Finally vegans can crush that fast-food craving
If you're seeking a vegan meal but American fast-food classics such as cheeseburgers and fries are calling, you have a new place where you can crush your complicated craving now that Eden Burger has opened in the former DareDevil Dogs space near the OSU campus.
Actually, the plant-based, planet-conscious eatery — I was told that Eden Burger's food is 100 percent vegan and 95 percent organic — is so new, it's barely open. For the past month or so, and until its refurbished dining room is up to speed, Eden Burger's virtual “home” is the service window that connects it to the Village Idiot bar.
Diners can get their food to go, eat it in the bar, or ferry it out to a large, fenced-off patio. Note: Hours are guaranteed to increase, but for the time being, Eden's fare is available via that window from 5-10 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. Note #2: The guys running this operation are very friendly.
I recently ordered almost everything on Eden's small, “soft-opening” menu. The food was damn good, if rather slow in arriving. Since Eden began as a pop-up just a few months ago, this could be attributable to a fledgling business still finding its sea legs.
The obvious stars here, the burgers ($7; extra-hefty, double-patty burgers cost $10), are emblematic of an operation that knows how to marry alluring flavors to excellent textures. House-made from a proprietary recipe that includes black beans, pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, cumin and garlic, the burgers are hearty, have an attractive Southwestern accent and are easily among the most structurally sound and crispy veggie burgers in town.
These arrive on nicely toasted hamburger buns. When topped with Eden's standard garnishes — melted vegan American “cheese,” lettuce, pickles, Eden Sauce (resembles garlicky mayo and ketchup), plus diced tomato and onion — the sandwiches have an appealing, burger-meets-seven-layer-dip flavor.
The Fries ($3 buys a generous serving) are recommended, too. They're crisp, substantial, dark golden-brown, fresh-tasting and not oily.
I also enjoyed the thin and crisp, lightly battered, delightfully craggy Pickle Chips ($5). The simple but satisfying, battered and deep-fried Tempeh Tenders ($7), which are another textural triumph, are pleasantly nutty and crunchy.
Made with “just dates, almonds, walnuts and cacao,” the slightly sweet, semi-gooey Chocolate Brownie ($4 for a biggie) is another winning reminder that treats needn't be unhealthy things.