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Metro explores the latest trends emerging on the West Coast of Canada.

Gastown lunch joint Smallflower Cafe launches tempting new menu

Food Bites: An updated menu includes new gluten-free sourdough bread, three sandwiches and mac and cheese

The roasted eggplant sandwich is a hit at the Smallflower Café in Gastown.

Erin Ireland/Metro

The roasted eggplant sandwich is a hit at the Smallflower Café in Gastown.

There are few lunch spots downtown that do it all. That is, make their own bread, all the fixings and even the cheese. Gastown’s Smallflower Cafe, a bright, high-ceilinged lunch spot, gluten-free bake shop and mini market, hand-makes all of the above, not only for their own operation, but for its sister diner, The Wallflower, as well.

Owner and jill-of-all-trades Lisa Skelton has seemingly endless energy to dedicate to her omnivore and vegan-friendly eateries.

Most recently, with the help head baker Natalie Swatez, she’s focused her time on the creation of an updated menu at Smallflower. Changes will include new gluten-free sourdough bread, three sandwiches, mac and cheese and more.

Of the new items I sampled, the roasted eggplant sandwich took first prize. Considering the generous amount of homemade cashew cheese piled onto the creation’s toasted sandwich bun, it could easily be renamed, ‘cheese sandwich with eggplant’. Biting into this beast, which also contains peppery arugula, is a comforting experience and I was left so completely satisfied. Brightened with a bit of citrus, Lisa’s cashew cheese is beautifully simple, containing not a single ingredient you can’t pronounce.

Same story with her house-made vegan sausage, an extra you must add on to Smallflower’s breakfast sandwich. This particular item is also new and can be made with cage-free eggs or a buttery polenta scramble (a dead-ringer for scrambled eggs).

An avocado BLT sandwich, chewy-tough mini baguettes and a paprika-scented mac and cheese are other newbies to try at Smallflower cafe, which is open every day of the week but Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.