A Nice Lunch at Pure Bar + Restaurant

Lunch time in Central. Soup, salad, sandwich. Which of the s’s I choose depends mostly on my mood, the weather and how many emails are waiting for me back at the office. Recently I’ve decided to stop going to Pret a Manger and 360 (food court in my building) for lunch and to, instead, try out a new place every day. Many of the restaurants around here have some great set lunch menus that have drawn me in easily. One of them is Pure Bar + Restaurant on Hollywood Road, the restaurant lounge of Pure Fitness Center located close-by. I like (but not LOVE) the place because it is truly comfortable with a very open, friendly atmosphere and comfortable wooden elevated benches. The very long and varied menu is made up mostly of comfort food classics and they come in nice, big portions which is a pleasant break from the overpriced miniature, over-thought snacks in oversized plates I’ve been getting recently. The latter is fine for dinner. For lunch I need something a bit more substantial.

This is one of my favorites bites off of their pretty extensive “snack” menu. Sauteed shrimp with garlic, chili and basil, simple and light. A few plump shrimps in a citrusy, chili sauce topped off with a bit of wilted basil for extra flavor. Not too complex and nothing incredible but not bad.

This salad came as a set-lunch combo, it was the “appetizer” salad to my “main salad” which came next. Very slightly seared (but pink on the inside) salmon crumbled into a messy heap of chunks and slices on top of a bed of baby spinach, halved grape tomatoes, slices of cucumber and red onion. A bit of thick, yet refreshing, dill-infused yoghurt goop-ed on top. Yummmm

The main salad was a huge bowl of baby greens, topped with cucumber slices, sliced grape tomatoes, red onions, plump only-slightly pickled artichoke hearts, a few toasted walnuts and a poached egg on top, whose yolk (when popped) oozed like brilliant yellow lava over the greens and provided a luxurious, velvety smoothness to each bite. The richness of the yolk was nicely balanced with the very thin layer of tart balsamic vinaigrette coating the leaves. Good harmony between those two, but I think the artichokes made the dish a bit too busy for a salad.

A good place to get away from all the chains for a BIT more creativity in my “s, s or s” style Western lunches.

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