Last night I had the opportunity to check out a new restaurant to hit the foodie scene. Its the First Low-Carbon restaurant to hit the village and thanks to Missy and Foodbuzz, I got to check out the place and try the goods! Otarian is a brightly colored and chic fast food joint that serves vegan and vegetarian dishes that are prepared with the least amount of Carbon emissions and use compostable materials to pack and serve food.
I wont lie, when the offer presented itself to put my tastebuds to the test I was a bit skeptical. i’m a carnivore. I do enjoy a steak every now and then but I can eat like a vegetarian any day! I kind of thought this place was a lot of hype at first and went in with low expectations. I grabbed some literature that I read on my trainride home and found that the restaurant is furnished with recycled materials and everything served on my tray was compostable! even the cups and forks!
Missy and I decided to order a few things and split them so we could try a little bit of everything. The staff is still pretty new so they were a little unsure of things but none the less, were very polite.
Prior to placing our order we got to sample the potato onion O dill wrap which was phenomenal. After a quick glance of the menu and having already tasted one thing on the menu we opted for a salad, a burger, and an entree of sorts.
Looks like there are free refills on drinks at Otarian (SWEET). Price wise, our three selections and two beverages came out to $30. Otarian offers combo meals that have a starter, an entree, and a dessert but those combos average around $20-something… ordering items a-la- carte seems to be more reasonable. We chose the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna that is a Meat Comparison of a Beef Lasagna. The savings from choosing Otarian save the planet 2.63 kgs of carbon from the 5.21 kgs it would take to make the beef lasagna. Pretty impressive!

We also opted for the Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella salad with Pesto Dressing. The comparison on the menu is that of a lamb dish… i dont think that would be a substitute here…but the large salad creates 1.46 kgs of carbon (pretty awesome).

It came with this pesto dressing that Missy and I fell in love with… more on that later.

Lastly, we got the Portobello Mushroom Burger. Whole wheat poppy seed bun with a juicy portobello mushroom cap, pesto, mayo, cheese and arugula. This is the meat comparison of a beef burger which has a carbon emission of 2.28kgs and the Otarian option only emits 1.30 kgs.
I drank a diet coke. Missy had unsweetened tea.

The veggie lasagna was chock full of herb roasted tomatoes, onions, and squash. The cheese wasnt melty or gooey but the melted layer on top was a nice little touch. I really enjoyed the flavors of the tomatoes mixed in with the noodles and the veggies. Definitely a winner! A serving of lasagna will set you back $9.95 and 470 calories… please note the serving above is HALF a serving.

The salad was quite impressive with the pesto being the star of the show. Otarian uses a nut free pesto that consists of basil, pumpkin seeds, parmesean, arugula, garlic and salt. Its fantastic. So fantastic in fact that as i finished my half portion of this salad, i walked up to the counter and ordered two additional containers of pesto dressing to use on my shrimp salad later this week. The large salad will set you back $7.45 and 550 calories.

Lastly, Missy and I went in for the burger. The bun was buttery soft and was the perfect bite of flavors. At some point , with my mouth full of yumminess i said i would never have noticed it was a meat free burger. And i beleive Missy agreed. It was wonderful and they have a Vegan version of this burger with egg free mayo. had we known that before we ordered, we would have ordered the vegan version. But eggs and all it was wonderful… i say its that crack they call pesto!
The burger will cost you $7.95 and 530 calories.
Otarian on Urbanspoon
With our full bellies we considered for a second on getting dessert… but decided to talk a rainy walk to the Mecca.
The Lite Choice. Where we could have a guilt-free dessert! The only thing missing from this photo is Mari. We missed our third M. Mari, you are gonna LOVE Otarian!

I got a dark Chocolate truffle with cookie crumbs. Soooo good! And then Missy and I walked it off when we went shopping for some lip gloss. My lip gloss is poppin’.
Overall, I was surprised by Otarian. I think its reasonably priced, delicious and a great treat for those that want to do something good for the planet! Everything on our tray was biodegradeable and we felt good knowing that nothing was going to waste!
I approve and reccomend!