Vancouver’s New Keto Bistro

Organic farm-fresh eats in the heart of the city

Pasture to Plate (P2P) Grill, Broths, Deli & Butcher Shop has recently transformed its menu into one that is completely keto-friendly, but not for the fad-diet reasons you may think. Barbara Schellenberg, P2P Vancouver’s general manager, explained that the new menu is a return to p2p’s roots and hopes it will better serve its existing customers.

The keto diet has recently gained widespread popularity because of its weight-loss benefits. It requires cutting all easily digestible carbs, like sugar, white bread, sodas and even fruits and vegetables, and consuming predominantly fats and some protein. Not an easy diet regime to stick to, especially when eating out. However, Vancouver’s keto-diet participants and health conscious eaters can now add Pasture to Plate’s English Bay Bistro to their list of must-try’s.

Pasture to Plate is the passion project of owners Felix and Jasmin Schellenberg (Barbara’s parents), Swiss immigrants who have been ranching in the Chilcotin for more than 40 years. In the past two decades, their Rafter 25 Ranch has expanded to become a vertically integrated producer, processor and supplier of high-quality meats, including organic grass-finished beef, lamb and mutton, and organic pork, chicken and turkey. (Click here to tour the ranch.)

I enjoyed a big bowl of P2P’s Keto Pork Ramen at their country-style English Bistro. Erin Jackson Photo

This kind of attention and care for creating good food, from the bottom up, comes at a cost—one that p2p’s health conscious consumers are willing to pay in exchange for its grass-fed and nutrient rich meats that are 100 percent made-in-BC, and all by P2P. That’s not something that is easily found in most chain grocery stores, nor on the menu at your favourite lunch spot in the heart of the city.

P2p opened its restaurant for that reason: to give customers a place in the city where they can enjoy a nourishing meal, either sit down, or grab and go, and take comfort in knowing exactly where the ingredients came from. After opening in 2017, Schellenberg soon realized that customers buying P2P’s meats at the bistro’s butcher counter, or at the Commercial Drive Whole Animal Butcher Shop, were not the customers eating in their restaurant. She hopes the new menu will cater to their existing clients and “bridge that gap.”

Keto Kinikinik burger sandwiched in egg waffles. P2P Photo (Instagram @pasturetoplate)

The previous menu was centred on P2P’s high-quality meats, with made-from-scratch choices like the impressive Kinikinik burger or a juicy bratwurst wrapped in fresh buns, but Schellenberg says, “So many people come in asking to skip the bun.” That sparked the idea to move towards a keto-friendly menu, along with a desire to better reflect the company’s values.

“Our menu here did not align with how we eat and how we think people should eat,” said Schellenberg, who recently took it one step further employing the all-meat “carnivore” diet in her personal life. At the restaurant, the meat-centric dishes will still include a variety of other fresh, organic and locally grown ingredients and ring in anywhere between $10 and $18.

Take the new lettuce wraps for example, offered in your choice of salsa verde (jalapeno, pork, cheese, cilantro), turkey-feta-black olive or lamb sausage filling, and topped with organic cucumber, marinated onions and sour cream. Or, take P2P’s popular Kinikinik burger, add bacon and keto cheese and run it through the garden, and you get the new Kinikinik served with lettuce, tomato, onion, live organic sauerkraut, mayo and mustard, all sandwiched between two egg wraps. That’s a mouthful.

P2P’s salsa verde lettuce wraps with sausage filling. P2P Photo (Instagram @pasturetoplate)

The only item P2P is keeping as-is on the menu is the Keto Pork Ramen, a blend of chashu pork belly, shirataki noodles, local, wild black trumpet mushrooms and sesame. And if you think that sounds tasty, wait until you try it. With only 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving in the Shirataki (or Japanese yam) noodles, it made the cut for keto-friendly.

At first glance, ramen may seem like an odd dish to be served by BC ranchers with Swiss roots, but Schellenberg says that it’s a unique and low-waste way of preparing BC-raised meat, using all the pork ingredients.

You will find chef Takashi Koriyama behind the bistro’s counter. He and Schellenberg previously worked alongside each other at one of Vancouver’s first shared kitchen endeavours. Schellenberg ran her North Vancouver kombucha shop, Ethical Kitchen, and Koriyama worked at Van Soba, a hole-in-the-wall-style noodle counter located in Tama Organic Life grocery store, where he specialized in homemade, organic buckwheat noodles. “I had my menu running and he actually had his menu running at the same time, he just rented part of my kitchen and we shared the restaurant,” said Schellenberg, “it was really cool.”

Next time you’re strolling down Denman towards scenic English Bay, stop in and grab a bowl of Koriyama’s ramen or other healthy eats at keto-friendly P2P.

P2P Grill, Broths, Deli & Butcher Shop’s new keto menu. P2P Photo (Instagram: pasturetoplate)

Hours: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday and Tuesday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

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