FOOD REVIEW

Kb&co serves up picture-perfect plates

Rarely does a restaurant’s Instagram feed live up to the carefully staged and often over-filtered picture of the goods captured in the frame but kb&co is an exception.

Guilt-free indulgence done right at 'fast casual plant-based café'

Tomato soup at kb&co. Food reviewer Twyla Campbell says even carnivores will enjoy the offerings at the vegan eatery. ( kb&co)

Rarely does a restaurant's Instagram feed live up to the carefully staged and often over-filtered picture of the goods captured in the frame.

What you usually get, in real life, is an underwhelming version of what you and 384 other people "liked" only days or hours earlier.  

But kb&co is an exception.

Not only are the dishes as delicious as they look on the photo-based social media platform, whoever is in charge of the account has got a sense of humour that I appreciate: dry, sarcastic, and self-effacing.

I look forward to reading their posts as much as I do to eating anything they sell. 

"Y'all drank for a week straight & think an acai bowl is going to save you," states one post.

Sometimes, the road to the weekend is paved with red wine and bourbon. And kb&co knows it.

Thankfully, they're there to make us feel a little less guilty. 

The vegan eatery does offer an acai bowl — packed with bananas and strawberries and vanilla macaroon granola — and it has been my salvation in a bowl on more than one occasion.

So, too, have the smoothies. Of the 14 on offer, the coconut chai and the cardamom candy are my go-to's. 

The "kb" in the company is Kristina Botelho, who opened the "fast casual plant-based café" on 104th Street downtown after experiencing the health benefits of a lactose-free, raw foods diet.

She had previous experience in the restaurant industry and invested in a chef to consult on the menu. In May 2016, Botelho unleashed her creations to the public. 

The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. Two more locations are set to open next month — one in The Currents of Windermere, the other on 124th Street.

Botelho also plans to open one in the Okanagan, where she was born and raised. 

The café offers quick service and  nutritious food made from organic, local ingredients whenever possible. Being vegan, the food contains no dairy, soy, egg or meat. I would highly recommend it to any of my carnivore or omnivore friends and challenge them to not feel full and satiated. 

A good place to start is the breakfast menu with three kinds of avocado toast, loaded with everything from mushroom and red onion to strawberries drizzled in balsamic vinegar. Berry and hemp-seed waffles, hot oats, and "pb & j toast" round out the breakfast options.

The Turmeric Toona is a monstrous sandwich on multi-grain bread holding a glorious glob of chickpea purée and layered with micro greens, tomatoes, tangy pickles, red onion and wasabi mayo. It is a sandwich for people who think vegan food is for lightweights. Botelho abides by the "more is more" theory when it comes to food. 

The falafel mezze is a mountain of mixed greens with quinoa tabbouleh, garbanzo beans, dates, cucumber and red onion in a garlic almond dressing. Two golf ball-sized chickpea orbs, some beetroot lentil hummus and a generous dollop of tzatziki make the Mediterranean dish complete.  

There are soups, there are stews, there are wraps and desserts too. Kb&co offers something for everyone — even for people who think vegan food will leave them unfulfilled. 

Have a look at kbandcompany on Instagram; the food is as good as it looks. 

Find it at the base of the Fox One Tower, 10224 104th St.

You can hear Campbell's reviews on Edmonton AM every second Friday. You can also see more of her reviews on her blog, Weird Wild and Wonderful, and can follow her on Twitter at @wanderwoman10.