Gorilla Food Thai Fresh Wraps—Tasty Raw Food for Veggie Lovers; An Acquired Taste for the Rest of Us.

By Tana Kosiyabong

I love meat. It’s a staple in my diet as far as I could remember. Veggies, however, aren’t always my buddies. As a kid, I was a picky eater. I had all the patience in the world to pick out even the tiny pieces of veggies on the plate. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), my perseverance had diminished gradually as I grew older. I’m now too lazy to pick through my food. I’ll eat almost anything even if I don’t like them.

I first heard about raw food diet from a foodie on Foodbuzz. It was intriguing enough to make me further research on the topic. According to Wikipedia, “Raw foodism can include any diet of primarily unheated food, or food warmed to a temperature less than 40 °C (104 °F) to 46 °C (115 °F). The most popular raw food diet is a raw vegan diet, but other forms include animal products and/or meat.” Well… no chance in hell I’d be able to stick with this diet for the rest of my life.

However, since I have eaten naughtily lately, it wouldn’t hurt to treat myself with Mother Nature’s goodness—raw vegan food. Although one healthy meal wasn’t enough to reverse the harmful effects caused by years of bad diets, I would at least feel better mentally.

I knew exactly where to go for a raw vegan meal. In fact, Gorilla Food was the only place I knew in downtown Vancouver. Up until last week, I had only read about this restaurant from various local food blogs. This Cheap Appetite mission would be my first raw vegan experience ever. Wish me luck.

Gorilla Food is on the lower ground floor (basement) of a building on Richards Street. Although the restaurant gets some natural light through the ground window and the dug out entrance, it is still pretty dark inside. The lavender/potpourri scent greeted me as I stepped through the door. And since I am a sucker for any food labeled as “Thai,” I opted for the Thai Fresh Wrap ($5). One great thing about Gorilla food is that all the prices have already included the five percent GST. But I’m not sure what’s going to happen after the Canadian government enforces the new twelve percent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on restaurant meals. Yikes!

The Thai Fresh Wraps are made of sprouted sunflower seeds, veggie pâté and sesame seasoned coleslaw, then wrapped with fresh collard green leaves. The dish came with ginger raisin chutney. The collard green was crisp and fresh. Its bitterness, however, overpowered the sesame flavor. The sweet chutney masked the bitter flavor well. However, the dry lavender scent began to bother me. It was almost impossible to enjoy food that smelled like dry flowers. Towards the end, the wraps started to grow on me. Perhaps by the fifth visit, they would be delicious.

After finished all three wraps, I still couldn’t tell why Gorilla Food named this dish “Thai Fresh Wraps.” I didn’t recognize any distinct Thai flavor on them. Just because the dish has ginger and sesame doesn’t mean it’s Thai. Many other countries use these ingredients in their food too. It was so annoying, especially to a Thai like me. Seriously!

Gorilla Food was a very tough Mission. I wasn’t a big fan of raw veggies before. And I’m not a big fan of them now. However, I had to admit that the dish tasted better than I expected. It took great creativity to come up with raw vegan recipes. It is definitely an acquired taste for a meat lover like me. If I were a veggie lover, however, I would probably like it more.

Gorilla Food (Thai) Fresh Wrap (for meat lovers): © 1/2*
Gorilla Food (Thai) Fresh Wrap (for veggie lovers): ©©©*

*NOTE: I decided to deduct 1/2 cheapo from the ratings because the dish name was totally misleading. And it annoyed the heck out of me.

The restaurant opens daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Other menu items include pizza, veggie burger, cookies, smoothies and more. Click here to view their full menu.

Gorilla Food is located at 101-436 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.684.3663 (Website) www.gorillafood.com

For other opinions on Gorilla Food, check out I’m Only Here for Food, Sweet on Veg, and Dine out Here.

©2009 Tana Kosiyabong and CheapAppetite.com™. All rights reserved.

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29 thoughts on “Gorilla Food Thai Fresh Wraps—Tasty Raw Food for Veggie Lovers; An Acquired Taste for the Rest of Us.

  1. Speaking of raw, I actually wanted to open a raw food cafe one day, provided that most of the ingredients that I’m looking for are available. And provided that I should sell them at a reasonable price. Good thing you tried it. 😀

    1. The dark collard green leaves look really pretty, but it’s quite bitter. The first few bites was not very pleasant. But it wasn’t too bad after I got used to them. I always jealous of veggie lovers like you. I wish I love the dish more. It’s good for the body.

  2. Hmm..the pictures look really good, but from your description it sounds like they tried to mix in too many flavors. I think a simple lettuce wrap would have been better and perhaps they need to include something with a more savory flavor instead of making it taste like you’re eating grass, which is my beef with raw food. I’m a veggie myself, but I love my food hearty and warm, so not sure I’d like this very much either..

    1. I totally agree with you. Too many flavors in the dish. Some are too subtle, others are too strong. I think I would definitely enjoy it much better with a lettuce wrap like you suggested. It definitely would taste better with beef, or even marinated tofu. Maybe you should try other items on their menu instead.

  3. HAHAHA! I bet losing that half point burns… It does get really annoying to have those names. Like calling your pizza “NY Style” just because the crust is this… but has the taste and consistency of cardboard. Yuck.
    My mom loves the raw movement. I almost fell out of my seat when she told me she hates bread.

    1. They deserved it. It’s one of my pet peeves. Don’t named it Thai when it’s not! I think the raw food thing is getting bigger and bigger. I heard about them more and more. I don’t mind all the fresh juices though.:)

  4. These little packages look too cute though they might not taste too wonderful for you.
    The ginger raisin has really got me though. I think afterall it’s that kinda strong-flavored touch that helps you swallow that super veggi wrap! 😛

    1. Yeah, I think you’re right. The ginger raisin masked most of the bitterness of the collard green leaves. Definitely make them more edible raw. I tried collard green before, but they were cooked. And I don’t mind them.

  5. OK, so I admit I probably wouldn’t jump out of my seat to head over to the Raw Side, but I definitely think it’s interesting to see what people are doing with ingredients to make them flavorful. I appreciate your tummy’s sense of adventure! And the photos do make it look good. Haven’t been back in Canada in a while, so not heard of the HST — will have to read up about that.

    1. haha, they were just veggies. Though not very tasty to me, but they weren’t gross like some weird things from fear factor. I can eat them. Yeah the HST is such a drag. We have to pay 7% more on every restaurant meals. Totally not cool.

  6. I explore raw food once in a while – I happily eat vegetarian a few times a week – but come the MN winter, I like warm food. This does look very tasty though!

  7. I find the same thing annoying! Dishes named after a region/country whilst the dish has little/no association with the named region/country! Annoying! Thanks for sharing your tip on Gorilla Food – i’ve never tried raw vegan food either….I like veggies, but not sure I could run out and pay someone to make the food for me….I think I’d rather eat a carrot at home. Raw.

    1. Patty, I can eat raw baby carrot. A few of them at a time. I don’t like raw celery much except when I eat ithem with buffalo wings. I’m glad you feel the same about the unrelated food names. Thanks for stopping by:) hope to see you again soon.

  8. the Thai veggie wraps look delicious..sorry to hear that you have been misled but glad that you find it more delicious than you had anticipated 😉

    btw I like the snow ..cool 🙂

    1. Hey Olive,
      Thanks so much for visit my blog:) I often falls in to the “Thai” something trap. And most of the time they weren’t really Thai. Yes, it was better than I expect. But i’m not a veggie lover.
      Happy holidays,
      Tana

  9. I’ve been in Gorilla once and I must say I’m very enthusiastic about it. In most cases cheap places to eat aren’t that good, but maybe “cheap” is not the right word for it: let’s call it “reasonably priced”. I’ll visit it for sure when I’m in Vancouver again.

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