Vegan food joint Moo-Free Burgers taking off in Brisbane
30 January 2017
A BURGER joint with no hint of meat or animal products on the menu is attracting praise from vegans and meat-lovers alike.
Moo-Free Burgers — the latest vegan venture from brothers Johnny and Michael Tabet, who are behind the successful Charlie's Raw Squeeze cafe/juice bars — have sold about 200 vegan burgers a day since opening the first store at North Lakes in December.
Manager Jody Roscoe said make burgers without meat was the easy part, but finding substitutes for eggs and milk, used to bind patties and in sauces, was the most challenging aspect. They had to import many products from abroad.
Mr Roscoe said his proudest moment was a Facebook review from a meat-eater that read:
"We're not just trying to serve the vegan people, it's about serving everyone good burgers," Mr Roscoe said.
"Me and Michael are vegan and we always want to eat burgers," Johnny said.
"We wanted to be able to order any burger off the menu."
The vacant shop at North Lakes, north of Brisbane, came along six months into working with Mr Roscoe and chef David Kiorgaard on recipes and became the first venue for Moo-Free Burgers, which opened alongside a Charlie's Raw Squeeze.
It is the second vegan establishment in North Lakes, with restaurant September 18 also providing animal-free food.
The percentage of vegetarians and vegans in Queensland has risen from 8.3 per cent in 2012 to 9.2 per cent in 2016, according to Roy Morgan Research.
DEVOID of vegans at the office, it was up to omnivore sports reporter Jorja Orreal and me, a vegetarian, to try Moo-Free Burgers' animal-free fare.
It was busy and the staff were welcoming and helped Jorja and I through the menu.
We tried the Chick'n Licken and the Vegan Brothers Delight plus chips, all five sauces on offer and a Jungle Vibes juice each.
The clear winner for Jorja was the Chick'n Licken.
"If you brought someone here and didn't tell them it was not chicken they'd have no idea," she said.
I agreed. The combination of pineapple, relish and avocado was surprising and tasty.
The VBD is Moo-Free's most popular burger, a traditional take on a beef burger, except with no meat. For Jorja, the patty's taste and texture was strange but I thought it was flavoursome, if a bit soft.
The pesto mayo, capsicum mayo and aioli were all made without eggs, and the aioli was eerily similar to the real deal. My pick was the smoky barbecue, which went well with the chips.
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