My partner and I went to the Cornerstone cafe/restaurant today for brunch. It is located right downtown at 1 Wyndham St. (at Carden), in Guelph, Ontario. Their phone number, if you wish to call ahead, is: 519-827-0145. They are listed, with a brief blurb, on Veg.ca by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, and on Cafespot.net.
We have been there a few times, since moving to Guelph, and are always impressed not only by the atmosphere, but also by how busy they are at just about any time of day, especially on weekends. It is not uncommon to get there and have to wait for a table for some time, settle for takeout, or return a little while later to get a table. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed, with exposed stone and rugged beams and window frames. Despite the large windows, it still retains that warm, slightly dimmed lighting effect. At night it is even more cozy.
I've only been there once when live music was playing, another nice feature of the place that makes it even more difficult to find a table. My impression is that they mainly feature small, local talent. There really isn't much space to set up a band.
Back to the food! It is all vegetarian/vegan. Their menu is well balanced between vegetarian and vegan selections. I find no difficulty in getting a nice meal, be it for brunch, lunch or dinner, that is entirely vegan. Desserts are another matter, however. I think they have one vegan item on their dessert menu, and only sometimes.
Their prices are quite reasonable, even for people on a budget, like my partner and myself. Their vegan items range from scrambled tofu, to tofu omelettes and 'quesadillas', vegan chilli and soups to a delicious club sandwich.
Today we both had the vegan quesadillas. Perhaps 'quesadilla' should be in quotation marks because it is, of course, derived from the Spanish word queso, cheese, and this version doesn't even have non-dairy cheese. Instead it features--from our observation only--crumbled firm tofu, sauteed with a little onion, red and green bell peppers, a touch of finely diced tomato and mushrooms (it looked and tasted like portabello), and a little soy sauce. This mixture was served on a grilled, whole wheat tortilla, folded and cut into quarters, with a dollop of mild salsa (I am more for hot salsas, but it was otherwise good) and a salad of organic field greens with a light dressing.
Although the quesadilla was a little too crisp (almost burned at the edges, a complaint, by the way, we also have about some of Fressen's vegan items), it was delicious and quite satsfying. My partner had an earl grey tea on the side (tea bag, unfortunately, not loose leaf) and I had an organic, dark-roast coffee. We both asked for, and received, a little container of soy milk on the side.
We will both go back to try their other vegan options, and we heartily recommend it to you, whether a resident of Guelph, or just passing through. Just one more note: waiting times for food can also be a little long, so come when you are not in a hurry.