79 Sherbrook St.
Once known as The Common Ground, the restaurant at 79 Sherbrook St. has undergone significant changes and is now Boon Burger.
Boon boasts being 100 per cent vegan and 100 per cent made from scratch. Burgers range from $6 to $8. If you have any recollection of The Common Ground, good for you, but it’s definitely gone and Boon certainly does not look like a Hobbit house in the Shire anymore.
The seating is no longer the dimly-lit romantic elfin grotto that it used to be, but now consists of two extended picnic benches. But, maybe you want to get to know your neighbours.
I was given a toy animal (a zebra if you care to know) to mark my table and play with, I think. I played with it until my food came. The euro cheeseburger ($6.95) is made with a grilled mushroom-rice patty with mayo and Dijon, red onion, tomato, lettuce and Swiss cheese. Exactly like all my previous experience with vegetarian burgers, the euro cheeseburger, too, had a hard time staying together. I presume that legitimate vegetarians and vegans have ascended to mastery in keeping their veggie burgers intact, but, alas, I am not and thus, I have not. Crumbliness aside, the burger was delicious and ethical and a choice I will repeat and recommend. Accompanying the euro cheeseburger were side fries, mushroom soup and Yerba Maté iced tea. The soup and Yerba were finished but the fries were not. After three fries and a last ditch effort to salvage some flavour by making the mushroom soup a fry dip, the taste became not worth the chew. Too chewy. As I gave up on my fries, I realized people were pouring through the door. Let me repeat: Boon Burger is small. It literally used to be Bilbo Baggins’ home.
The traffic began to increase and those in line to order began spilling into the two benches of dining. Those in line casually began eyeballing the picnic benches to see who was closest to finishing their meals. I began to realize they were staring at me.
The mistake I made was that I went at suppertime. I went when it was busy – around 6 p.m.
And then the debit machine crashed. To the credit of the guy working the till and clearly doing the majority of the hustling, he maintained a cool, level head in the small, packed and noisy restaurant. How he did it is beyond me. Still, as much of a ruckus the scene at Boon Burger was, I will go back. But, I’ll go back at, like, 2:15 p.m. or an equally obscure time. And stick to soup for a side and avoid the fries.
Published in Volume 65, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 9, 2010)