98 comments

  1. rorschach · July 8, 2008

    “Well, I could just go home and make something pretty much like this, why have it here?” I’ve said this more than once before heading in here.

    On the other hand, it has a lot going for it. Great, friendly atmosphere which is as much about people getting together as it is about food. It’s inexpensive. They serve brunch on the weekends. It’s wholesome, simple, and fresh food. It’s nice to have a really good salad, something that is REALLY a salad with a good mix of crunchy vegetables and a light dressing.

    An important part of the ‘new’ St. John’s.

  2. halibut · July 8, 2008

    The Scope’s 2008 Breakfast Face Off Results:
    $9.89 for traditional breakfast with one organic, free trade coffee (refills $1). Served weekends 9am-3pm. Recommended breakfast: “Tofu Scramble all the way.” Price includes tax.

  3. Jan · July 8, 2008

    The chickpea burger is awesome as is the prana poutine. Great for veggies or meat-eaters alike. The food is all made from scratch here and is very tasty and fresh.

  4. B.Shaw · July 8, 2008

    Some of the servers are clueless, not a big fan of this one.

  5. Donna · July 8, 2008

    Best Breakfasts in town, best Muffins, good wine by the glass, love the atmoshpere, add meat and this place would be my casual dining favorite. Staff are best in town

  6. ooglyboogly · July 8, 2008

    I would drown myself in a wet, squishy vat of their pad thai. No kidding.

  7. hungry hungry hippo · July 8, 2008

    …coconut candy bar cheesecake??? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!!

  8. Elizabeth · July 8, 2008

    i leave hungry

  9. Mikiki · July 8, 2008

    B.Shaw: clueless? in what regard? that you think cute hippies are airheads? or that they didn’t know what the specials were? or that they didn’t know the grams of fat in each of the salad dressings?
    Give me a little more insight on what they’re so clueless about that makes for a successful dining experience and then you’ll stop sounding like a catty arsehole. Thanks.
    Donna: the whole point is that there isn’t any “add meat”. It helps to keep people who require meat to line their colon out of the booths so we can actually find a place to sit when veggie spots get hip. Sorry for being mean I just don’t appreciate it when the fact that a place is veggie is used as a downside in a resto review.
    Elizabeth: Order More. Portions there are average and with an appetizer have filled up substantially myself, and everyone I’ve eaten there with. If you’re still hungry get dessert too. I think it’s wasteful and misrepresentative of how we should think about eating for portions to be inordinately large.

    Sorry to grump on y’all but I think if we’re gonna review restos we might as well do it so that the reviews are actually HELPFUL to people looking to find a spot to eat and for the restaurants themselves to find some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, yes?
    You might also want to check out chowhound.com for some of their reviews.

    I like the sprout. The staff are friendly and willing to find out whatever info I’ve asked from them. The food is simple veggie+hippie fare with some interesting twists and made to be very savory and satisfying. I love that you can get a bowl of miso soup somewhere other than a japanese resto and that it’s bigger than those tiny lacquer bowls. The Prana Poutine I had was a touch too salty but I liked that there was grated beet and sunflower seeds in lots of things. It was reminiscent of Fresh or Juice for Life in toronto but felt more like eating healthily at someone’s house in StJ than put-upon.

  10. Jane · July 8, 2008

    I LOVE The Sprout and use it as a real comfort treat to myself. There isn’t anything I would change if I had the chance, except maybe go more often. Thank you dear ladies of The Sprout for your consistency in fresh produce and seeds!

  11. Jane · July 8, 2008

    i leave full, happy and looking forward to dancing.

  12. hmmm · July 8, 2008

    Mikiki, I think that those people were leaving fairly constructive criticism. Elizabeth is right. I am a vegetarian, but no matter how much I eat at the Sprout, I leave hungry as well. It is one of the few places I get an appetizer and still want dessert after, because I don’t feel full. As for the service, it is absolutely friendly, but probably more laid back than most people are used to. If you go at peak lunch hours, you will wait a long time for a table, and equally long for your meal. Perhaps that is the cost of healthy, fresh food, but it is worth noting nonetheless.

  13. C · July 8, 2008

    I LOVE IT HERE! My favorite restaurant! The food’s delicious and the prices are excellent!!!

  14. Jesse · July 8, 2008

    I was there for the first time a few weeks ago. My friend wanted to go, and I wasn’t sure about it. I absolutley loved it! the staff were very friendly and despite what some people are saying here I thought it was very filling and a very good portion of food for the price. I went for lunch so maybe it be different for supper, I dunno. I’m not vegetarian and I would defidently go back to sprout again and recommend it to others.

  15. VeggieLover · July 8, 2008

    The Sprout is the best. It’s delicious, healthy, cheap, nutritious, serves fair trade coffee, filtered water, the best salads in town and is vegetarian! If you’re not full, eat more, it’s so cheap you can easily have a full course and still come in under $20. They should open a second location up around MUN so students have decent food at good prices.

  16. Yellowhead · July 8, 2008

    I came across the sprout a few years ago before leaving St. John’s. After coming back 3 years later, and many many vegetarian restaurants later (all over this beautiful country) The Sprout is still my favourite. Whoever think their food is plain and could be made at home: have you ever made rice poutine with shredded beet on top and miso gravy? I think not. Their food is original, their staff super friendly and knowledgeable and their management lovely and welcoming.

    I eat at the sprout once every 2nd or 3rd day when I am in town because it is affordable and mostly organic fair. I would recommend it to anyone who likes vegetarian or simply healthy meals made by equally healthy individuals. The only downsize of The Sprout is that it is not a larger restaurant. Wait times are sometimes 20+ minutes, which is a long time in St. John’s. That being said, if it was larger it might lose its quaint and casual feel. I am willing to wait 20 minutes, or hell, 45 minutes to eat the best food in town by FAR. Even if it wasn’t the only vegetarian restaurant, it would still be my very favourite.

    ps- I agree that the “no meat” comment was absolutely stupid. I guess she has never heard of a restaurant where people DON’T slaughter poor animals. bah! Take a trip to the mainland by’!

  17. Kat Grant · July 8, 2008

    I love their Samurai Salad, pad thai and vegan deserts! Although I am not vegie, I absolutely love veggie foods!! Even faux meats! I say “I love faux meat more because they try so hard to make it good, where as meat dont have to try at all.” Tofu is the best! And their food is NOMtastic!

  18. Barb · July 8, 2008

    I love the food at the Sprout. I took my daughter there and she was unsure at first and she now loves it as well..she is going to recommend it to her friends.

    The staff are great and the atmosphere is cozy and the wonderful smell of baked goods – I can’t wait to go back and try something new.

    Thanks – Sprout for providing us with wonderful Healthy Choices on your menu..

  19. Ell · July 8, 2008

    I only recently discovered The Sprout, perhaps four months or so ago. *Wow* When I first discovered it, I was pretty much a daily regular for about a month – the food is out of this world!!!!!!!!!! and the staff marvelous. They bend over backwards to ensure that your dining experience is as pleasant as possible.

    I couldn’t afford to keep eating there on an almost daily basis (not because they are overly priced – just because I simply cannot afford to dine out on a regular basis. I’m now limiting myself to planned, pre-budgeted meals as a treat to myself. Can’t wait for my next one!

  20. Serge · July 8, 2008

    One of our three orders was screwed up, the food was mediocre at best, but the pervasive smokey smell from an improperly vented kitchen was the kicker; it ruined my meal. Service was prompt, despite the order error.

  21. Jas · July 8, 2008

    I ate here for lunch with a group of friends. I’ve read a lot of reviews complaining about the staff, and I can’t say they’re unwarranted, but I will say that whatever they lack in terms of “polished professionalism” you find at chain restaurants they MORE than make up for in terms of courtesy, honesty, and general helpfulness.

    I’m very picky and they managed to get my order exactly right on the first try, and it was delicious. Will definitely go again.

  22. Julie · July 8, 2008

    When eating out, the only option is the Sprout! The staff are always more than friendly and accomodating, the decor is relaxed and fresh, and the food is awesome! The Pad Thai is to die for! Fresh salads (with beet! What a treat!) made with organic greens…Ya can’t go wrong! I’m in love.

  23. BooBoo · July 8, 2008

    I’ve eaten here 3 times,each time I experienced the same problem.There is obviously a lack of communication between the kitchen and the wait staff. On all three occasions (neither of which was overly busy),I pored over the menu for ten minutes before making my decision only to be told “sorry we’re out of that”,so I make a new decision and they are also “out of that”.Inform the customers what you are out of (though it seems it would be easier to tell customers what you actually DO HAVE)before they waste their time and your time.

  24. MSF · July 8, 2008

    Best restaurant in town. Get the Tamari Tickle Tofu with the Beet Generation side salad. Your mouth and your body and your brain will be happy all day. The service is great also. MSF

  25. Paula · July 8, 2008

    The Sprout is amazing…fresn organic and delicious for body mind and spirit…
    Comfortable cozy atmosphere…
    And friendly staff…
    Love it,,,Very welcoming for vegans and non vegans alike…
    Nourishment for the soul…
    Smiles and Angels…
    Paula

  26. Allison · July 8, 2008

    I went to the Sprout for the first time this weekend. while I don’t usually get very excited about sandwiches, the sandwich with hummus (no tomato please) was a damn fine sandwich, the best I’ve ever had bar none. the bread was so fresh and tasty, and veggies crisp and delicious, even the water tasted better there! and my husband, who until a couple of years ago wouldn’t even look at a salad, much less an entire restaurant that serves a vegetarian menu, had the “hippie bait” and loved it! we’ll definitely be going back to the Sprout! Thanks for a great first experience, can’t wait to come back for more!

  27. pippa · July 8, 2008

    Good food but they need to get their facts straight about what it means to be gluten free

  28. RN · July 8, 2008

    B. Shaw: Can you explain to me why you think the servers at ‘The Sprout’ are clueless?

  29. Lark · July 8, 2008

    I like this place. I think the service is slow sometimes. And the pad thai, which I always get, is very inconsistent. Noodles are often undercooked, or overcooked so much that the whole bowl is a goopy, gushy mass. Ingredients are substituted without notice. Serving sizes vary a lot (my Sprout friend and I always compare our two bowls of pad thai and find that one is always much larger than the other). I’ve had bowls with seven or eight cubes of tofu and once, I literally could find only one! During my first visits I was so impressed with the details and service, and maybe the attention to detail is slipping. (Despite all this, I’m giving this review four-stars because when the pad thai is done right, it is DIVINE and I find myself craving it!)

  30. Tweedlebug · July 8, 2008

    My husband and I ate at the Sprout two days agofor lunch. I had the Pad Thai and although it was very tasty, I could only eat a few bites becasue the rice noodle were horribly overcooked and were reduced to mush.

    I would like to go back because the burgers and salads that other people ordered did look pretty good.

  31. Mike · July 8, 2008

    I’ve eaten there twice. Had the burrito which came out stone cold in the middle, had to be re-microwaved. Other time I got the pad thai which was totally overcooked and generally tasted like most of the ingredients were chosen either for their colors or fast nearing expiry date.

    It looks like a nice restaurant and it’s a nice idea to have a quality vegetarian restaurant downtown, which is what sadly dupes people into going in there. Bad food, bad service too. Stop stealing from people. Please.

  32. hungryhungryhippo · July 8, 2008

    Had the taco salad for the first time last night and it was really great…….
    add a beer, share a dessert with a friend and it’s pretty much the most fun you can have with your pants on.

  33. krista · July 8, 2008

    i LOVE this place! the staff are friendly, it’s so laid back and the food is just amazing!!!

  34. BB · July 8, 2008

    When I go out to eat for a casual dining experience I expect to be somewhat full after wards. When I came home after supper here I had to cook a second one. PORTIONS ARE EXTREMELY SMALL!! (I am not a large gal) I’ve been around this country and have eaten at countless veggie restaurants and have NEVER experienced this problem before. YUMMY eats and friendly down to earth staff but please, but a few more grains of rice in the bowl and more beans in the burritos!

  35. AO · July 8, 2008

    Amazing. Best food in town, cheap too. Not to mention good for you (well, maybe not so much their poutine…). Although it might be against their ideals, I think they should get a bigger space. Sometimes it’s hard to get in cause there’s so few tables. Also, as much as I love the friendly staff, they could use a bit more training. Sometimes it’s a bit too casual and they forget things you ordered (or your entire order). It’s not a big deal and the food totally makes up for it!!

  36. Lori · July 8, 2008

    I’ve eaten almost everything on the menu (at least once) and I don’t know what people are referring to as small portions. The sandwiches are huge, my friends take half home to eat later. I’m a girl that likes to eat and after a meal with one of their awesome gluten free chocolate desserts, I’m very full.

    I go often and love it. The Pad Thai is the one thing I don’t have their anymore because I like my noodles very al dente, but that’s just one dish, which everyone keeps yawning on about. Get.Over.It.

    If you think for $10 a meal you’re going to get such great quality homemade food, PLUS a pristine environment, PLUS staff who want to wipe yer arse, PLUS all the other junk people expect from $50/plate restaurants; you’ll be disappointed. But with an open mind you’ll have a good time :)

  37. Megan · July 8, 2008

    I can’t believe I’m doing this but I have to give The Sprout a talking to. Overall it is my favorite place to eat in this city; bless the restaurant where I don’t have to alter or mish mash dishes to come up with something vegetarian. However, the last experience I had at the Stroup was not up to snuff basically the service was abismal! I’m certainly not above waiting for a table but could you at least acknowledge I have entered your place of buisness and instead of politely ignoring me for 15 minutes, let me know there will be a 15 minute wait? Also, I understand lunchtime is busy but do I really have to wait 35 minutes for a cup of soup? It’s already simmering in the pot right? Instead of eating, for 35 minutes I watched one of the waitresses hug, kiss and chat to everyone of her friends as they came in and left. That’s nice you have friends sweetie but can I get some soup?

  38. jennifer · July 8, 2008

    I like the Sprout’s food and friendly staff, but they are deadly slow, even when the place isn’t full. Also, I hope they get to move to a bigger location at some point with a few more tables.
    They are pretty good with their take-out orders, too.

  39. Alice · July 8, 2008

    The Sprout is a great restaurant! First of all kudos should be given for having a vegetarian place that survives in St. John’s, and that it is obviously so popular that there are waiting times of 20 minutes or more.

    I’ve never had any problems with my orders or the waiting staff. If anything they are so awesome that I feel shy around them because they are so cool!

    I can understand about portion sizes on some of the dishes, however there are other dishes, which will fill you up no problem (try something with rice or pasta). The Sprout salad is divine and fresh. Occasionally they will not have some of the menu items (like the avacado sandwich), but besides that I’ve never had an issue.

    I wish their hours were more stable, often I’ve turned up only to find out they’d closed early or they weren’t open at all.

    Yay! Yummy vegetarian restaurant in St. John’s!

    I don’t live in NL right now and haven’t been to the restaurant since the summer of 2009, but I always wished that they’d change their menu once in a while for more variety (keeping the favorites, of course).

  40. kimmy · July 8, 2008

    I especially appreciate how The Sprout contends and introduces a new dining experience that may not compliment our society right NOW in this moment in SOME aspects (which I will address here now) but which I believe to be positive growth and is a step in the right direction.
    The Sprout’s energy and atmosphere is supposed to be a space where you can go and relax and calm your internal waters.I know many people have claimed they have waited while hungry. I agree, when you’re hungry and paying for food you are also paying for service, but to enter means to enter a beautiful space. If you feel unsatisfied don’t tip- that’s what it is there for right? But remember, don’t just nourish your stomach, nourish your blood pressure. Take time to smile, be patient, enjoy friendship, and check the bustle and negative frantic energy at the door.
    The portions are probably the most ideal aspects in this restaurant. If you want loved, organic, healthy fare to replenish you- equipped with all the little details that go missing at home: seeds, sprouts, nuts, berries- it does take time, but also our society and culture needs to get a grip on what we eat. I am an international traveler, currently living in Asia for 3 years and around Southeast Asia. I’m not contending whether you are big or small- but it is your appetite- when I visit home the portions there are too big for me. We need to gain more clarity and perspective. It is all relative to each person but these portions are exactly what your system should be getting, more is gluttonous, bred from top down approaches and societal acceptance. I’m very proud a restaurant has stepped up and said it is wasteful to leave food on the plate- only to package it for later to continue eating. At their prices they’ve given you the perfect portion to feel satisfied hitting the ying/yang of replenishing your body. Sure, they can add filler, but filler is junkmail to your system.
    The sprout supports, in my opinion, an atmosphere to heal the mind and portions to heal your vessel. Take advantage of it. Buy desert, don’t buy desert. But upon leaving listen to your body and wonder if *really that portion didn’t satisfy you, and if it didn’t I do think we need to reevaluate our consumption> even our consumption of food uses energy to grow those grains, produce, etc. We save the world in our bites.
    Think about it :)

  41. Mark · July 8, 2008

    Finally got a chance to check this place out yesterday after hearing about it for ages. As the only completely vegetarian restaurant that I know of in all of NL, I’ve been wanting to come here for some time.
    And I have to say I was not disappointed.
    The food was great. Nice portions and excellent wholesome taste.
    Pretty much everything on their menu is Fair trade and organic,
    Where else are you going to find that around here?

    But I do have to agree with “Megan” above me.
    The waitress did spend about 10 minutes talking to her friends at the counter before she came over to our table.
    But the friendless and great food make up for any minor shortcomings this place may have.

    Great unique food, laid back atmosphere and good prices.
    The perfect place to go to blend in and just take it easy.

    Would definitely recommend.

  42. Ashley · July 8, 2008

    The food is fantastic. However, the seating takes away from the tasty delights. It is hard to savor the flavour when your sitting in a booth and it’s frail construction makes every movement from the person behind you take away from your own experience. Great food, great people, terrible booths. My tip… try and get a table.

  43. Debora · July 8, 2008

    I have been there for lunch, amazing menu with variety and flavors, ideal to me as a vegetarian, but my partner non-vegetarian loved it as well.

    Service very good and attentive, I would recommend it to anyone who likes good healthy food!

  44. Dan · July 8, 2008

    What a treat AND a pleasant surprise to find The Sprout. I’m just in the city for a couple of days with a conference. The conference organizers have been great about trying to accommodate myself and the other two or three Veggies, but I’ve been craving REAL vegetarian fare (not just lasagna with the meat left out…). A quick visit to Happycow yielded The Sprout.

    Fantastic menu, I’m a sucker for pad thai and couldn’t pass it up, but I regret not having time to try almost everything else on the menu. If I was in town for a month I think I’d be back a dozen times. The Pad Thai was flavourful, and just the right consistency. I could not resist the Blueberry Apple Crisp for dessert which was also excellent (not overly sweetened).

    Loved the atmosphere of funky energy and great waitstaff who could answer questions and made me feel at home; they were efficient, unobtrusive, but available and that was with pretty much every table full.

    Noting some previous comments I’d have to say portions were if anything large and I’m not a small guy. Leaving the restaurant I was full and glad I had a long walk back to my accommodations.

    Overall The Sprout is reminiscent of some places I’ve eaten in Vancouver – and every bit as tasty. I might nit-pick them down to 4/5 stars for some minor issues, but the great atmosphere and the great job they are doing in a location that’s not exactly vegetarian friendly easily adds a star.

    Kudos for doing a great job in a location where ingredients must be a challenge for at least part of the year.

    If I’m ever back in St. John’s The Sprout will be a mandatory stop.

  45. wendy · July 8, 2008

    I love the Sprout. It has its problems, sure, but it just isn’t like any other restaurant in the city, heck, even in the country! I was there today, and although it is clear that the new people need a little more training, the food was great and the atmosphere wonderful. Also, has anyone else noticed how much the desserts at the Sprout rock?!! I had the raspberry fool, and I almost died, my friend had the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted- divine buttery goodness!

  46. klimax · July 8, 2008

    The sprout reminds me of the early organic restaurants that sprouted up 50 years ago. The decor, the waitstaff, the menu, everything wholesome this and organic that. All together it’s too self-conscious and self-righteous without enough focus on the food.

    The gluten-free items on the menu turned out to be not gluten free (they use soy sauce with wheat).

  47. Savitri · July 8, 2008

    I had a few things there, take out, that I really enjoyed. Their take on poutine, and their house salad was delicious. I then went in for lunch and had the open faced sandwich and I must say I was very disappointed. The bread was very strong tasting so much so that I couldn’t taste the pesto or even the cheese – and it did not look attractive at all. It also looked and tasted as though it had been toasted and ready for quite some time ago before it was served. Overall it was very bland but for the taste of the bread. Service was very slow and as nice as it is to say ‘relax and enjoy’, that’s just not possible when I’m on a one hour lunch break. The wait staff was decent, though I didn’t find them overly friendly or helpful.

    I’ll be sticking to take out from now on. It’s a shame, though. I was really hoping for a better experience.

  48. M · July 8, 2008

    That kind of defeats the purpose of being a vegetarian restaurant, yes?

  49. Melissa · July 8, 2008

    Donna,it’s a vegetarian restaurant…meat should never be served there…

    The food is AMAZiNG & reasonably priced!

    To fellow vegans,yes they also have vegan options…I was worried with the whole “idea” of vegetarian..thinking there had to be whey,or something which I consider un-veggie friendly in everything…but the atmosphere is great,& there are vegan options!

  50. Natrix · July 8, 2008

    Meat-eater approved. ‘Nuff said.

  51. Alyssa · July 8, 2008

    My boyfriend and I walked had gone to this restaurant for fabulous breakfasts before, but somehow had never made it in for supper. After much debate on where to eat one night, we walked into the Sprout. He’s not a vegetarian and really doesn’t like tofu so it was mainly because of me that we had actually entered in the first place.

    The waitress brought out a lovely appetizer of hummus and bread for us to eat while our food was being prepared. The hummus was so delicious and not store bought.

    After a little bit of a wait, our food arrived. He had ordered the pad thai and received a heaping bowl of it placed before him. I ordered the Papa Ghandi and, just like his, my bowl was over flowing! I had read a couple of reviews before we entered saying that the portion sizes were small, but we had half of our dishes left over to come home with us.

    The pad thai was delicious, and the papa ghandi was a real treat to eat. It was delightful upon my first fork full to discover raisins hidden in the mixture!

    We will definitely be going again, the atmosphere was relaxing and the service not too slow, but slow enough to keep the relaxed atmosphere.

  52. Peter Hanes · July 8, 2008

    Ate here for the first time a few days ago, have walked by many times and thought “I’ve got to try that out soon” but the crowds always kept me walking by, however I took the fact that it was constantly packed to be a good thing. A relative was in town visiting and we went there for lunch as we both wanted something light and healthy, we got there as it opened and we lucked into a table for two in the window which was great. I had the lentil burger with side salad and coffee and she had the blue moon salad. We were both very happy with our meals, I’m not a vegetarian but I like vegetarian dishes, the burger was fabulous and the salad was as well. My aunt said her salad was delicious and the dressing was great, she was tempted to ask what it was made with as she really enjoyed it but we both forgot to ask. Being a coffee hound I must say the coffee was superb, very nice and a bit strong which is how I like it. She commented that it was the only time she’d ever been served in a restaurant by someone in a truckers hat, but not in a snide way, she thought the laid back atmosphere was great and so did I, I could see how it wouldn’t be someones cup of tea but to each their own. I’ll definitely eat there again.

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  57. Josh · July 8, 2008

    i love meat, im not afraid to say it haha and to honest i was really weary about trying the sprout but onece i went there i couldn’t do anything but love this place. the place is just so cute and cozy and packed with local art ( big plus :) ) the staff are all friendly and beautiful and more then happy to talk and carry on with you. it really makes you feel like your at home. the foood!!!!! yummmmmmmm it is all so tasty and simple and well priced. to those saying you leave hungery i don’t get it. im a big guy and i can eat alot and yes it doesn’t stuff me but when i leave im full and happy, maybe try getting some desert haha and really some of the best desert i have eaten in this city haha. i eat there afew times a month and will never stop haha

  58. Nadine M · July 8, 2008

    I LOVE this place. Its one of my favorite places to eat. The food is always fresh and tastes amazing. I leave feeling pleasantly full, as opposed to the way you feel disgustingly full after a greasy meal. This food satisfies my soul and gives me energy for the rest of my day. The servers are polite and friendly, the prices are great. I often suggest this place to friends looking for a good place to eat and they always thank me :)

  59. Notafan · July 8, 2008

    I went there tonight (Friday night): the server could not answer simple questions.

    To begin, our table was given 2 brunch/lunch menus and 2 dinner menus at 8 pm.

    Then, I asked if she had buns other than multigrain for the burgers and she said no. Then my friend’s order of the chick pea burger came with a flat bread (ie a bun other than multigrain). The food was not to my liking at all, but this doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. However, I asked if they had any sauce to decrease the tangy flavor of the pad thai and she had nothing to suggest but yogurt, which clearly shows her lack of knowledge of product offerings and her efforts to satisfy customers was meager at best.

    Since I was still hungry, I order the chocolate cake. The cake was incredibly dry and was not very good at all. Again, the service was again sub par.

    To be fair, the other waitress who filled our water was very helpful. She answered questions knowledgeably and really helped the experience. The point is, the service was poor and while the food was not what I expected, nothing was done to ameliorate the situation.

    The bathrooms are also sub par and the poor attempt to cover damaged ceiling tiles with a large orange cloth do not to help the atmosphere.

    Sincerely,

    Disgruntled enough to write my first resto review.

  60. sarah · July 8, 2008

    the last time I dined at the sprout I ordered two things, one of which was not available. however I was not informed of this until after I received the other part of my meal. I then picked a substitute but never got it. what kind of service is this? I got tired of waiting and sitting on the other side of a bench being rocked by a adjacent table. boat ride? beyond this they don`t really offer anything interesting that I couldn`t prepare myself and there is not always a consistency in the ingredients used. not impressed with this restaurant. not at all. st.john`s veggie crew deserve better.

  61. Anonymous · July 8, 2008

    The Sprout serves a niche market and as far as I know they don’t really have any competition, so that means they can get away with little things like poor service, long wait times, foul washrooms, and mediocre food.

  62. Brittany · July 8, 2008

    I think most people agree that the sprout is to die for. I don’t understand how people leave hungry, I like the sprout because I always leave with left overs for my lunch the next day!
    I love the gluten free options! It’s almost impossible to find a place in town where those who cannot eat gluten can have a meal, let alone an affordable one (that isn’t salad).
    This place feels comfortable, the food is amazing and the servers are the friendliest in town. For those of you who don’t like it I’m sure you’ll find something more your taste at Don Cherries or Sals Pizza.

  63. Dayle · July 8, 2008

    I wholly disagree. The waiters are friendly and though they have a relaxed vibe (which is really quite nice to be honest), their service has improved considerably. I\’ve also noticed a big difference in wait times- last time I was there I thought the service was really quick, especially given the number of patrons. The washrooms are, like, airplane tiny, but considering their size and the age of the building- are very clean. The food is among the best in this city, and thank god there is someplace to go where vegans/vegetarians have more than two options on the menu. I love the Sprout! (my rating is for the resto, not the comment to which I replied…)

  64. amber · July 8, 2008

    White chocolate blueberry cheesecake!!!!!!
    TO die for! I ate it last week and I am still thinking about it!!!

  65. JayelleMo · July 8, 2008

    Delicious! Their spin on poutine (brown rice, roast potatoes, gravy, beets and carrots) is to die for. I loved every bite. Went away happy and satisfied.

  66. Rattyratskin · July 8, 2008

    I hadn’t been in St John’s for 12 years and was looking for some ‘traditional’ food downrown but The Sprout drew me in with its colourful and appealing exterior.

    The place was full when I got there and I was told I might have to wait 15-20 minutes but it turned out to be more like 10.

    I got immediate attention from the wait staff. They were out of the first beer that I wanted to order so instead I got the Quidi Vidi ‘1892’ which was excellent.

    I ordered the black bean and sweet potato burrito and was able to substitute another salad for the house with no charge. There was no undue wait for the food to arrive. The burrito was fairly simple but chock full o’ beans so it felt quite healthy. For dessert I had apple and cranberry pie which was delicious. Decaf coffee was available (had to be brewed a cup at a time but there was no problem with getting a refill).

    Summary: The staff were sweet and attentive. The food was tasty and inexpensive. The washrooms were small but clean.

  67. The Scope · July 8, 2008

    2011 Best of Food & Drink winner: Best Restaurant (Downtown St. John’s)
    2011 Best of Food & Drink winner: Best Restaurant For Cheap Eats
    2011 Best of Food & Drink winner: Best Value
    2011 Best of Food & Drink winner: Best Veggie Burger
    2011 Best of Food & Drink winner: Best Salad

  68. Maureen · July 8, 2008

    I ate at The Sprout only once and I don’t think i’ll go back. I’m big on first impressions at restaurants. Our waitress took forever to bring us our food, which may or may not have been her fault, I have no idea what was going on in the kitchen but I do know there were only 3 other people in the place besides our table. Our table was split on the place: myself and another found the food barely warm and tasteless, while the other two thought it was great. But we all agreed the service could have been much better. I can’t see myself ever going back there, unless they consider using some spices in their food.

  69. Josh · July 8, 2008

    had a long break from the sprout but went there today and it was amazing!!! everything always tastes so light and fresh and yummy! the dessert’s and sweets are amazing. the staff are friendly, down to earth, and real. not enough good things i can say about this place. i have yet to have better meal for the price anywhere.

  70. Niki · July 8, 2008

    I REALLY want to like this place!!! My husband and I have been several times hoping that the food would get better, it hasn’t. We have never eaten such bland food in a Veg. Restaurant before. Once we ordered the soup of the day which was nothing more than a bunch of veggies floating in water. Completely flavorless, we both left the soup after 2 mouthfuls. I agree with an earlier review, the Sprout is a lot like the early organic restaurants 50 yrs. ago, more attention needs to be placed on the food. Sadly we will never go back to The Sprout.

  71. Niki · July 8, 2008

    I used to LOVE it here. But the service is not as good as it used to be. And WHY OH WHY did you change the PAD THAI! It was so nutty and perfectly seasoned before. Now it is so tangy and sour I almost couldn’t eat it. I don’t understand? 4 of my friends agree….the Pad Thai is different. Whatever you did, PLEASE change it back???????

    Seriously….begging here.

  72. K · July 8, 2008

    I called to put in a takeout order only to have a voicemail inform me they don’t receive takeout orders over the phone? That’s a first! Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of takeout service?

  73. Sarah · July 8, 2008

    People keep jumping down the throat of everybody who complains about The Sprout.
    Guys. Its a mediocre vegetarian restaurant, not the holy grail of food.
    The portions are small. With the breakfasts you get about 7 fries. For $10 they should hook me up a little more potato. I shouldn’t have to buy a second breakfast to not leave hungry.
    The waitstaff are picked for their looks and not their ability to serve. There has always been something forgotten from my order. It took ten minutes for them to let me know if their margarine was vegan.
    The quality of food has gone down. It doesn’t taste as good, the portions are smaller, and it doesn’t look as good.
    People are going to rabidly defend the place because they think its cool and different. That going to a vegetarian resto makes them better people.
    But hey guys. lets face it. In the world of vege restos this place isn’t really all that good.

  74. Charis Cotter · July 8, 2008

    Excellent food, but antagonistic, puzzling, and very slow service. Half an hour is too long to wait for lukewarm soup minus the rolls that were promised on the menu, served up with dirty looks and ruffled feathers because we asked (politely) where the food was and said we were starving. Vegetarian and delicious food does not let you get away with bad service. Being nice to the customer, apologizing when things are slow: these are basic requirements for a restaurant. Do they need more staff? Or should we just go elsewhere when we’re hungry?

  75. lassoprecise · July 8, 2008

    This is my favourite restaurant in St. John’s.

  76. Jash · July 8, 2008

    ill never understand the hate this place gets. i have yet to be treated badly there and i am always served with a smile and friendly small talk. i was there today for lunch and the place filled up in 3 minutes, and the the staff was still happy and attentive. i left full and happy :) ps. double chocolate cake freaking awesome!

  77. Anonymous · July 8, 2008

    A lot of the “hate” is probably in response to the way hipsters and granola types glorify this place simply because it’s vegetarian. And of course the Scope, I swear the owners of the Sprout must be paying you guys for advertising. Why even bother having a Food and Drink article with so many categories? Just do an annual cover story about why the Sprout is great and be done with it. Honestly, it isn’t a terrible restaurant, but it isn’t great either, and certainly isn’t the best restaurant in the city in any category (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course).

  78. anon · July 8, 2008

    Actually, they don’t take takeout orders that are left on the voicemail. Of course they take takeout orders on the phone during business hours.

  79. Robert · July 8, 2008

    Terrible restaurant? I don’t think so. It’s on par with a lot of great vegetarian restaurants across Canada. In some way it’s better than Fresh in Toronto or Naam in Vancouver.
    People there work their asses off every day – cooks make everything from scratch in a tiny kitchen, and the wait staff have to deal with ungrateful douchenozzle customers like you. And the owners are amazing – they birth babies and hold down the fort year after year with purpose and composure.
    The Sprout may not have Jamie Oliver doing the menu up – but at least they care enough to provide a healthy and nutritious and family friendly option to St. John’s.
    The only thing The Scope needs to fix is the amount of anonymous trolls (like yourself) that come on here and leave purposely leave mean spirited reviews.

  80. cawfy · July 8, 2008

    such good artichokes

  81. Thurgood · July 8, 2008

    Great food and service both times I have been there, the booths need to go though, or need to be better nailed down, really annoying having the person behind you rocking the boat while you are trying to eat. The black bean burrito is delicious.

  82. Food Diva · July 8, 2008

    When the Sprout first arrived on the scene I was ecstatic – finally a veggie restaurant in town, and I’m not even a vegetarian! It had a dynamic menu, really good tasting food and a lovely crunchy-granola feel. But then something happened, the food began to not taste as good, the servers were less than enthusiastic, and the place began to look tired. This week I went to the Sprout for the last time. After several less than mediocre meals I lived in hope and made another visit. But 3 strikes and your out! There was hardly anyone there and the service was just ok – Strike 1, the place was freezing, Strike 2, and none of us in my party enjoyed our meals – Strike 3. The Sprout is now off my dining out list and I am very sad…

  83. moonwalk · July 8, 2008

    awesome food. awesome atmosphere. the artwork on the walls is really bad. just kidding, it’s a treat. the home made bread with hummus sooooooo good. everyone should go there and order lots of food because they suck. i mean because it’s one of the greatest spots in st. john’s. i’m not myself sometimes.

  84. moonwalk · July 8, 2008

    haha, you think of yourself as a “food diva”. i find that amusing and slightly annoying. but mostly just funny. strike 1: being an amateur critic of anything is a waste of time and energy. strike 2: i know i’m doing it myself right now but i’m bored and i don’t care and i like the sprout. strike 3: you should have bought a sweater if you get cold sometimes. plus it’s not the sprouts fault if your tastebuds suck.

  85. definitely maybe · July 8, 2008

    I’ve noticed that their pad thai is far spicier than it used to be. Too spicy. Way too spicy.

  86. Jenny Bee · July 8, 2008

    I find it interesting that a restaurant that is trying to portray itself as healthy for people and the environment is serving me plastic milk cups with my tea. When I first started eating here a couple years ago, I was getting fresh milk in a stainless steel cup. What happened?

    The food is good, although I do agree with other reviewers in that the meals are not filling. I am not looking for massive, Westernized portions, but the amount of food I am getting for the price does not always seem justifiable.

    Also, when has the menu last changed? The Bravocado dish is delicious, but after two years, it gets somewhat tiresome. Please update the menu!

    The staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Service is inconsistently good.

  87. anon · July 8, 2008

    Twenty dollars for
    Three bucks of grain and lentils
    What would Gandhi do?

  88. RooRoo · July 8, 2008

    There’s nothing on the Sprout menu that’s even close to $20, dumb dumb.

    Maybe for two people, and I can’t think of very many other places where two could get away for less than that, let alone places that actually make their own food.

  89. missy · July 8, 2008

    my friend and i recently had lunch here. the server was very nice, the food was served promptly, and was delicious. we ordered an appetizer to share, a main each and shared a dessert. we were pleasantly full and happy with the entire experience. i no longer live in NL, but i make a point of visiting the sprout each time i am in town. i am never disappointed :) thanks guys !

  90. Pat · July 8, 2008

    We tried to eat at the Sprout last evening. I say tried because after 50 minutes our food still had not arrived. We were seated just after the evening rush at 8 so it wasn’t busy. The waitress came over and took our order, quite blank affect with her, but she brought our drinks. Saw her running around and busy, serving and drying dishes, but she never came back to our table. Quite poor that she lost track of her table. The male waiter came over after 20 minutes and told us that they were out of the tofu for our food and were we ok with a substitute? We said yes and thought that our food would arrive soon. It didn’t. How long does it take to put in an order and for the cook to communicate to the wait staff that they don’t have all of the ingredients? So we waited patiently. Finally, because we had something booked and had to go, we went to the cash and told them we were leaving. The male waiter asked us to stay as our food would be out in two minutes. I said, “Really?” He said, “Well maybe 5 minutes.” We paid for our drinks and left. A good restaurant would have comped the two drinks for the inconvenience. As for the decor, it’s trendy but grungy. A lot of the surfaces can’t really be kept clean as they should be in a restaurant such as the paving stones on the floor and the curtains over the shelves that hold the dishes. Gordon Ramsey would have a field day with this place on Kitchen Nightmares. A good restaurant should be a consistent experience for all that choose to eat there. This was my nightmare.

  91. Stumper · July 8, 2008

    This is not a comment about the Sprout per se, but a reply to the previous comment which talked about a frustratingly long wait.

    Restaurants: if customers are waiting 40 or 45 minutes for their mains, they’re getting hungry and impatient, and they are rapidly losing that warm and fuzzy feeling for your establishment. Come out with complimentary snacks or drinks, regardless of whether they’ve already had an appetizer. I’ve walked out of places as well if I’m waiting an hour for my entree, and I’ve been just on the verge of doing so within the past few weeks at Gracie Joes and Magnum and Steins. In both cases, we’ll probably never be back. A free drink of a few nibblies at the 45 minute mark might help keep our good will as customers.

  92. Bee · July 8, 2008

    Long wait for average food. The waitress was so mean I cried after I left. No joke. I felt humiliated.

  93. Ima · July 8, 2008

    The issue I have with the Sprout is the inconsistency. I’ve eaten there at least 20 times and the food quality ranges from quite tasty to terrible. The desserts on the other are usually quite nice. The service can be great or horrendous. This all depends on the server you get (some are excellent). This isn’t a restaurant I would rave about but it’s fine for a place with many vegan options. Some of the dishes are way too salty though. The last time I had the “Stir-it-up” bowl it tasted as if they poured a gallon of tamari on it. The menu never seems to change either and they close too early.

  94. freddychef · July 8, 2008

    ooooh so slow,,,,tried here twice but really two tables ahead of us, one with food, and 35 minutes later for two sandwiches….and the looks,,don’t ask a question, the rolled eyes and furrowed brush off makes me laugh…funny as it often touts itself as being one of the first veggie places in town but I beg to differ…use to be one down by prescott and duckworth late 70s early 80s and then there was stellas….

  95. B · July 8, 2008

    What happened to this place? I used to eat here all the time, I thought it was the best in town! The last number of times I have gone I have had less desire to come back. The prices have gone up and quality of food, service and overall experince has gone down significantly.

    The last time I went here I decided to not return after I noticed lip stains on the glass I was served. At first I considered it might be my own, but with a secind glance I noticed it was a colored lipgloss. How could the dishwasher miss this? How could the server who poured the drink miss it as well? I noticed the forks and knoves were also cloudy as well. I felt very uncomfortable eating my meal (and the meal wasn’t all that great, I had the fresh inspiration, it used to be the best dish on the menu, this time it was dry and just not all that great).

    Sorry sprout, you’re getting quite shitty.

  96. op · July 8, 2008

    The food is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s really great, other times it’s flavorless or leaves me hungry. I have been here quite a few times until recently and haven’t had the same server so I can’t really comment on that but it was also hit or miss. I would recommend it and if it wasn’t great then give it another chance.

  97. Oz · July 8, 2008

    I’ve never had a bad meal here. The staff are great and friendly, the Pad Thai takeout was a 20oz ziploc container stogged full, at least a full pound of food.

    The only thing I didn’t like was that they removed the Spicy Samurai salad from their menu, it was by far my favorite dish there. But when I mentioned that to the waitstaff they brought out their recipe book and gave me a copy of the recipe for the dressing. It was a large volume recipe intended to make liters, but it scaled down very nicely. I keep a jar of it in my fridge for home salads.

    My friends refuse to try it because there’s no meat but I say it’s their loss.

    It’s a great place for after bar-time too. A good addition to the pizza/street meat/fries/subway that is pretty much all you can get on George.

  98. slimming botanical · July 8, 2008

    The Scope » The Sprout Restaurant

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