Location: 399 Elizabeth St, Burlington, ON L7R 0A4
What We Ordered:
- Beach Party (sub: black bean patty)*
- Bacun Cheeze Burger
- Jamacian Me Crazy
- Nacho Average Nachos
- Pulled Jackfruit Poutine*
Boon Burger Café is the first (maybe only) all-vegan burger joint in Canada. My sister is a vegetarian who is almost vegan, so it was a rare treat to go to a restaurant where she could order absolutely anything on the menu. I’m a borderline vegetarian myself (I know that’s weird coming from a burger blogger), so I was very excited to come here. The refreshing thing about this place is they aren’t looking to mimic beef, but they are looking to create the perfect burger experience. And they NAILED IT!! This burger forced me to think about what truly makes an excellent burger. For me, the perfect burger combines all the flavour profiles in perfect harmony: umami (savory), sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and spicy. But it also balances temperature and texture to complete the experience. Even though this burger had no meat, dairy, or animal bi-products, it married the flavour profiles in a way that is seldom achieved at other burger joints.
Meat: Meatless. I had the black bean patty which is made of black beans, red beans, lentils, brown rice, onion, garlic, and seasoned with chili, cumin, tomatoes & fresh cilantro. It was absolutely delicious, moist, and slightly crisp on the outside.
Toppings: There are many creative burgers to choose from. I had the Beach Party which included: bbq sauce glaze, cheeze (no-dairy cheese substitute), bacun (tofu), sauerkraut, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, arch-cut red onions, bermuda sauce & peach chutney.
Bun: The bun was a bit controversial at our table. I thought it worked perfectly with the burger and toppings, but my companions thought it was too crumbly and didn’t ride the burger through to the last bite.
I was only recently introduced to jackfruit as a pulled-pork alternative and I was surprised and delighted by it. I’ve never been a fan of pork, but I love me some BBQ. So learning that there is a vegan substitute was like finding out Santa Claus does exist and he’s bringing you a new laptop for Christmas. The Nacho Average Nachos were delicious and you’d never know they were vegan (ie no cheese and no meat). It included jackfruit as the “pulled pork” and still had all the trimmings, including what looked and tasted like sour cream on the side and cheese on top. Wes downed a good portion of it until he realized it wasn’t cheese on top. I had the “pulled jackfruit poutine” which was good, but I felt the fries were a bit gummy. I’m not sure why, since french fries are by nature vegan. So it seems weird that they’d miss the beat on the french fries. I had a chance to taste the “Bacun Cheeze Burger” and found it to be too mustardy. If you’re ordering that, I suggest asking for light on the mustard (unless you like mustard – then have as-is).
Atmosphere & Staff:
This place is clean and trendy with exposed ceilings, industrial brick walls with floor-to-ceiling windows, and wood tables. There is ample seating inside and out. The staff was very friendly and greeted us immediately even with people in front of us. One guy answered our questions about which patties and burgers to choose with the savvy and honestly of an expert marketer/salesperson (even though he was a young guy), which tells me their training and corporate culture must be good. They give you an animal as your “order number” – how cool is that?! Every table comes with all the sauces you could possibly need and napkins plus they bring the appropriate cutlery with your meal. This is a place you could bring the kids.
Pack up the kids and hit the road. This place is a must-go on your Canada burger tour. If you’re in the area, go today! I wish I lived closer because I know I’ll be craving this later.