Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restaurant Review: Tera V Burger in Vancouver...

I know I’ve been MIA again and I apologize. I took a sudden and unplanned trip home to Vancouver to visit my family. The day before I left I had meant to post about it to let you all know I’d be gone but in the rush and hustle of work and last minute packing it totally slipped my mind.

Now that I’m back I can’t wait to tell you all about the amazing vegan eats I found while strolling around my home city. Vancouver is of course as wonderful and beautiful as it always is, but there have been a lot of changes in the past few years. 2009 was the last time I was home, and since then the Winter Olympics have come and gone and with them a lot of new construction, and infrastructure, which I think is a really good thing. The city is looking better then ever, and previously scummy parts of town have been cleaned up really nice. My first couple of days back home I felt a bit of a tourist rather then a born and bred Vancouverite not only because of the changes to the city but because of the cultural differences as well. Obviously I don’t ‘fit in’ in Chicago, and I’m not well suited to the American way of life, but after overtime one finds they do get a bit used to it. You expect people to be pushy and rude, you expect stranger to keep to themselves you, expect hustle and bustle and all out chaos. Everything and everyone in Vancouver moves at a much slower pace. No one ever seems to be in much of a hurry, people get on and off busses in an orderly fashion, strangers smile, say hello, and strike up conversations with you. I always jokingly say that people in Maui are on “Maui Time” but this is the first time I felt that the people in Vancouver also experience a similar phenomenon, of “Vancouver Time.” I like that. I like the easy-going rise and fall of the cities life, I like the good natured and laid-back attitude of the people. In Vancouver I’m a different person, I feel entirely comfortable going anywhere and talking to anyone, I’m even happy to go hiking in a 600 acre forest alone. I can’t say I ever feel that way about living in Chicago.

So it was nice to be back home amongst my own people, to converse, commiserate, to talk to, and spend time with my compatriots. It was great getting to visit with my family. I saw everyone on my Fathers side, and my grandparents on my mothers side, plus my parents of course and their spouses and my brother, his girlfriend and their three month old baby girl. I was fun revisiting all my old haunts, and wonderful exploring new places I’d never been before. I did the Grouse Grind twice, hiked through Lynn Valley Canyon, visited Queen Elizabeth Park, hung out at Spanish Banks, road the Seabus for the first time ever - yeah I know, way behind on that - and did a lot of other fun stuff. I also got to try out a good sampling of Vancouver’s Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants. Something I’ve not previously had the privilege of doing, since I wasn’t vegan three years ago.

Everywhere I ate was fantastic too by the way, and I can’t wait to review all of the places I went, but for today I’m going to keep it simple and short.

The first restaurant I’m going to review today is actually one of the last ones I ate at. Tera V Burger on West Broadway. It’s a very small vegetarian fast food joint. Typically I’m not into fast food, and generally I don’t get veggie burgers when I go out because I can make them just as good or better at home but how could I pass up the opportunity to have actual vegetarian fast food. In a place I knew I could order almost anything?

It was a bit out of the way for me to go here for lunch, but since I also wanted to hit up the Vegan Bakery known as Edible Flowers - more on them later - and it’s in the same area I thought it wouldn’t be a wasted trip. As I said the place was small, but it was clean and the staff was super friendly and helpful. Everything on the menu can be made vegan except the Garden Burger. Their menu is small but they have a selection of burgers, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies and salads. They even sell coconut water! And they use biodegradable packaging, how can you not love that?

I ended up getting the No Bull burger which is their tempeh burger. I got it because of the good reviews I’d read of it on HappyCow, and I’m surprised to say it really didn’t disappoint. I got it vegan of course with Daiya and a side of delicious yam fries and a coconut water. The patty was pretty tasty, it was firm, and a little crispy. It even had that grill taste. Actually if I didn’t know better I would have sworn it was beef, it tasted just like I remember a hamburger to taste except it didn’t have all that disgusting grease and saturated fat. It was amazing, and the portion was quite a good size. I left feeling full but not sick.

I would have liked to go back for a second meal but as I ate here on my second to last day in Vancouver I simply didn’t have the time. However next time I go home I’ll be stopping by Tera V. Burger again for the BBQ Tempeh burger that sounded absolutely to die for.

Tera V Burger seems like a relatively new place, and it wasn’t super busy when I was there so I hope they do good business. If you live in Vancouver check it out, if you’re in the area definitely check it out, and if you’re just visiting Vancouver it might be worth a stop. After all we’ve got to support Vegan friendly restaurants not to mention healthy fast food options.

Tera V Burger 
2961 W. Broadway, Kitsilano, Vancouver 
Open 10:30am - 9pm

PS: If you’re taking Public Transportation as I did. Take the number 9 (or was it 99) Alma bus. It goes all the way down Broadway and right past Tera V Burger. Trust me when I say that if you’re near Commercial Drive, or anywhere on E. Broadway you’re way better off talking the bus then walking, because it’s quite the hike especially on a hot or cold day.

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