Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Review of Boon Burger Cafe

Mmmm, Boon Burger Cafe. Last month a friend and I went to Boon Burger Cafe a few weeks after a really great meal at the amazing Unburger in Osborne Village, and now I'm so excited to tell you about it.

Boon Burger Cafe is an all vegan restaurant. Everything from the burgers to the hotdogs, and even including the coconut milk soft-serve ice cream, is completely animal free with no eggs, milk, or meat. My friend an I each ordered two different burgers from the menu and we both loved our choices.

This wasn't my first time eating in an all vegan restaurant.  Mondragon, just down the street from my campus, also has an entirely vegan menu, and I encourage you to visit them because their sandwiches are amazing.

But back to Boon Burger Cafe. The service was nice and was more of a 'fast food' style where you go up to a counter to place your order and then they bring out your food when it's done (it was the same at Unburger and Mondragon). I don't have much to complain about. I do wish there was more seating in the restaurant. There were probably enough seats for about 15 people, so a lot of folks who came in and took their order were left standing in the front doorway.

But that's enough about the restaurant, let's get to the food!

Here is my burger, the Boon Burger itself. It has a grilled mushroom-rice patty with mayo, dijon mustard, red pepper peach chutney, red onion, sliced cucumber, tomato and lettuce. It costs $7.75, but if you're like me, you just have to get the bacun* for an extra $1.25.

And here is the Salsa Burger my friend ordered. It had a grilled black bean patty topped with crispy corn chips, mayo (my friend replaced it with boon sauce), tomato, lettuce, salsa, avocado, and a slice or daiya cheddar*, and it was $8.25.

And here is the coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Delicious. I'm a huge fan of chocolate and coconut, so I really enjoyed the flavour, and the consistency was just like regular soft-serve ice cream.

I thought the food was really good and definitely worth the price. I think the next time I go I'll follow in my friend's footsteps and will substitute my mayo for boon sauce because I really enjoyed it. I do recommend ordering fries with your meal. The burgers weren't quite as big as the one's at Unbuger where the burgers are a meal on their own.

If you'd like to try Boon Burger Cafe, it's located at 79 Sherbrook st.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

A Review of Unburger

After hearing about Unburger and Boon Burger and their amazing vegetarian burger options, I decided it was finally time to try them out.

Since becoming a vegetarian I've avoided embarking into the world of veggie burgers and veggies dogs, wary of the additives and artificial flavours to make the patties and dogs taste and have the same textures of their meaty counterparts. However, many people assured me that the food served at these two specialty burger restaurants was nothing like the pre-made patties from a box.

So last week I called up my boyfriend and told him we were going on an adventure. A delicious and filling adventure.
The first thing people need to know before going to Unburger is that there are a lot of options and variations to choose from.

First there are the buns. Regular, multigrain, and lettuce (which results in a messier sandwich, but is awesome if you're avoiding carbs).

Then there are the patties. Regular beef and chicken make up the majority of the menu items, but for vegetarians there are two options. The Bella Burger which comes with a grilled portabella mushroom as the patty, and the Great Falafel, which comes with a falafel style patty.

Lastly there are the toppings that cost from $1-$1.75 each and they include things like avocado, various cheeses, bacon, and even pineapple.

For a complete list of everything that is on the menu, click here.

Above you can see I ordered the Bella Burger on a multigrain bun with avocados as an extra topping. It was delicious and full of flavours from the sharp blue cheese and the balsamic onions and herbed mayo.  The variety of textures also helped to make the burger more complex with the creamy avocado, the crispy bun, and the "meaty" mushroom patty.

Biggest thing to note about this burger. Impossible to fit it all in your mouth.

This is the Great Falafel on a regular bun with an added fried egg on top. It seemed like more of a classic burger with the regular bun and the lettuce and tomato, but what really made it special was the falafel patty. So crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. After trying it I understood why my boyfriend didn't want to share. : )

And this is the "Shareables"plate with both regular fries and sweet potato fries and two of Unburger's original dips. The orange one was a sweet chilli dip and the other was a roasted garlic dip. The whole plate was delicious, but I feel like the burgers are so filling, you don't really need to order them.

Unburger is located just off of Osborne street at 472 Stradbrook. Be careful you don't get it confused with Boon Burger on Sherbrook. I did.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mac and Cheese for 2

Mmmm, who doesn't love creamy, delicious, cheesy home-made macaroni and cheese?

Oooo, who hates the hassle of grating, boiling, whisking, and cleaning three pots and a casserole dish?

I would have to answer "yes" to both of those questions. I love home-made mac and cheese. I love it so much, I'll never open up a box of KD again. But I really don't love having to carefully whisk together a béchamel sauce, grate the cheese, boil the pasta until it's cooked (but not fully cooked!), and then bake the whole thing, thus dirtying multiple dishes and leaving me with no time to do my home work.

But you know what? I can live with all that, because let's face it, mac and cheese is something special. A labour of love. Something worth putting in the time to create from scratch.

What I can't live with are the calories. Now I know some folks out there are thinking "who cares about calories? This is mac and cheese we're talkin' about!", but the truth is, the guilt I feel from eating a whole bowl of the real-deal mac and cheese full of mozzarella, cheddar, butter, and whole milk with little room to spare for any leafy greens, ultimately ruins the blissful experience of eating the noodles and completely wastes all the time I put into making the dish.

But now I've found a way around that guilt. Behold, Mac and Cheese for 2, a simple but delicious recipe adapted from the one I saw on Chow's website, that results in two moderate sized portions.

Mac and Cheese for 2

The béchamel sauce
-1 cup milk (whole or 2% is best, but others can be used)
-2 tbsp salted butter
-1/8 cup flour
-1 tsp salt

Other ingredients
-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
-3/4 cup shredded aged cheddar
-1 cup macaroni pasta


Warm the milk in a small pot over low heat. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot. Add the flour, and then whisk constantly until the white mixture turns a light brown colour. Then add the milk to the flour and butter mixture and whisk constantly. Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir in the salt and set aside.

Boil the pasta in water until they are cooked, but still quite chewy. They will continue to cook when they have been added to the sauce and are put into the oven. Drain the pasta and add it to béchamel sauce on medium heat. Add the shredded cheeses, and when the cheeses have melted, pour the mac and cheese into a small casserole dish, top with a little more shredded cheese if you like, and bake for ten minutes.

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