May 7, 2011

Down-home Cooking

Burgoo’s three restaurants beguile their customers with good food, good value and the comfortable atmosphere of a log cabin.

BY MICHELLE HOPKINS

Burgoo restaurant partners Justin Joyce, left, and executive chef Stephan MacIntyre in Burgoo's Main Street location.

Partners and Ultimate Frisbee competitors Justin Joyce and Stephan MacIntyre conceived the concept for Burgoo restaurants in 2001.

“It came to us that Vancouver was missing a food venue that offered down-home cooking in a warm and comfortable atmosphere,” says MacIntyre, the executive chef who oversees the menus at all three of its locations – West Tenth in Point Grey, Main Street and Lonsdale, North Vancouver.

“We weren’t looking to be the next big trend,” says Joyce. “We just wanted to offer traditional food in a simple, kind of historic country-looking venue. This recipe worked for the young entrepreneurs. Since they opened their first Burgoo on West 10th Avenue, droves of customers kept coming back. (The four partners have plans to open a few more Burgoos in the coming few years.).

All three of its international cookhouses harken back to log cabins. Its après-ski-look consists of large wood beams on the ceiling, rustic stone around the bar, lots of wood panelling, old cash registers and decades-old travel posters on the walls.

The two spent months researching recipes from around the world– grilled cheese sandwiches, hearty bowls of soup, thick stews chock-full of meat and vegetables.

As the restaurants have grown in popularity, so has the carte du jour. Burgoo offers three different fondues – a stout and cheddar, brie and a gruyere and emmental. Then there’s the indulgent mac and cheese, a decadent french onion soup, Irish stew, Indian butter chicken and many more classics.

Burgoo launches a new menu every season, and the spring one is about to make its debut.

“We always keep items that, frankly, our customers would be extremely upset if we took them off the menu,” says MacIntyre.

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