Posted on 12 / 29 / 2009
Buddha's Veggie Garden is now a "fusion cuisine" restaurant. I was surprised when I saw the changes, and worried that my favourite vegetarian Chinese food place (and I believe the only one in Calgary) had changed for the worse.
The new sign is a much needed change, as the previous one made it appear slightly sketchy. Also, the new decor is an improvement (though, in my opinion, not necessary.) The bowls are a bit deeper, so the food rests nicely in them (though, again, not necessary.) The pictures on the menu are also nicely updated. The previous ones often looked unappetizing due to the way they were presented in the pic.
The change to meat on the menu is tolerable. For vegetarians with friends who eat meat, this might be a positive change.. however, I always saw Buddha's as an opportunity to show omnivores that veg food can taste amazing! And fake beef can taste like real beef!
I hated the fish hanging from a net near the ceiling at the front desk. It seemed a huge juxtaposition to Buddha's previously veg status. And offensive to the vegetarians that frequent the place, to have huge sea bass staring at them while they try to eat "compassionate" food.
However, as always, the portions were huge and the staff were friendly and hospitable. I especially appreciated when, after ordering the chow mein, I was asked if it was okay that it had egg in it. (As a vegan, I was not okay and so quickly said so.) She offered the rice noodles instead and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and efficiently I could be accommodated.
I will definitely continue dining at this wonderful establishment and cross my fingers that they get rid of the fish.