. You may have noticed that I don’t usually make any detailed explanation of the service at a restaurant, but I found this to be extremely rude and made an average meal less flavourful and even oilier in my memory. While this may always be an institution of sorts in Vancouver, personally, I would not foresee myself returning to Naam for more vegetarian eats.
Conclusion: Andy did not eat a lot. Well, I did, but it made me sad.
2724 W 4th Ave