I go to Penticton a few times a year, and mostly find myself eating at The Dream Cafe, where they are accommodating enough to modify their existing menu options to serve my picky dietary restrictions. Imagine my delight when my sister, a local resident, told me about Wild Scallion, with city-famous, unique food from far off places that combines original spices and local, organic ingredients…with vegan and gluten free specialties. Sounds like our kind of place!
They are currently under renovations, because the demand for their delicious food is very strong. The restaurant currently only has six or seven tables, but will soon have the capacity to seat 109 hungry folks. The environment was warm, wood-y, and smelled of incredible, home made spices.
The first day we went there, they assured us that most of the food was gluten free and vegan (YES!) with the exception of the teriyaki chicken that was local, organic and free range. We were instructed to order a main, a grain and a dressing ($8 or $10 depending on lunch or dinner), so I ordered the lentil dahl with mixed grains (black rice, quinoa, millet and lentils) and ginger sesame vinaigrette. We got an order of the salad rolls to start, and I would definitely recommend going with the extra sauce option for $0.50, because the delicious peanut-gooey goodness went fast.
I was hungry and didn’t have my posting game face on, so in other words I ate the food before I thought of taking a picture of it. But this is their lovely chalkboard menu:
My sister Lindsay and I were super keen on their Mango Skin Ice Cream, so we ordered a couple after thoroughly enjoying our mains. It was, after all, dairy free. Who can say no?? I tried to get the recipe from The Guy, but he gave us vague ingredients and quickly walked away…cardamum, coconut milk, nutmeg etc. We’ll have to take a crack at this one ourselves, because it was amazing, and served in a perfectly ripe mango still rocking its skin.
When we were on our way out, I quizzed Hong, one of the owners, on their philosophy and why they were successful in a market that has a very high failure rate for restaurants.
“We do it how it should be done,” he explained. “Lots of local farmers bring their produce to us and we trade them for food. The chickens that we serve are free range. They actually run around and are fed good food, and then we use the fertilizer to grow more good food.” Nice job Hong!
We left full and satisfied. The next day, when contemplating where to go to pick up some takeout for the drive home, I called Wild Scallion and placed a takeout order of Salad Wraps with extra sauce, and Potato Yam Curry with mixed grains and Cabbage Salad with Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette. The whole order came to $15, and the only thing I would have suggested is to get off the styrofoam wagon and pick up some recyclable or bio-degradable to-go containers. Although it didn’t look as pretty as the dine-in option, I remembered to take a picture.
So this Summer, if you’re visiting the Okanagan, stop on by Wild Scallion. Come Summer, they are apparently offering their delicious food on a lake front patio, so all I’m hoping for is a liquor license, some nice Okanagan wines, and perhaps the company of Bridget and Jessica on a warm and sunny Penticton afternoon.
~The Vegan Project