FOOD FIGHT: Brunch at The Templeton falls flat

The retro diner experince couldn’t make up for the bland food.

The Templeton is a nostalgic diner that functions as a novelty museum exhibit for the ‘50s and ‘60s. Their motto is “Quality Food, Snappy Service,” and they’re known for serving up organic comfort food with lots of vegan and vegetarian options. My friend and I met up here for brunch — our meal of choice — and left entirely full of regret.

Their menu is extensive and impressive, and I applaud their effort to make it a vegan-friendly restaurant with options such as veggie bacon, veggie ham, and tofu scramble. It’s too bad that it was downright awful.

I ordered the Tofu Scrambler with veggie bacon. The dish including the veggie bacon was $12 and not worth it in the least. Its description on the menu is “medium tofu sautéed with veggies, lightly seasoned with curry and nutritional yeast, rosemary potatoes, and toast.”

How do I put this. . . the tofu was more “food processed” than “sautéed.” The end result was something that visually resembled luminescent yellow eggs and tasted like mushy wet sand. I can’t forget about the awkward hint of curry in there — even if I wanted to — which wasn’t entirely enough to be effective in annihilating the horrifying texture and blandness of the tofu. All in all, the Tofu Scrambler portion of this dish was offensive to the senses.   

The veggie bacon was just plain uncomfortable to eat. I felt that it could have been cooked better, but that could just be my general pickiness with fake meats. The rosemary potatoes and toast were alright, nothing to praise or to complain about. My friend ordered the Blueberry Banana Pancakes, which she said were very bland. Again, not enough care was taken to make the dish presentable in any way. The pancakes were slightly burned, “charred” if you will, and she had no will to finish eating.

The restaurant itself was styled in a charming retro theme. However, I feel like they try a bit too hard to keep it “vintage,” resulting in booths that are falling apart and tables that are a little too sticky for my comfort. If they renovated a little bit, it would be a more successful escape to the ‘50s and ‘60s, and add to the feeling that you have turned back time and entered into a retro diner.

The Templeton may be worth the gamble if you are strolling Granville Street, but steer clear of the scary tofu.