Monday, July 2, 2012

Burgoo - A word that just sounds good.

Google 'burgoo', and you get the following definition:


  1. A stew or thick soup, typically made for an outdoor meal.
  2. An outdoor meal at which such food is served.

Map it, and you get four locations, three in Vancouver (Mt Pleasant, Kits, and Point Grey areas), and the one that we recently visited, in North Vancouver (near Lonsdale Quay).  

This is one of those restaurants that we keep going back to.  Part decor, part price, mostly food.

I don't know if the wood is actually reclaimed, but it looks like it.  We always go for lunch, so don't know what the place is like at the dinner rush.  From what I hear though, it's tough to get a table immediately.  Lunch is almost never a problem, especially on the weekdays.  The speed of the service is about average for a western restaurant - somewhere around 15-20 minutes after ordering.

I will often fall back on my favourite lunch deal: the soup and sandwich combo - which gets you a full sandwich, and a full soup.  Most sandwiches are $12ish, and the combo is $15.  So you are getting the full soup for $3?  Not a bad deal at all.

Chicken Club (seasonal sandwich) ($12) and Sunset Corn and Chicken ($8) ($15 for the combo)

An absolutely delicious combination.  I don't think I could have picked any better.  I think their daily special sandwiches are great.  This was no exception.

The bacon was perfect - not crispy, not chewy.  And thick.  Vegetables were super fresh, and the house made sauce at the bottom was phenomenal.  It was sweet and sour at the same time, which is always an excellent combination.  The chicken was in big chunks, and apparently the mayo was house made as well.  My only gripe with the sandwich was the bread had been toasted.  By the time I folded the sandwich in half to eat it, it was likely 2-3 inches thick.  That would be fine with a soft bread, but the toasted outside was a little painful to get through.  Nonetheless, I muscled my way through, and was rewarded big time.

The chicken corn chowder was absolutely brilliant.  It was a corn/sweet potato base, and ate like a stew.  Big, big chunks of chicken, and kernels of corn.  It was quite sweet, thanks to the corn and sweet potato base, but ended with a bit of a kick, courtesy of the chipotle and cumin.  Not too much, but enough that you definitely noticed.  Here is an example of all the chunks, as they sat just under the surface:

Our waitress told me that all their soups are made daily, and it definitely tastes like it.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($12) and Crab Bisque ($8) ($15 for the combo)

I was surprised at how closely the crab bisque mimicked my chicken/corn soup, but it was a little more orange, had a lemon instead of lime, and was missing the creme fraiche.  The grilled cheese doesn't look that special at the start, but I'm aware of Burgoo being great at working with anything cheese - mac and cheese, fondue, grilled cheese, platters, etc.

They use a combination of Mozzarella, Gruyere, Emmenthal and white Cheddar, which come together in a big way.  The mozzarella gives it a great stretch when you bite into it.  The only really crunchy part is the crust.  Once you get to the middle of the sandwich, it has just the right crispiness.  A decadent grilled cheese sandwich, to be sure.  Normally I have a thing about not buying something I can make at home for a quarter the price, but this is one sandwich that I would never even consider applying that line of thinking to. 

The crab bisque, filled with crab and a red pepper cream, was excellent as well.  While not having the same bite at the end as the Sunset Chicken and Corn, it had that sweet flavour the crab brought.  The red peppers added another layer to that.  If you enjoy crab, you'll love this.  I was quite surprised at the amount of crab that was in it - pleasantly surprised, but still surprised.

Overall, Burgoo is a fabulous restaurant, and one that I will not hesitate to recommend to anyone.  It isn't often you find a combo that is available all day every day and offers such a great value.  Not only that, but there are next to no restrictions: you choose whatever sandwich you want, and whatever soup.  Brilliance, I say, brilliance.

You should make it a point to get to a Burgoo, any Burgoo, in the next few weeks.  Even if you have been there before!  Website here.

Burgoo on Urbanspoon

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