The Foundation is a funky, retro casual restaurant with relaxed service offering a menu of vegan & vegetarian dishes til 1am.
This place is nice enough to return to, though largely thanks to the lack of better options in Vancouver.
At times, the music has been so loud and so obnoxious that I barely noticed the actual meal in my fervour to escape the speakers.
The menu tries really hard to be cool and funky, but just comes off as overly cutesy and annoying. Someone thought it would be awesome alternative to use spellings like 'brokkly' and 'sesamum' and abbreviations like 'toms'. It's decipherable enough, but I'd rather not translate when I'm hungry. I suspect this gimmick is a joke staff cooked up to humiliate diners, as they must know how stupid we feel using these ridiculous pseudo-words.
I've enjoyed the food well enough more often than not. My staple here is a broccoli-tofu combination served on rice; very simple, but tasty and filling. Despite being a cheaper item (it's listed with the appetizers), I always have a little left over to take home.
Entrees are often a one-dish deal, so choose carefully; the sauce you select will permeate your entire meal. Sometimes this has worked out well--the sesame maple salad with chickpeas and tofu was very, very tasty, though a little salty. At other times, I've been sick of the same flavour long before I was actually full. The tofu-burger was adequate, but I don't need to eat it again.
The dark chocolate fondue is nice for dessert, but they could use a better selection of other sweets. I've never been able to try their vegan pies as they are perpetually unavailable.
Service used to truly suck. Now the staff is pleasant but sometimes scatterbrained. I've been given food with no utensils to eat with, and tried without success for quite a few minutes to get someone's attention. At other times, the bill is presented but it's impossible to get someone to come over to give change. Last time I went, our waitress was very helpful; let's hope change is on the way.
My brother thought he was in LES/Williamsburg when he ate here with me one night.
In one afternoon, my buddee looked at everyone in the restaurant, and thought we walked into some time warp straight into 1962.
I like the furniture: 60s glitter star laminate tables a la milk shake joint. My grandparents have the same table.
Food: Nachos are killer. Pleasant green salad with pear shoe strings. Burger did not really leave an impression on me. but the chili was tasty.
I like the waitresses, especially with flat shoes and low cut tshirt. the cooks are sweaty hipsters with low worn brims and beards.
I've eaten at the Foundation many times. I love the food and I put up with the service which is always slow. But last night was the worst. We lined up outside and the wait was long....real long, but we're suckers, so we waited and waited. Once we got a table it took a while for the server to take our order, but we ordered quickly and got our drinks in due time (ie. slowly). We waited, and waited and waited for our meals to arrive. From the time we sat down to the time we got 1 plate on the table an hour had passed. Funny that only 1 plate arrived because we ordered 2 dinners. Ooops, they forgot to make my husbands dish, so we just ate up my plate together. When we finished my meal, our 2nd plate arrived...almost 30 minutes later. Was the food good? Yes...but the service really sucked. The server did take off the super-late meal as compensation. But, that's it?
Am I the sucker for waiting for almost 2 hours to get food in my belly? Totally. Was it the fault of the server who was pretty busy with other tables? Maybe. Was it the kitchen staff's fault for the delay? Who knows. All I know is that I'm taking a break from The Foundation. I'm a wimp but a hold a grudge like no one's business.
I used to like the Foundation well enough. The food was OK and the ambiance was kind of cool with the old style tables and cool quotes up on the wall. I never thought the food was fantastic, but it was yummy enough -- especially the Spicy peanut-sauce pasta.
But the service at this place, which was always pretty bad, has gotten downright pathetic. They recently expanded -- nearly doubling their serving space. But, near as I can tell, they haven't added any servers. The result is that it takes a long time for someone to take your order, a very long time for the food to come out and an eternity to get your bill and get out of there when you're done. The group I was with literally waited 45 minutes after we were done our meal to get our plates cleared and the bill -- and that was after one of us went to go find our server and ask for it.
I don't actually blame the servers here. They seem pretty nice. It's just that there aren't nearly enough of them. The recent expansion seems to have come with a bar and I'm guessing that maybe they've decided they can make more money off people leisurely ordering drinks than those who actually want to eat.
It's a shame, but our experience last time was so horrible that this place is permanently off our list. I wouldn't have thought it was possible, but this place makes the Naam's service look superb.
I go here all the time. Everything about it shines in authenticity. No patronizing grins from servers, honest furniture, not compo-board and vinyl masquerading as fine leather chairs and faux mahogany. The hip hop is classic and well-chosen- not rap, and played off an 80 GB ipod on shuffle. Not to mention, the food is some of the best I've had in Vancouver. If I'm planning a Foundation run on the weekend, I'll be counting the days starting on Monday.
Yeah, the servers may be a little out of it, maybe even a little snooty, but once you've gone more than once, they'll recognize your face and shoot you a smile.. If you tipped well the last time.
Yeah, the POWER quotes are a bit of a stretch sometimes, but it's creative, and pretty cool how they just printed out some big paper and stuck it up on the wall, and if the punny menu isn't for you, well then I can't help you there. The best thing is to just order whatever. It'll usually be delicious.
The Foundation is an unapologetic avant-garde, indie-geared counter culture restaurant with a taste you just can't argue with. If you want to pay $30.00 for a minuscule piece of steak, a baked potato and three asparagus shoots all made by "culinary artists", and supporting just another chain restaurant, I suggest either Milestone's or The Keg. If you're into fair prices, honest service and damn good food that'll satisfy you in ways you never knew possible, all finished off with a complimentary Campino, hit The Foundation. It's the shit.
My boyfriend and I drive all the way from Surrey just to eat at Foundation because we love the food so much.... as someone already said, when it comes steaming to your table you forget about the wait and the blank stare from your server. Although the servers are distant, they are available when you need them for cheap beer, more food (yummy fondue), and the cheque. The Spicy Peanut is awesome and I don't think you can get better cheap, tasty vegan food anywhere in Van. Love the quotes on the wall and the music is always chill.
I used to love this place... but for the last three times the nachos have been burnt. blah. katered affair is a decent collection, and I also enjoy the mango forte. Service is not that bad. depends on your server i suppose... The writing on the walls suggests that the customer is very much not likely to be always right (and rightly so I suspect..)
Foundation has a bit of a bad rap for it's service, but I think one of the tricks is to go more than once. The food speaks for itself, and once I started going only for the food, the service started to bother me less. The Serial Salad, Molten Tofu various yummy sandwiches and Maple Been Chili are so freakin' good that they are worth the extra few minutes. And I always get friendly service, just maybe not the fastest service. Definitely worth it for great veggie/vegan delights!
Definitely a hole in the wall type of restaurant. Will definitely be full for around $10-. My favourite Nachos in town... huge for only $7. Pastas are $10 but portions are humongous. If you go with a group of four, order the nachoes and two plates of pasta to share ... you'll only end up paying $8 for a full meal. Pretty creative sauces, home style kitchen, and good underground hiphop. The seats arent the most aesthetically pleasing tho but good to go and chat over beer, nachos, etc. Oh, the fondue is not bad too!
Went to Foundation recently with a group of 10. We eventually ordered two different kinds of nachos for the table. These were amazing--tons of toppings, cheese, more than enough sour cream, plenty of yummy guacamole & a goodly amount of salsa. The pitchers of stout were tasty & a good price too.
After a great start with the appies, I ordered a Bentonio burger. I would NEVER do that again. It was tasteless, dry as hell & the bun was soaked by the salad dressing that leaked from the salad next to it. I generally love veggie burgers & eat them at a lot of different restaurants. I can honestly say this was absolutely the worst one I've ever had.
The service was slow because it seemed that there was only one waitress for the entire restaurant, which was full when we arrived. She wasn't rude or anything, when we could get a hold of her.
The prices at Foundation include taxes, which is nice. Everything's pretty affordable... but then again, everything's basically made out of rice & beans, so it SHOULD be pretty cheap.
Ambiance... meh. They haven't managed to make the place look eclectic or funky--the thrift store tables & chairs just look dilapidated.
If you're looking for a great vegetarian restaurant here, I'd say keep looking. If you want a laid-back place to go for nachos & beer, it's serviceable.
I visit the Foundation regularly. In fact, it is one of my favorite places in Vancouver. As other reviewers have pointed out, the service is pretty slow and you often have to wait in line for a while before getting a table but that doesn`t really bother me. I love the food and love the prices. Try the Satay Salad, it`s completely addictive.
So you and your date want to have a nice meal before you head to the opera? Go somewhere else.
This place is low-lit, the tables and chairs look like they were picked up at value-village, and hip-hop can be heard blaring out of the speakers. And this is all part of this restaurants charm. Young hipsters-hippy types arrive and sit in groups. I had a combo platter with my gf ($11) and we ended up sending like half of it back because we were so full (although granted I had already eaten). The hummous was very tasty. Unfortunately, the beer was a little flat, maybe they didn't tap the keg properly that night.
I saw some complaints about the service but I have no issues- only went the once, mind you. All in all, a nice place to relax and not worry about impressing anyone, just kicking back in your hoody and sneakers and enjoying the atmosphere and good vegetarian cuisine.