Vegan food is finally shedding its ‘bad’ reputation. Too many believe that the vegan, plant based diet is bland, dry and above all, boring. But there are restaurants that have taken vegan food to another level. Classic dishes are made vegan and downright delicious. We’re lucky to have a few places opening up throughout Burlington that are changing the game. One really special one opened up in May.
Boon Burger is Canada’s first vegan burger café and it will blow you away. What began in Winnipeg in 2010, has made its way into Ontario and shows no sign of slowing down. You may recognize their name because they were featured on an episode of Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here!
A Big Undertaking
“I think that for me when I discovered [Boon], [it] was a way of actually making healthy food without sacrificing taste, or flavour,” says Karen Moorse. She brought Boon to Burlington.
Moorse was living north of Toronto when she first discovered Boon. She was at the Barrie location the day they opened. “I walked in, and I just instantly fell in love with it,” she says. Moorse was working at Microsoft at the time; she traded in a successful 20-year career in the IT industry for Boon. “Things just lined up in my life,” she says. Having been a ‘relaxed vegetarian’ earlier in her life, the choice to go vegan encouraged her to embrace cooking. “I ate a lot of processed food,” she says. “I didn’t spend a lot of time cooking.” Now she says that she and her staff cook all the time.
The more she believed in Boon, the more she started talking about bringing a franchise here.
Vegan food is undoubtedly fresh. It’s a plant based diet after all. But Boon kicks it up a notch. With two locations in Ontario and a third on the way, a local production kitchen has been cranking out four delicious varieties of patties. They’ve perfected their bun recipe and outsourced it to a local bakery so they can focus on making everything else in house. From sauces to sauerkraut, you name it, they make it.
I’ve never had a vegan burger. I actually never thought you could make one. But when I sank my teeth into their Backyard Barbeque Burger, I was slapped with flavour. House made mayo and barbeque sauce combines to create a smoky, tangy flavour tying the dish together. The sauerkraut and relish bring a sweet crunch. Now the patty; the Boon Patty is a bean and mushroom based patty. It’s meaty and tender, and just soaks up all of the flavour. They’re definitely ‘five-napkin’ burgers, which is probably why there’s a roll of paper towel at every table!
There are no microwaves or fryers at boon. So when I heard they served poutine, I had to try some. Their fries are baked which gives them that perfect fluffy inside and crisp outside. They smother them in gravy that has that faint aroma and rich taste of thanksgiving, and top it with a delicious cheese.
You’d never know you were eating vegan.
“We get people walking in not knowing it’s a vegan burger joint,” says Moorse. “We can talk some into staying. Our staff is well educated, so we know what burgers are good to start with.” They’ve got a great crew at Boon. The staff looks like they’re having fun. They love the food they make and it shows.
“I have no idea how this happened, we all just gelled,” says Moorse. “Anytime we get stressed, we look at the restaurant and say, ‘look how many people are eating vegan today!’.”
You need to try Boon. Seriously, get down there!
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