Ramen with squash and miso broth, nori, scallions, radish, sesame. It’s one of the noodle bowls at Harvest Community Foods. To this veggie concoction of comfort food (one of five dishes with ingredients like shiitake, udon, shiso, hazelnut), I added tofu. And it was damn delish. With a side of gommae and kombucha, I was pleasantly sated, ready for a post-lunch exploration of the surrounding Chinatown-Strathcona ’hood.
This sweet-and-small ramen spot is also a grocery and foods shop and community project of sorts (a public vote decided the use of this space). Harvest is a follow-up to chef Andrea Carlson’s other restaurant, Burdock and Co. So, after a steaming, aromatic and flavourful bowl of ramen, there are stocked shelves of locally made products, artisan foods and seasonal produce to peruse.
One sample such product I spied, Vancouver Island Salt, is an unrefined, hand-harvested salt from the very shores of its name. I have a stash of the stuff that I found at Unsworth Vineyards, infused with the winery’s own port-style wine (divine on crispy, roasted kale). Also found in-store: Community-Supported Agriculture or CSA boxes of seasonal, fresh, local produce. And jars of yogurt and pickles and more backyard bounty.
But back to that ramen with squash and miso broth, nori, scallions, radish, sesame… I slurped up every drop and every single sesame seed. If we are what we eat, I’m all-in here at Harvest…I’ll happily be a big bowl of soupy, noodly goodness. Φ