Fast Food Goes Green in North Boulder

When I blogged Leaf and challenged y’all to name another fully vegetarian restaurant in Boulder, you did not let me down. The very first comment pointed me to V.G. Burgers, and it was an excellent recommendation.

“Real food. Real good. Real fast.” Indeed.

This is the corner where V.G.'s is.

Strange I hadn’t noticed it before. V.G.’s has been here since about November, I think they said. Occurs to me I do remember seeing their sign, but I think I just assumed it was a wing joint. Something to do with the logo resembling that of WOW Cafe & Wingery, the way the letters sort of jump up and spread out.

On the web site’s assurance that it was within walking distance–south of the Safeway, between the Dairy Queen and Checkers Auto Parts, in the space that used to house the Belgian Bakery–and open for another hour that evening, I walked right over and had the Sunflower Burger with all the toppings and a spelt bun), a side of the excellent baked fries, and a 16-oz fountain drink.

The fountain drink selection here comprises a pitcher of fresh brewed iced tea and five flavors of oogavé. Oogavé is brand new and, in Boulder, only to be found at this location. In Denver, you can order it at City-O-City (serving interesting beer and fantastic pizza) and the Watercourse (a vegetarian restaurant). Also, SAME Café on Colfax carries the brand too. V.G.’s carries oogavé in cola, root beer, ginger ale, mandarin key lime, and my favorite so far, the watermelon cream.

And the drinks? They come in compostable plastic cups. #7, plastic made out of corn, cold liquids only. Ditto the disposable utensils (made from potato starch) and to-go clam shells (sugar pulp). V.G.’s is a zero waste location, just like Folsom St. Coffee Company only without the short-person-torturing furniture. And of course they’re 100% powered by wind energy.

Actually, the bar stools looks suspiciously like the one I sat on the one time I visited A Cup Of Peace before it closed. I’m glad they’re getting put to good use.

(OK, almost zero waste. There’s a small trash receptacle in the restroom, because, y’know, but that doesn’t count.)

Lastly, for dessert, they’ve got vegan ice cream (Soy Delicious, Hempscream, and Nada-moo), shakes, and cookies. Because, yes, good for you and all that, but still.

So Boulder has two vegetarian eateries: one fine dining restaurant, and one fast food joint. And I find it subversively delightful that this healthy, organic, no-waste, vegetarian alternative is sitting smack dab at the top of Fast Food Row, smiling smugly down the block at KFC, Taco Bell, and A&W. And I am even more tickled to report that, for now anyway, V.G.’s has its own mascot. Taco Bell has That Damn Chihuahua, KFC has the Colonel… V.G.’s has a healthy, fruiting tomato plant springing up from a crack in the sidewalk beneath the rain spout.

I like to call him 'May-Ter

So there.

6 Comments so far

  1. dicker (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

    you didn’t really talk about the burger… I’m guessing it’s good and all, but more please?

  2. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

    *poit* Dicker, you are totally right. I didn’t really review the burger experience, did I?

    So, I’ve gone there twice now. The first time, like I said, I had the sunflower burger. It was a light brown, really tasty, a pleasantly grainy texture. The second time, I had the black bean burger, which was a little thick and dry for my taste, but the guacamole (recommended topping) moistened it right up. I don’t think I’d order the black bean again, but I might have the sunflower with guac.

    For lettuce, they use what appears to be an interesting field greens mix. Not an iceberg in sight.

    The spelt bun is a little chewier than what you might be used to, but more flavorful. Kinda nutty.

    Next time I go, I will probably try either the original or the three nut burger. And leave room for a shake.

    Apparently the owner of the restaurant is trying to avoid the term “vegan,” because he feels it has exclusive connotations that scare off carnivores. (I think he’s got a point; there is a certain subset of red-meat-eatin’ sorts who think that eating a vegetarian meal will rob them of macho points or con them into voting Democrat or something.) He likes to say “plant-based menu” and “healthy fast food.” I find this whole marketing diplomacy thing interesting.

  3. dicker (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

    thanks Nicole. That’s exactly what I needed. I’m going there tonight. Rock!

  4. dicker (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

    Ok, just came back. Good call on the guac. Good burger. Could taste a bit greasier/fast foody but still good. Also, I wish their menu branched out into other fake meat genres: fake sausages, hot dogs etc… But still, I’ve been waiting for someone to roll out this concept. Making vegetarian food safe for the mainstream pallet is no easy task, that’s for sure.

    Oh, my other favorite detai: the pile of Ron Paul 2008 bumper stickers. IT’s like they’re trying to say: we welcome dissident Republicans and dissident Dems as Paul is more or less the counterpart to Dennis Kucinich. Though I’d say Paul has more grass roots support than the vegan from Cleveland.

    Thanks for blogging about this Nicole, I would’ve just driven by without noticing.

  5. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2007 @ 11:14 pm

    Thank Garbanzito! I’ve been biking past them every week and never noticed them. A vegetarian friend of mine lives practically in Safeway’s back yard, and I don’t think she knew about them either.

    (Heard one of the staff saying that what’s gotten them through the “slow” period is, every third person who comes in says it’s their first time.)

    They do have faux hot dogs, by the way. It may be only advertised as a kid’s meal, though.

    Glad you liked! Next time you stop by we should rendezvous.

  6. dicker (unregistered) on August 5th, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

    werd. I also want to try that Leaf place you recommended.

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