The first time Lewis and I went to Lola Rosa we shared two different main meals. Normally I bloody hate agreeing to share meals or even puddings because I get the fear that I will like one more than the other and then begrudgingly have to trade. I agreed that time because I could tell Lewis also wanted the grilled tempeh and vegetable green curry that I had chosen but we thought it was silly to order two of the same thing from such an excellent menu. So we ordered that and the black bean, mozzarella and 5 veg burrito and this is exactly what we did on our second visit.
Montreal has so many restaurants that even if you ate each of your three meals a day at a different one, it would take you over four years to eat in every restaurant in the city. With that crazy tidbit in mind, the fact that vegetarian (and vegan friendly) restaurant, Lola Rosa, is ranked in the top 20 on Trip Advisor is a pretty telling sign of how good the food is.
Originally I wanted to save this review for a ‘Top 5 Vegetarian Eateries In Montreal’ post or something similar but a) that could take an age to test and compile and b) I just wanted to share it already. I may still do the aforementioned post but a bit of repetition never hurt anyone – am I right? OK, back to the review – Lewis and I actually visited Lola Rosa twice in the space of six days back in October because we had already planned to take my mum and stepdad there when they were visiting and then decided we should “test it out” a few days before and treat ourselves to a “pat on the back” meal for having painted and decorated our new flat. Anyway, it was certainly good enough to eat at twice in six days is basically what I’m saying so let’s get on and review our second visit as A LOT more food was consumed that time round.
Lola Rosa’s menu is mexican influenced so to start, the four of us shared what was almost quite literally a mountain of nachos. I mean, just look at the size of it! Piled on top of homemade nachos and melted cheese (vegan option also available) were the usual lashings of refried beans, sour cream and guacamole as well as chopped tomato, sweetcorn and a deliciously warm tomato sauce. This is actually a main course which we ordered as a starter and there is no way that you would want to share this between just two people, let alone have it, well, alone! Definitely up there with the best nachos I have ever had so grab your mates and head down to Lola Rosa.
The black bean burrito is a delicious take on a classic, jam packed with vegetables, mushed sweet potato and black beans. I warn you now that it is quite spicy but if Lewis (AKA biggest spice wimp) can handle it then I am sure you can too! The burrito is served with the same warm tomato sauce that was on the nachos, some wild rice and a side salad drizzled with an amazing strawberry dressing! So if you like flavours, I would highly recommend this taste explosion – it’s got everything going on.
The vegetable green curry is a nice, mild compliment to the spicy black bean burrito which is why sharing these two dishes worked so well for us. The Thai-style curry comes with a bed of wild rice and it topped with two pieces of tempeh. As a Quorn lover through and through, I am not mad about tempeh but Lola Rosa do it the best I have ever had it – marinated in a rich maple and tamari sauce, which goes perfectly with the curry.
Having post-nachos binge guilt and growing food babies, we decided to just order two puddings. Lewis and I shared a gooey chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce – a classic but for good reason, it was delicious. Mum ordered a ginger and basil crème brûlée, which gave me serious food envy because ginger and basil are both my ultimate smells and tastes. Luckily she let me have some as she’s generous like that and also the food coma was imminent.
Lola Rosa prides itself on being “the favourite vegetarian restaurant for non vegetarians” so I would definitely recommend trying it out even if you are a meat eater! What “lacks” in meat is made up for in the gorgeous flavours, which is something vegetarian food should be recognised for so thank you Lola Rosa for leading the way! I cannot wait to go back and try something new – although I am a creature of habit so no promises there! Happy eating!
LOLA ROSA | 4581 Avenue du Parc, Montreal
Other location | 545 rue Milton, Montreal