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Good, Clean Eating at Souen (13th Street)

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Last night, my friend and I had a lovely dinner at Souen, at the restaurant’s 13th Street location. I had never been. Out of curiosity, I read everything I could find about the restaurant on the Internet. My search yielded some very mixed results.

I loved it, but it’s possible that I only loved this place because it appeals to my personality; the food is healthy but still tasty and creatively prepared, the restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes and price points, the decor is eclectic and homey, the service is not pretentious, and the people that eat here are generally laid-back and interesting to watch.

My friend and I had a really difficult time deciding what to order because everything on the menu sounded so good! Finally, we decided to share a salad as an appetizer. We chose the Chef salad (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, daikon, avocado, cucumber, sprout, yam, and seaweed on a bed of mesclun with choice of carrot or oil-free sesame dressing, $8). This salad is definitely for sharing! The bowl was the size of a large fruit serving bowl, and the veggies were plentiful and artfully arranged. Everything was fresh; the avocado tasted especially good! We both remarked on how perfectly ripe the sliced avocado was. I also really liked the carrot-ginger dressing that we chose, which was served in a dish on the side; it was tangy, thick and subtly sweet, a perfect complement to the freshness of the veggies.

We both ordered the Tahini-noodle (cold buckwheat noodle, carrot, daikon, cucumber, sprout with tahini sauce, $5). I loved this! The noodles were firm and chewy, and the tahini sauce that was drizzled over them tasted decadent. The sesame seeds added a toasty flavor to this dish. This is definitely comfort food for the health-conscious.

In addition, we both also ordered the small fish plate ($8). My friend ordered fluke, the fish of the day, and I ordered salmon broiled with teriyaki sauce. The serving size was very small, about half of a normal serving, but the quality of the fish was excellent. My fish was subtly flavored with teriyaki, which brought out the smooth texture of the fresh salmon. It was cooked perfectly. I enjoyed every bite!

I regret nothing about this place except that my friend and I didn’t order different dishes so that I could have tasted some other items on the extensive, diverse menu. I would absolutely, positively come back to Souen for clean food at a reasonable price.

What do other people think?

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