The Foundation is a funky, retro casual restaurant with relaxed service offering a menu of vegan & vegetarian dishes til 1am.
man, eff what you've heard. this place is run by a bunch of legit bohemians with very little boss-influence and you'd best go there. they work their asses off to do you right, and any naysaying is from people who can't relax.
this is a super rad joint.
if you're in a big stressed-out rush go somewhere else. if you have 90 minutes (or 1/3rd of that when it's not busy) and you want nice people, excellent music, good booze, and food that's worth the wait- go wait in the lineup and get the daily nacho special. the servers will be plenty friendly if you smile and make eye contact.
little known fact- they're open for lunch. noon to midnight are their real hours. don't order nachos before 1600hr or sandwiches after that, unless specifically instructed otherwise.
anything on the menu is delicious, and they take requests. if the hipsters in the kitchen weird you out, bring a book.
Today I'm celebrating my 3rd week as a vegetarian, and last night was my first time eating at the Foundation.
My friend and I arrived at 6:15 and it was pretty much empty, but by 6:45 there was a line up out the door.
I found the service to be helpful but very slow. If there was more attention to bringing the check and collecting the cash / credit card they would be able to turn alot more tables during the course of the evening.
The room was rustic, and quaint.
The food was incredible !!! Very tasty, cooked perfect, and colorful. The presentation was excellent, and the portions very large. I'm 6'4", 200 lbs., and had to ask for a "doggy bag".
I've already recommended The Foundation to 3 people, and look forward to returning for another spectacular meal.
This place is pretentious and for no good reason. I am pretty sure that I can make anything on the menu both quicker and make it taste better. I had the BLTish sandwich and the daily soup and my partner had a tofu scramble. The sandwich was ok but the soup had no flavour. The Tofu scramble was edible but took 30 minutes to arrive. This place is overrated.
we were promptly seated as a large group since we made reservations in advance. but the service was quite slow... it took a long time for everything we wanted to actually appear. the servers were prompt and friendly. the nachos are heaven! the guacamole in particular was delicious! however, none of us really loved our entrees. most of us had either something on rice or pasta. we found that everything seemed to be covered with sugar, some sort of sweet glaze... i had the spicy peenut dish and i felt like my pasta was drenched in syrup.
this is one of the only places that offers vegan fondue! go for it!
The food at the Foundation is great! Try their appy platter--it will blow your mind and enrich your soul.
The service is fine. I seriously don't know why people are complaining so much on here. You get your food within a reasonable amount of time, they aren't rude at all, and they don't pester you constantly like servers do in some restaurants.
Last time I was there, our server moved us to a better table when it became available. I thought that was rather nice of her.
The music is not too loud. It's fine. It may not be everyone's taste, but it's certainly not obtrusive.
Try the SANGRIA. It's fab.
The staff and regulars obviously make this place their own.. but who knew that vegetarian hipsters were so into gangsta rap? For some reason that is beyond me, the place is equipped with a sound system, that, on occasion is turned up so loud, you can only point at the menu to order.
As far as the service... what service? We were met at the door with a "please wait to be seated sign" which was eventually followed by a waitress handing us two menus and saying "find a place to sit." The staff look no different then the patrons, and they work about as hard. I have seen this type of place before: the supposed charm lay in the non nonchalant attitude and non-conformist management. Hipster irony does not a pleasant dining experience make.
Finally food. Well, it was OK, but certainly not in my top 10 veggie restaurants. My burger was dry and crumbly, and with out taste (besides ketchup). The Papaya and black bean dish on rice was tasty, but hardly worth the price for the helpings.
To everyone who doesn't like the service at The Foundation and the "main street attitude" of the staff, go somewhere else.
At places such as Joeys and Earls, not only can you get a pair of tits rubbed in your face by a mini skirt wearing, fake tanned chick being your friend so you tip her better, you could just request your meal vegetarian. Plus, you don't have to worry about what the kitchen staff looks like as they are all hiding in the back, spitting in your food, but you'll never know as they would never let you actually look into their kitchen. Personally I like being able to see the kitchen staff.
Just an idea.
I used to go to The Foundation every week but I go about once a month now. When I first started going, the service was not bad and the food was out quickly. I was actually impressed because I had heard so much about the bad service but I found it to be quite good. I continued to go to Foundation a few times a month, and my experience was always great.
Recently, however, the service has sucked. There's a waitress who seems to hate the world. She never smiles and she always seems like she has a problem with everybody sitting at your table. When she brings your food, she basically throws it on the table in front of you (I've encountered her about 4 times). We ordered guacamole with our nachos and it never came, so we asked her to bring the guacamole and she gave us the dirtiest look and trudged up to the kitchen. I was almost scared to ask her for more water. It's one thing to be unhappy, but another thing to be scary. On another occasion I was with 2 other people. We ordered drinks and nachos to start, and then ordered our mains. The drinks came, but we never got water. The nachos took about half an hour and they were burnt, but we ate them anyways and they were good. So...nachos are done. We're sitting with empty drink glasses, the empty plate from our nachos and no water. The waiter walked by our table about 10 times and we'd try and get his attention, but no luck. Another half an hour passes, no mains, no water, no drinks. ANOTHER half an hour passes, tables around us are getting their mains, and we'd been there longer than some of the tables. I go up to the bar to talk to one of the employees and she said that since we ordered nachos, our mains would take longer. But, an hour? PLEASE. The tables next to us got their nachos and their mains. So I go back to my table. Then, the waiter comes over and tells us we'd been waiting too long, and tells us we're getting our mains free which was nice, and made up for it. Then the mains came out and they were gross. They seemed rushed and not NEARLY as good as they usually are. We asked for a refill of our drinks and I don't think he quite understood because he only refilled my glass leaving my friends drinkless, and he never returned to our table.
All in all, this could have just been an off night, but I'd hate to see this restaurant slip. I've heard so many people say that it's not as good as it used to be.
Whew, there's a major debate going on here! May I pipe in?
I've gone to Foundation a few times and agree that the food is great, but only when exectuted properly. I had one positive dining experience there, but the few times I've returned, the food has been rather sloppy (i.e. burnt nachos that took over half and hour!) When asked if we could send the nachos back for new ones, the server was cold and grumbled as she removed our plate, only to bring back a new stack of nachos, ALSO COMPLETELY BURNT! This kind of thing is just not right, especially when dealing with well-meaning customers who don't mean any harm, they simply want the quality they deserve.
I think it's harsh of SfumatoPants to criticize the staff for their "style" or what have you - that really has nothing to do with anything and is a pretty crazy stereotype. However, if the staff members of Foundation really want to show 'em, then step up to the plate and provide outstanding service in all areas, all the time, to EVERYONE, not just the loyal regulars.
I would like to respond to the comments posted below by SfumatoPants, and also take the chance to defend one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver. The staff at Foundation are all rocking the generic Main Street fashion, it's true. Beards, skinny-leg jeans, cruddy high-tops, trucker caps, all topped with dad's old "yard-work" shirt. If that particular style represents pot-smoking, poor hygiene, and lax service, then I'd also like to remind you that Jews are cheap, negroes play in jazz bands, and women are prone to crying fits. Would you feel more assured of a sanitized dining experience if your server was lasered hairless, the chef sporting one of those anorexic pope hats, and the decor resembled the nightclubs you see on CSI: Miami? Let me assure you, those injection-molded bombshells at Earl's and Cactus Club burp, scratch their asses, and shit at least once a day just like the rest of us. Let me get to the point. At Foundation, there isn't an entree over ten dollars, and you could wine and dine with your friends at a price that would make eating at home seem hardly worth the effort of having to wash your own dishes. The servers are all very friendly and prompt, the food is delicious and healthy, and I swear to God, after eating there at least one hundred times I have never been sick. It's all vegetables for fuck's sake, what are you scared of, salmonella from tainted cauliflower? I'm afraid the only cliche is you, SfumatoPants, railing against an imaginary idea of "low brow" and feeling awkward because everyone's buzzed except you.
What is it with vegetarian restaurants? They are all run by the pot smoking, non-clothes washing, went to India, I'm still working on my Bachelor's degree at 29 crowd. Well, maybe not all, but this one is. I can't enjoy my food if I'm questioning weather that guy in the kitchen looks responsible enough to remember to wash his hands, or to show some restraint at wiping his nose. The service is lax, even appears hostile at times. I guess they are all having such a good time at their work they can't be bothered to let the customers harsh their buzz. The ambiance is comic, like a caricature of what the West-Coast enviro-organic-dread head scene would be if conjured up by people from back East imagining what it would be like to live out on the Coast. It's good for a low brow chuckle. Anyway, if you've read this far, I have to say that the food is tasty, if not a cliche, and it is sloppy and that just has me wondering what was on the chef's thumb...
This place is rad. Im a bean about new foods, but this place - delish. People in my office eat here at least once a week and it is few and far inbetween when there is a sour reaction. Granted, the service can be a little shotty - but hey, if you're in a rush - walk in knowing what you want and order it as youre being seated - done and done and they appreciate you having your sheet together. Love love.
This restaurant is a strange mix indeed. Excellent vegetarian/vegan food mixed with blaring hiphop/gangster rap mixed with politically charged slogans plastered on the wall and a dash of horrible service.
I've been here many many times and keep coming back for the amazing food and amazing prices. I think the only time I've ever had half decent service was about two visits ago. I think it was a new person that just started and he hadn't been told to give poor service. The down side to the service is that they miss your orders and they take forever, the upside is that they don't bother to bring you your cheque forever leaving you to chat as long as you'd like.
Well recommended but be prepared.
This place had fantastic food, laid back atmosphere, friendly staff & great music (for me, anyhow). Their peanut / spinach salad was very flavourful (although the molten tofu was very bland in contrast). I cant wait to try more! :)
I love the food at Foundation but the music is truly dreadful. Whatever the virtues of techno-pop it is not conducive to enjoying a meal. It is amazing that the food is prepared with such care and the click-click-clack of some computer generated is thought to be suitable for background music. Please open a to-go window so I don't have to be violated by such unpleasant music.
First off, I loved the rice absolutely: mango, coconut, beans over rice with bits of melting cheese. Serving wasn't huge but it was filling, for certain.
Two team members ordered the burgers and thought they were mediocre, but I figure that using veggies to emulate meat is kind of pointless and is akin to comparing apples and oranges really. Could be that I've never had a good veggie burger myself and rationalised it as an impossible and rather pointless comparison.
The servers were awkward to start (no smiles at all!) until we joked a bit with them. They also allowed us to get extra fruit for free for the chocolate fondue, which was pretty sweet.
For us, the glasses were made of glass, not plastic, so we didn't get the weird taste. They likely purchased new hardware since last the last few reviewers.
The menu was the single most frustrating thing ever. The item names were pretty but not descriptive at all (the heck is "Upper East Side" and "Lower East Side" and what do they have to do with rice?), and combined with the fancy but horribly confusing layout it took us well over 15 minutes to pour over and decide on an item.
The quotes on the walls at the time were all related to "power" and were kind of annoying really. Some were actually profound and good, but others simply had the word "power" in it and had little to do with their concept of power, and some were even so far-fetched to simply be quotes with certain letters capitalised to just SPELL the word "power". So contrived!
The loud hip-hop was annoying as well, but not loud enough to be invasive so we largely ignored it. Maybe I'm missing some sort of connection here but a chic little place like this with some philosophical quotes on the walls and speakers blaring "bitches and hoes" seemed really out of place.
Review by Fish on behalf of The Last supper, recorded 2007-08-05, posted 2007-09-08
They have delicious food - prices are just fine - beer is nice and tasty. I just wish they'd improve their attitude. Foundation is great for taking my friends who are dead flesh eaters (sorry for the comment). They always love the food there as do I. I've eaten there perhaps 40 times in the past few years. The food quality is inconsistent but sometimes truly amazing (and sometimes they put a bit too much cinnamon in their Final Option which kills it).
I recommend this restaurant!
I LOVED THIS RESTAURANT!! The food was amazing, very unique and tasty. The staff was very friendly with no attitude at all. We asked one of the staff to explain the desserts they had and then said we wanted to think about it. After a while, she came back and asked if we wanted any. It was very busy and she still remembered to follow up! The plates are huge! You get way more than you pay. The atmosphere was quite romantic (other than the music) and the decor simple but comfy. I recommend this restaurant to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike! The menu is vegan friendly too!
The food was amazing. I went with 3 of my girlfriends and we ordered one nachos, one appy, 2 entrees, and a fondue. The bill? It was only 12 bucks a person including tax and tip. The nachos had simple ingredients but tasted great with the special salsa. The food is fresh and very unique.
The service, however, was not so great. They forgot our order of fondue, but gave us the fondue forks and sharing plates. After half an hour, we asked for it and they apparently left it out of our order. Well how can you give us the fondue utensils and NOT remember we ordered fondue? Our server, while moving the candle holder, dropped the candle in our food and had to ASK us what we wanted to do. GIVE US A NEW DISH OFCOURSE!
I do like the food and I like how cheap the food is. I'll go back. But I'll expect to wait for my food.
Typical of the Main street area, the serversare detached and cold. Its almost as if you don't exist. But, the food is very good. The nachos are the best. A solid place to get good veg eats and its usually ok to stay for a while- in fact noone would notice if you stayed all night.