By Barbi Lazarus, Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator

Six months ago, we introduced you to a new staff team at the Toronto Vegetarian Association.

Lucas at Cosmic TreatsWith the end of the summer, the TVA is once again going through a transition. Our two summer assistants, Charlotte and Kara, have now completed their contracts, and the office has become a much quieter place (which also means I no longer have enough people around for bringing in weekly batches of baked goods to share; sad face).

David, our Executive Director, has just returned from paternity leave, which means our Interim General Manager Lucas, is completing his contract as well. Never ones to pass up an excuse to go out for a celebratory meal at one of Toronto’s many amazing vegan restaurants, the current TVA staff team decided to visit the newly opened Cosmic Treats in Kensington Market to thank Lucas for his great work over the past 6 months and to welcome back David to the office.

Before stepping out of Cosmic Treats after our meal I literally uttered “my life just got so much better”, and I meant it. I was literally giddy with excitement like a kid in a candy store, except that I really WAS in a candy store!

If you have not yet been to Cosmic Treats here’s what you need to know. Cosmic Treats delights with a fun, bright, retro decor. There is a shelf with an assortment of candies that will bring you back to your childhood, with classic treats that you may not have even realized were vegan and that sell for as little as 50 cents a piece! I’m talking salt water taffy, caramels and lemon heads.

To the right you’ll find a counter that showcases classic diner desserts like brownies and apple pie, and a display of their homemade, cashew based ice creams in an assortment of flavours which rotates. Atop the ice cream case is where the fun really happens though, with jars of toppings that include more childhood favourites you may not have known were vegan such as Oreos, Fudgeeos, Pirate Cookies, Skittles, and also vegan marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles.

We knew that the switch to fall wasn’t going to stop us from getting to indulge in a true ice cream shop experience, but we did first opt for the classic sit down restaurant service to order some savoury mains. Make no mistake: Cosmic Treats may be a giggle inducing-ly great ice cream shop, but it is also a full serve sit down restaurant open until 9 pm 6 days a week, with a menu full of hearty, playful comfort food people mistakenly think vegans can’t have.

Doritos tofu at Cosmic TreatsWe split the Doritos-crusted tofu and “cheese” sticks for appetizers, which were truly out of this world. The cheese sticks were just full of goopy, melted cheese and the most perfectly fried crispy coating.

My lasagna served with a very large side spinach salad was absolutely delicious, but I couldn’t help notice Lucas’ enormous all day breakfast plate which included perfectly cooked waffles, deliciously flavoured home fries and a tofu scramble he described as the best he has ever had at a restaurant in Toronto. David also spoke highly of his sausage and pepper sandwich which was generously topped with a marinara sauce and served with a side of mixed root veggies french fries.

Although the portion sizes were generous, we had to make room for dessert. After all, it is the classic sundae opportunities that make Cosmic Treats so fun! You can have a banana split, a blizzard, or (I hope you’re holding on to something for balance) a cupcake sundae. Yes, I said it. It’s ice cream scooped in between a cupcake, whatever that means!

David however decided to go with ice cream in a giant waffle cone, and me with a sundae topped with hot fudge sauce, Fudgeeos and whipped cream. Did I mention the flavour was Birthday Cake, aka: vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate cake and rainbow sprinkles mixed in?

Some people might be welcoming the return of chilis and stews as the temperatures drop, but I think I’ll need to fit in a few more visits to Cosmic Treats before I’m quite ready to give up my ice cream. After all…a cupcake sundae awaits me!

P.S Thanks again to Lucas for a great six months working together!