By | March 9, 2008

Burgoo Lamb Stew

The brainchild of Justin Joyce and Sara Urbauer, the premise of Burgoo is simple – serve good hearty stews and soups at reasonable prices. Drawing inspiration from around the world, Burgoo’s menu reads like the hiding places of Carmen Sandiego. From Ireland to Canada to Morocco, we have foods hailing from four different continents. Now if you’ve ever been to a Chinese cafe, you’ll know that having this many types of cuisines is a recipe for disaster as everything ends up tasting… Chinese. Burgoo thankfully is about as Chinese as Michael Jackson is black.

Stepping into either of the Burgoo locations, the first thing you’ll notice is the ambiance of the place. A lively atmosphere is complemented nicely with warm wood highlights and dim lighting.If you’re looking for a homey place, this is the place to go.

It’s important to note here that the place can get quite busy during peak times so if you show up without a reservation, expect to spend an excruciating 30-45 minutes watching the food go by while your stomach gnaws a hole in itself as your mouth does its best impression of Pavlov’s dog listening to a bell.

Once we were seated, the service was attentive and pleasant. Letting our hunger override all sense of sensibility, we ordered up a storm.

The first dish ordered was the Brie Fondue. Flavored with a touch of honey and wine, this Fondue’s sweetness was a departure from traditional savory Fondues. The portion sizing here was just about right as the sweetness of the Fondue could be a little much.

The Pacific Chowder was the next dish to arrive. Expecting the smoked salmon to overpower the dish, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ingredients complimented each other. Given my intense hate for peas, I’m also happy to report that I didn’t taste any.With the soup being this rich in flavor, I highly recommend that you order just one to split between two people. Otherwise, you might not have enough room for the rest of the meal!

Beef Stew With the appetizers out of the way, the entrees arrived. My dining companion ordered the Beef Bourguignon and I told the waitress to surprise me.
When she brought me the Irish Stew, I immediately set myself up for disappointment. What I was expecting was a dish that tasted overwhelmingly like beer. What I received was a rich, hearty dish with just a hint of the Guinness that was used to braise the lamb. The chunks of meat fell apart with a fork and the mashed potatoes were light and fluffy.In other words, it was about as good as a stew can get.

The story with the Beef Bourguignon was much the same. Subsequent visits have revealed the quality of other Bistro Classics to be of similar high standards. If you’re hankering for a good sandwich, a good friend of mine has raved that the Burgoo Grilled Cheese sandwich is the “best in the world” and coming from him, I don’t doubt it.

Looking at the photos of the entrees, you might think that the portions are a touch on the small side. As someone who can polish off a 32 oz prime rib with no problems, let me assure you that these entrees are more than enough to fill up an average person.

Lamb Stew
Apple Crumble Dessert Against our better judgment, we ordered the harvest crumble for dessert. This time, it was baked with apples though the menu does mention that seasonal fruit is used.The dessert wasn’t bad, but at the same time, it wasn’t the mouth-watering spectacularity that the entrees were.What’s more, the harvest crumble topping wasn’t crunchy! I also found the dessert to be way too sweet – another sign that I’m getting too old.

Overall though, I’d highly recommend Burgoo as a place to go especially during the rainy Vancouver seasons.

I’m missing the receipt for this meal, but adding up the prices on the website, we can see that it would be $56 + tax + tip.

Burgoo Locations:

Monday – Sunday : 11:30am – 10:00pm

brunch is served every saturday and sunday from 11:30am until 3:00pm

4434 w. 10th avenue in vancouver
t: 604 221 STEW (7839)

3 lonsdale avenue in north vancouver
t: 604 904 0933


One thought on “Burgoo

  1. Lesley


    I can confirm that the Burgoo grilled cheese is “the best in the world,” especially with a side of their tomato soup…

    Thanks for the visit, I too look forward to your page updates!


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