Marbles, located in the Uptown Waterloo area of KW, has been a favourite spot of mine for years and years, since long before I went vegan. It's a cozy little restaurant with a great patio and big pitchers of sangria in the summertime, and they have always been very accommodating of my vegan diet by letting me make substitutions and change menu items if need be.
They have one-upped even that, though, and are now offering raw vegan and gluten-free options as permanent menu staples!
This is awesome for so many reasons. Most obviously, I am happy because the more vegan dining options out there in the world, the better. Anytime I can order more than a side garden salad with no dressing is a win in my books. But I also love it because even though the restaurant is not a full-on vegetarian restaurant, it does not shy away from using the term "vegan" right there on the menu. I think it's important to acknowledge this, because the term vegan often still carries a stigma in non-vegan restaurants - at least it seems to anywhere outside the larger cities of North America. At Marbles, not only are vegan options proudly presented, raw vegan ones are.
Honestly, I think raw vegan is the best option for restaurants looking to welcome the non-carnist population, because it covers everyone's needs. I've always found it kind of weird on airplanes and at weddings when there is a vegetarian meal and a vegan meal - for simplicity sake wouldn't it make sense to serve one meal that accommodates all parties? It's not like vegetarians can't eat something without eggs and cheese, right? Similarly, it's not like most of us vegans can't eat raw every now and again. Raw vegan is a great way to accommodate all of the varied plant-based diets out there.
Marbles does just that, offering these three menu options as well as raw vegan specials that vary according to the day/week and are posted on the chalkboard in the restaurant. Because they are raw, however, raw honey may be used in some items so be sure to ask your server which options are without. Honey is a hot topic in the vegan world and I'm not here to debate it, I just want you to know that there are plenty raw vegan sans honey options at Marbles. The food is made in-house and everyone in the restaurant seems to know what is going on and can help you figure out what you want to eat.
I got the Raw Vegetable Tower, which is essentially a raw vegan lasagna. It was absolutely incredible. I can't say enough good things about it. It was so good that we actually ordered a second one and I brought it home for Paul because I wanted him to try it so badly (he also gives it his seal of approval, many times over).
Raw Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
I'm not supposed to be having sweets right now. But if there is a raw vegan dessert available at one of my favourite restaurants that never before had a vegan dessert, it is unrealistic to expect me to not order one. Not only a raw vegan dessert, but a raw vegan cheesecake. Cheesecake being the operative word. My absolute favourite dessert from my pregan days. The universe can't expect me to not order it. It just isn't right or just or acceptable in any capacity.
This cheesecake in particular is one of those things where I feel like I could carry on for hours about how great it is but at the same time it's the kind of experience that completely transcends words. For real. Just go and order it and you will understand the seemingly excessive nature of that statement. I don't care if you are vegan, or if you are raw, or if you just had a giant steak for lunch. You will like this cheesecake and you will consider going back the next day just to have another slice (which is pretty much where I am right now).
As a previously self-professed Raw Vegetable Hater, I am so happy that I've gotten more into raw foods as of late. I feel so amazing after finishing a raw vegan meal. I have more energy and I stay full longer, making me far less snack-y than I usually am. It just feels awesome.
Now that we are in the middle of this rainless, heat-wave of a summer, it's the perfect opportunity to head over to Marbles and see just how rewarding and refreshing a raw vegan meal can be.
You have to get the cake though. I won't take no for an answer.
8 William Street East
Waterloo, ON N2J 1K9