The Naam Restaurant - Vancouver
Activity:There was nothing in Jen’s eating repertoire that was remarkably different from anyone else in our family. She had an aversion to Chinese food, something my Chinese husband could never understand, and that was about it. She ate McDonalds chicken nuggets, beef hamburgers, and bacon just like the rest of us. It was the film she saw in grade twelve that changed everything. It showcased how poorly cows, and all animals we serve on our dinner tables for that matter, are treated. From that day on, she never allowed beef, chicken, fish, lamb, or pork touch her lips. Well maybe, in a moment of weakness, a crispy piece of pepperoni sitting on top of a cheesy pizza would find its way into her mouth, something only the best or worst of us (depending on how you look at it) could resist.
Jen’s transformation changed the way our entire family ate dinner. Luckily my oldest son, the biggest meat eater of all of us, had already moved out, or he would’ve been driven mad. Vegetables, starches, and protein all had to be served separately, which meant more prep and more dishes. Going out for dinner was no longer a simple matter of tossing a coin. Vegetarian options were counted and calibrated. Every once-in-a-while, as a special surprise to Jen, we’d indulge her in a strictly vegetarian restaurant, something we’d never dreamed of before. This is how we came to walk through the front door of The Naam Restaurant on Fourth Avenue.
The Naam has been around for ages, ever since I went to university, which was in the late 1970’s early ‘80’s. It’s had plenty of time to develop a following, which it has, even more so now with all the attention people are paying to where their food is coming from. What surprised me the most about The Naam though, was its hours of operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Which meant somebody could be cooking up Santa Fe Enchiladas and Sesame Fries at four in the morning, not to mention the person(s) eating them. The waiter assured me these were both popular “hangover dishes.” I opted for the Mexi Bowl, and Jen chose the Maui Maui Burger, a hamburger without hamburger. Coleman chose the Dragon Bowl. According to him the fake chicken got the thumbs up. My husband decided on the Enchiladas, which must’ve been tasty, because I spotted, more than once, stray forks hovering over his dish.
The Naam does not take reservations, so you’re better off going early if you have your children in tow. We arrived before six o’clock, and there was still available seating. When we left around 7:30 there was a line-up. We all found the food and service good; a solid 6 ½ to 7 according to Coleman our gourmet 13 year-old.
If you want your children to enjoy vegetarian food, not a bad ambition in this day and age, eating out at the Naam may be a good place for you to start.
Details:The Naam Restaurant is located at 2724 West Fourth Ave., Vancouver. Website: thenaam.com