Have to start this one off by saying that if you know me, you’re not shocked that I chose to review The Very Good Butchers. Out of everywhere that is vegan/vegan friendly in the city, this is my go-to.
I was introduced to the VGB from my friend Maia, a vegan of eight plus years. Like everyone at the time, I wondered – okay so… they’re not actually butchers? What’s going on there, exactly? Why would they call themselves that if they’re vegan? Business-wise, the name was such a killer move since it drew everyone in. It wasn’t long until meat eaters were upset. Probably actual butchers in Victoria mocked them for their name. The people of Victoria lost their shit that day and had to take a week to pull themselves together.
Nahh…we loved the name. Turns out, they only butcher beans – and that’s equally adorable as it is respectful. They’re exclusively vegan as well, so while you will find a “Mac & Cheese” on the menu, you can also be rest assured there’s no side of underlying cruelty. I’m going to be frank here y’all – it’s 2017 and there are some damn fine cashew cheeses out there. Don’t believe me? Perfect – go try for yourself!
The VGB are located in Victoria Public Market at 1701 Douglas Street. The team is made up of friendly, happy, and – you guessed it – vegans! The atmosphere is laid back and minimalistic, with a raw and modern feel. There aren’t too many tables, so I’ve gotten used to having a friend jump on one while I place our orders. Since they are such a popular spot, I can see them needing to expand in the future!
On this particular visit, I went with the “Very Good Poutine” (with BBQ Jackfruit on top!) the “Nacho Average Salad” and their “Fowl Bacon & Ranch Beastwich”, with $2 from each burger sale going to the R.A.S.T.A Animal Sanctuary here on Vancouver Island. I was already beyond thrilled to give the VGB my money and then they went and started supporting local sanctuaries. Have I mentioned yet that they’re beautiful people?
The poutine with it’s house made gravy and “cheese” curds is actually the bomb. Eating it is a state of bliss mixed with a delicate balance of trying not to shovel it all in your mouth at once. The BBQ jackfruit is perfect with it and if you haven’t tried jackfruit before, it does strangely seem like meat when it’s mixed in with all those crispy golden fries. My friend who is a meat eater and hadn’t been to VBG before was really impressed by it!
It was a first time trying the Fowl Bacon & Ranch Beastwich, and this time it was my turn to be impressed. I didn’t know that the VGB made a mock-chicken and was excited that they were pairing it with my friends onion rings and avocado. They hit it right on the mark for what I was expecting and the Fowl patty was so good that I had to know how it was made. The girl working was super helpful and actually brought out the prep binder from the back for me to take a look at!! It is made from the following: Organic navy beans, Organic wheat protein, vegan chicken bouillon, garlic, onion powder and poultry seasoning.
The Nacho Average Salad did unfortunately feel pretty average to me, though. It had a strange flavour to the dressing that I just wasn’t a fan of and the tortilla chips seemed a little stale. But that’s OK – I can cross that one off the list and go for another salad next time!
We’re pretty fortunate in Victoria to have great places for vegan eaters like the VGB. It’s obvious they take a lot of pride in their business as there are a ton of options to choose from and it seems like they’re always coming up with something new. This past thanksgiving I pre-ordered their “Stuffed Beast” (tofurkey) for Thanksgiving and again was super pleased -so much that I’ll be buying another for Christmas and adding it to the table. Still have yet to buy their pre-packaged items from the deli, but betting that once I do I’ll be stocking the fridge regularly. The VGB has potential to be an addiction – one that I’m super okay with.
or 4.5/5 from me.
Until next week!