As a result of constant construction, a plethora of new restaurants are appearing on High Street. Popular chains such as First Watch, Taco Bell, and Popeyes have each found a home along the busy street. Even White Castle and Chick-fil-A are rumored to be setting up shop near campus. Among these, one restaurant in particular stands out. The fast casual burger joint that does not sell beef: Eden Burger.
The meat patty is a large part of American culture. It is a timeless staple and nationwide symbol for celebration and patriotism. So how and why abandon this tradition? Cofounders Alex Raabe, Sebastian Kovach, and Chad Goodwin saw a gap in the variety of vegan restaurants with alternatives to American staples and decided to act upon it.
“The driving factor behind the concept was to offer something that’s so fundamentally American: burgers, fries, and milkshakes,” Goodwin says. They each have one goal in mind: ‘save the f’n world.’
This mission aligns completely with the operation processes of the restaurant. Aside from boasting a 100% plantbased menu, the cofounders’ passion for the environment is evident as soon as you walk through the door. The table tops are made of recycled pallets of wood, the wall decor is refurbished “privacy” signs from bathroom doors, and there are plants held in recycled glass. “We try to keep everything in-house,” says Raabe. Eden Burger even provides organic soda shipped all the way from Idaho. “It can be a logistical nightmare at times,” Raabe explained, but they are committed to ensuring a positive impact on the environment as well as the health and wellness of individuals.
“It is one thing that we are super passionate about,” Goodwin said.
Straying away from the kale and quinoa based vegan food quintessential to so many plant-based restaurants, the Eden Burger is crafted using beans, rice, pumpkin seeds, sautéed onions, and a variety of seasonings. Their menu also includes many other plant-based American fare such as an array of tempeh tender burgers—a fermented soy product sandwich comparable to the chicken sandwich—milkshakes, and French fries.
“I think making it about classic American meals makes it a lot easier for people who may not be vegan or vegetarian,” Goodwin remarked. “We are seeing people from all walks of life come in here and order and enjoy it.” With their unique motto, the folks at Eden Burger hope to bring the restaurant to the acclaim of popular fast food giants. “From the onset, our vision has been that we want to franchise this, “ Goodwin adds. “We want to make this like vegan McDonalds. We do not want to have just one restaurant for the rest of our lives.”
Eden Burger, located on 1437 N. High Street, is open from 12 to 10 p.m. daily. Guests have the option to either order there and eat in or order from inside the neighboring bar, Village Idiot, and dine there.