{Meals to go? Takeout from The Main Dish in Bridgeland}

So I was driving through the Bridgeland area and stopped by The Main Dish, a fresh-meals-to-go cafe that they call “the real meal alternative”.  This place is targeted to those fast-paced yet health conscious people who are under time-crunches when it comes to meal prep. They have a variety of different options including:

  • building your own meal by picking main and side dish elements or appies from an antipasti bar
  • having one of their chefs prepare take-home hot cuisine
  • a selection of marinated meats to take home and grill and fresh pastas and ravioli ready to cook
  • freshly made sandwiches, hearty soups, salads, breads and desserts
  • grocery items including vinaigrettes and other gourmet pantry items
  • a cafe that lets you sit in which breakfast, lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch
  • the option of catering – great for office lunches or parties

I wanted to try out some of the “healthy essentials” items from the cold bar, so I went with the following:

The asian marinated tofu – thick cut blocks of firm tofu in a soy sesame sauce, coated in white sesame seeds, chili flakes and fresh herbs. This looked fantastic stacked on a pedestal in a pyramid shape in the glass case, however this was VERY salty. I found it difficult to eat on it’s own but I didn’t want to waste it so I put it in a whole wheat tortilla wrap with some date sesame dip (a recipe from the Coup cookbook) to mellow out the flavours.

Date sesame dip (inspired by The Coup cookbook):

  • 1/2 cup of cooked yams (I usually cook up a batch and put them cut up in chunks in the freezer for use in recipes like this or for soups, purees)
  • 1 tbsp of date paste (I just puree some pitted medjool dates and put them in the food processor with a bit of water)
  • a couple tsp of sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sprinkling of black sesame seeds (can use white too – i just like the color contrast)

Mix this all together with a wooden spoon and use it as a dip with pita or crisps kind of like you would a hummus, or spread into a sandwich. I sometimes add a dollop of this to my salads too.

Next was the candied salmon cake ($5 each). Yes, I know, quite expensive for a 4 inch patty. But it looked to delicious to not try. The flavours were fantastic, the combination of the slight sweetness from the brown sugar and the salmon is a great combo with an added freshness from the herbs and some lemon. I crumbled this over a mixed green salad with a light homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette (one of my favourite vinaigrettes).

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette ala chocolate and ginger (makes one small jar to last me a week at work with lunch salads)

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (sometimes I use a hickory smoked one – experiment!)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (none of that fake stuff please)
  • 1 minced clove of garlic clove
  • 1/2 tbsp minced shallot
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of italian seasoning (rosemary, oregano, basil)
  • 1/2 cup of water (optional – I find it a bit strong)

I do this the Jamie Oliver way and put it into one of my old jam jars and shake it all up together. No mess and I just put this container right into my lunch bag to take to work. Just make sure to shake it up before pouring onto your salad.

I change up my vinaigrettes every week to keep me interested. I love making my own and NEVER buy store bought anymore. This way you know exactly what’s in it, that it’s fresh and it saves money.

Lastly was a small container of thumbalina carrots. Just look how cute these are. Marinated in a citrusy vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Simple, sweet and crunchy. I liked that the marinade worked to highlight the flavours of the carrots rather than overpower them and not greasy which is awesome cause I find a lot of deli salads and veggies are usually soaked in a pool of oil.

Overall, this place ranks high on convenience and there is definitely a lot to choose from. One thing that will probably keep me from coming again is the price. For these three items that just serves one came to about $18! I could order a pretty decent entrée at a nice restaurant for this price. Not to mention I have to still had to add my own ingredients from home to make this a complete meal. Usually money is not a big issue when I go out to eat, but I want to pay for something I can’t make at home and all of the above dishes are pretty simple, so for me personally I don’t think I’m getting the bang for my buck I’d like to.

For those who are looking for takeout that is healthy, this is the place to go, as long as you’re ready to spend a little extra on your meal.

The Main Dish903 General Avenue NE  – Open 7 Days a week
Monday to Friday – 7:00am to 10:00pm
Saturday – 8:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday – 9:00am to 9:00pm

The Main Dish on Urbanspoon

7 Responses to “{Meals to go? Takeout from The Main Dish in Bridgeland}”
  1. Carissa says:


    My name is Carissa and I am the Marketing, Promtions, and Events leader at The Main Dish.

    I wanted to thank you for your review and invite you to our Executive Chef, Ryan Bourquin’s Fall Hot Dinner Menu tasting on Tuesday October 19 at 4pm. I couldn’t find your email on here and so thought I would invite you this way!

    If you would like to attend please RSVP to carissa@tmdish.com by October 12, we would love to have you join us!


    Carissa Lazette

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