Story by Kevin J. Elliott
Photos by Brian Kaiser
As a carnivore by nature, I was more than skeptical when an acquaintance suggested I try the Eden Burger, the flagship item at the all-vegan restaurant of the same name, opened in the former Daredevil Dogs location. Made with sautéed pumpkin seeds, beans, rice, onions, and a blend of spices, topped with a standard set of lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, Eden sauce and “vegannaise,” the Eden Burger was going to be a tough sell against the lingering taste of the deliciously greasy Wedl’s burger I tried this past July.
I asked Eden Burger’s Chad Goodwin how on earth they intend to convince a meat eater like myself that his creation was an equivalent delicacy.
“I guess you just let them try one of our burgers,” says Goodwin. “With the Village Idiot next door we get a great confluence of customers who come through. We could talk all day to people and try to convince them, but that’s not what we’re about. We are not trying to make the impossible burger that bleeds, or imitate meat. We just wanted to make something, whatever your dietary preference, that you can always come in and enjoy.”
“There were no places in Columbus that served traditional American fare for vegans,” says Goodwin. “Of course you can go to any restaurant and they’ll have a vegetarian option, and with Portia’s and the Loving Hut, there are plenty of vegan-centric menus, but we wanted to get away from kale and quinoa and things that are stereotypically vegan. We thought it was a much easier transition if we offered people items which they think that they have to give up.”