Lucha Verde (1326 Davie St.) is one of my favourite restaurants in town and not just because the owner is a friend of mine and an awesome human being(as well as a fellow vegan) but because the food is delicious, the drinks are fun, and the service is friendly and professional. The owner of Lucha Verde used to co-own another restaurant which has a menu that is meat based and nearly impossible to find vegan options at. After some time he decided to sell his part and open a restaurant that is in alignment with his ethical values and offer the community of the West End a Mexican restaurant with a mostly vegan menu and some vegetarian options.
I hadn’t been to Lucha Verde in a year and upon my return I found out that the menu now includes a couple of meat taco options. As I spoke to my dear friend and owner of the establishment about this change I was saddened to learn that the reason for this decision was the desire to keep the restaurant afloat and to be able to continue to offer the world high quality vegan food. Unlike Main Street, the west end is not as embracing of vegan restaurants as well not having enough people in the vegan community travel to Davie St. to support this business.
Unfortunately, instead of offering support, many fellow vegans have negatively judged and unfairly criticized the decision to incorporate a couple meat items on the menu. I urge those of you who feel that way to expand your perspective and to extend the compassion you feel for animals to our fellow human beings, specially those trying to make a difference in the best way they can. A couple meat tacos in the menu ensures that an increase in customers, keeping the restaurant open, and therefore exposing those who are not yet vegan or vegetarian to delicious vegan food in hopes that such exposure will increase awareness and a reduction in meat consumption for those who would not usually make such life choices.
Regardless of the added meat taco options, the vegan food at Lucha Verde is delicious and worth the support. Many of the cheese based vegetarian items on the menu can be made with vegan cheese. One such delicious item are the Queso (cheese) Tots. I ordered the vegan version and my friends ordered the regular version with bbq’d pulled pork. My vegan tots came with guacamole and bbq jackfruit, when my friends tried my food, they could not believe: a) how delicious it was, b) how similar it tasted to their cheese and meat tots; therefor deciding that from now on they will order the vegan version. It is because of Lucha Verde’s goal to offer exposure of vegan food to non-vegans that the vegan community should support Lucha Verde regardless of their incorporation of meat items to the menu. Your non-vegan friends will feel that their needs are being met but also blown away by when they try the vegan dishes, moving them one step closer to choosing more conscious and ethical meals.