Thursday, December 8, 2011
Warm and Cozy Meal at Burgoo
I met up recently with a group of girls from my co-ed summer soccer team ("Butter FC" because we are smooth like butta...sort of) for dinner. They asked me to throw out a list of restaurant recommendations. Even though I've dined at Burgoo before, I put them on the list. It had been over a year since my last meal there and I hadn't blogged about it. Not sure if it was the dip in temperature and everyone had a hankering for comfort food or it was the most central location- but Burgoo was selected as our meet up spot.
It was a chilly evening and when we arrived we were informed that it would be a 30 min wait. Definitely not a big issue since none of us were starving and we gave a contact number and headed to the nearby Five Point bar for a few drinks.
Around 1/2 an hour later after a delicious Granville Island Lions Winter Ale, we were back at Burgoo and seated.
Burgoo is all about comfort food, and you feel welcomed right when you enter the doors. The interior feels like modern, rustic, country cabin and there's dishes from different countries so everyone can be happy ordering what kind of food they want. Who doesn't love comfort food? Nothing beats coming out of the cold to warm up over a warm pot of stew or a hefty bowl of creamy soup. The menu offers comfort food from several international cuisines from around the world (they also not the country of orgin/influence next to the menu item). There is a lot of variety. In the past, I've only ever tried their sandwiches and soups but I've been impressed. The food is uncomplicated, tasty, made with good ingredients and well executed, and the prices are reasonable.
We shared a fondue to start.
Fonduemental ($13): molten Gruyere and Emmenthal, white wine and herbs served with red grapes and crusty bread.
I'm not a huge cheese fanatic but this was a nice, warm, appy to share. The melted cheese was smooth and savoury, but not overwhelming rich or salty. The consistency of the fondue stayed nice and smooth throughout and didn't clump up. The bread was coarse and crumbly which helped keep it fairly firm and not to soggy after dipping. The grapes were a nice addition and gave a real sweet/savoury contrast.
Jess and Gabby shared a Soup and Sandwich Combo ($15) and a Paella.
They chose the Sunset Corn and Chicken Soup- corn, chicken and light cream spiked with Chipotle and cumin, finished with crema fresca and cilantro. This comes out piping hot and looks beautiful and bright. It's thick and warm and good. It's got a bit of sweetness from the corn and the broth is savoury, smoky, with a slight spicy kick of chipotle and tang from creme fraiche to balance the flavours. It has a fantastic cumin smell too.
They chose the Dos Diablos sandwich- two grilled angle cut filone sandwiches with melted white cheddar, chunks of chorizo sausage and roasted red pepper. Burgoo is famous for their delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and this was a jacked up version. Crispy, buttery, cheesy with a kick of spice and some meaty heartiness from the chorizo sausage.
The Paella ($18)- tomato saffron rice with vegetables, chicken, chorizo, prawns and mussels, finished with olive oil and parsley. This came out in what looked to be an extremely generous portion and didn't skimp on the seafood. I tried some of this and liked it but wasn't blown away. I think that because Burgoo is a bit of a "jack of all trades" with comfort food- they don't master all of their dishes. The tomato flavour was nice but dominated the dish and all of the other flavours were kind of absent. Not a bad dish, but I've certainly had better Paella.
Farley ordered their famous grilled cheese sandwich. All of the Burgoo sandwiches come with a side salad unless you make a soup and sandwich combo for a few dollars more.
Gooey Cheese Grillers ($12)- two angle cut filone sandwiches with melted white cheddar, Mozzarella, Gryere, and Emmenthal. This dish is delicious but not for the lactose intolerant. They use four cheeses and lots of butter and the result is a delighful, sinful, indulgent sandwich with a crispy buttery exterior and an rich, warm, ooey, gooey, stringy sandwich. She really liked her side salad as well and the light, fresh vegetables helped to balance out all of the characteristics of the sandwich.
Wendy ordered the Tastier Chicken Sandwich with a side Caesar salad.
Tastier Chicken ($12)- roasted chicken, melted Brie, apple, cucumber, red onion and greens with house made Dijonnaise, served on multigrain. This sandwich is brought out looking very earthy and rustic and open-faced.
She really liked it- especially the chicken and brie flavours together.
I wanted to try a dish from their Bistro Classics section since I've only ever had their soups and sandwiches. I was torn was torn between the Ratatouille and the Kentucky Burgoo.
I ended up ordering the Ratatouille Provencale ($15) oven roasted vegetables in a savoury tomato and garlic baked with parsley, breadcrumbs and Chevre, finished with extra virgin olive oil. It came out in what initially looked like a massive portion in its own baking dish. The dish was wonderfully aromatic and was very tasty too. The veggies were tender and I loved the chunks of salty black olives throughout. The dominant flavour was tomato and overall it felt like eating a dish of homemade vegetable pasta sauce- but a jacked up version, since the breadcrumbs and creamy goat cheese topping added a real richness and sense of indulgence.
We all really enjoyed the ambience, decor, and feel of the restaurant (except the slight chill from the front door). Our server was great and the food was really good, simple, comfort food.