Earlier this week I took a look inside the new location of Tractor Foods. The new 50 seat restaurant (with another 25 seats outside) is located in the former Mucho Burrito address at 601 West Broadway and is set to launch this Monday, February 26th. This will be the fifth location for the Vancouver company, which has succeeded with a focus on “Everyday Healthy Foods”. Construction on a sixth location in downtown Toronto begins next month.
Owners Meghan and Steve Clarke were on site during my walk-through, as was their award-winning consulting chef, Brian Skinner (formerly of The Acorn). They were definitely busy and in “finishing touches” mode, so it was a quick in and out for me. I just wanted to sneak a peek because I saw the branding go up on the patio awnings a few weeks ago and had been told they were getting close.
The 2,100 sqft space is scalene in shape with the longest side of the triangle being the frontage, complete with wide sweep of patio. The interior design follows the same crisp, clean-lined look of the other locations with some eye-catching light fixtures brightening the very Vancouver, grey-dominant colour palette and mix of high and low seating.
Of all the counter-service operations in the city, Tractor Foods has grown to become one of my favourites. I think they’ve really grown to nail the balance between comfort and efficiency that they were originally aiming for, and I like that they’re getting serious about coffee (a seasoned barista from 49th Parallel Coffee was training staff on my visit). It doesn’t hurt that they’re licensed, too. Bottom line: They’ve improved every street that they’ve opened on.
As far as the food goes, Megan and Steve told me that this address would introduce a few new dishes, especially on the hot side, and I’m looking forward to trying these next week (short ribs, grilled veggies, quinoa pilaf, etc.). The kitchen has some new toys to play with, so when they launch on Monday (open from 7am to 9:30pm, seven days a week) make sure you give the expanded menu a good going over.