The restaurateur Michael Lyons talks about vegan cuisine, the restaurant business, and his Fraser Street spot Graze, which serves a plant-based menu, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.
Folks have been saying that Fraser Street is the new Main Street here in Vancouver, I don’t think it’ll turn out that way, but having lived here for well over 25 years now, my neighbourhood around the Fraser and King Edward area is changing. There are some great restaurants up and down Fraser from Kingsway to 33rd Avenue. There have always been Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, and some of the more diverse offerings like Les Faux Bourgeois and Sal Y Limon near Kingsway have been great additions. A new one is Co-zi on Fraser just north of 28th Avenue, at 19th there’s a Jethro’s Fine Grub now, and replacing the Outpost Café at 24th Avenue is the new Earnest Ice Cream shop. And in the old spot where Fray used to be at 3980 Fraser, is Graze. A year ago, we talked about Fray on this program, but a dispute between its owners yielded its sale, and since May 2013, a new creative, organic and vegetarian restaurant has taken its place. Its owner Michael Lyons joins me now to talk about the concept of this restaurant, what to expect and more. It’s a good time to reflect on the neighbourhood, as well as spotlight the plant-based menu that Graze serves. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I have been to some of the other great places in the city such as Chau Veggie Express, Heirloom, and The Naam, and have quite enjoyed it. I like Graze a lot too. I’ve been at dinner, and the perogies aren’t to be missed, as I’ve been told is their version of mac and cheese. I was in for brunch recently, and I was impressed at how what I think of as so-called regular brunch fare is done up as it is at Graze. A recent review in the Globe and Mail said, ‘there is a lot to like about Graze.’ Visit www.grazerestaurant.ca for more information. The Twitter handle is @grazevegetarian. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in studio as it were, Michael Lyons; Mr. Lyons, good morning.