Bean Bar has been a Westdale staple since my high school days. When anyone would mention Westdale restaurants, Bean Bar would be one of the firsts to pop in my head. Their food is great but their dessert selection is what they’re known for. This year is Bean Bar’s 25th anniversary and to celebrate, they’ve made a few changes. A huge mural spans the length of the right wall as an ode to the local community, where they proudly call, home. They’re also expanding their dessert collection by adding local favourites from Donut Monster and Bitten. Soon, they will be revamping their menu – keeping the classics and exploring new dishes.
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I was invited to chat about the new changes and see it for myself. It’s always exciting to work with local businesses who are passionate about what they do in this community. It makes me believe in their vision and fuels me to grow with them.
The menu consists of all types of dishes. From appetizers to salads, from hot and cold sandwiches to dinner mains, the list is quite extensive. We picked our waitress’ brain for her favourites and recommendations.
We started with the calamari ($15.93). Deep fried in a light crispy batter and served with chipotle aioli and a mild sambal chili sauce.
I wen for the “To Die For.” Braised beef cheek, melted cheddar and mozzarella, sauteed onions, sandwiched between potato and scallion bread. It also came with a side of red wine jus for dipping ($19.47). The sanwich was thick and monstrous. Tender meaty goodness with cheese oozing everywhere… yuss. The dip was a fun and savoury addition.
Calvin ordered the Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad ($21). An arugula salad topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, white truffle oil, avocados, lemon, and ahi tuna. The fluffy, voluptuous arugula was a beautiful base to the tuna and tomatoes. The contrast in colour was so eye catching. It was definitely a beautiful dish to photograph and to eat. Light, refreshing, and filling, a great dish for lunch or dinner.
Both of us actually couldn’t finish our meal, partially because we also wanted to save a little room for dessert! Even if you’re a loyal customer or a new kid on the block, the lovely staff will gladly give you a run-down of all the cakes in the display. And every time I’ve went, I’ve needed to sit-in on the cake class. The carrot, caramel cheesecake was a winner for us. Even though we had our hearts set on the red velvet, after hearing carrot, caramel, and cheesecake in the name, we were sold. Sorry, red velvet, we’ll give you some love next time.
The cheesecake was a balance of light and dense cake with caramel in between. I loved the texture and bite of the slice. It was a satisfying end to our meal!
The prices at Bean Bar were surprisingly up there, especially when the restaurant emits such a casual attitude and diner feel. It’s slightly justified by the interesting menu items and portions. The restaurant is spacious but also dim, creating a somewhat romantic atmosphere. The maroon walls and copper ceiling hug the dining area while light peeps through the small windows at the front. Metallic silver chairs accompany dark wooden tables throughout the restaurant with dark hardwood floors as a base. An eclectic collection of chandeliers and light fixtures dimly set the mood. Our dining experience was intimate, casual and comforting, eating good food. Nothing too wild, pretentious or out of the ordinary!
Bean Bar provided the complimentary meal, opinions expressed are my own.