We’ve entered that time of year where the temperature drops, the days are unreasonably short and it feels like the rain will never stop. During this period, that often spans November to May in Vancouver, I enter hibernation mode, not wanting to leave the warmth and comfort of my home. I am permanently huddled by the fire accompanied by a book and a large glass of red wine. When assembling a warm meal seems daunting and far more than I can handle, yet going outside means confronting the cold, wet Vancouver reality, I always turn to Burgoo, my go-to spot for comfort food on a miserable day. They have a number of locations, but the Mount Pleasant outpost is my favourite. With a décor overwhelmingly comprised of wood and reminiscent of a Canadian chalet, visiting Burgoo always brings back fond memories of cold, snowed-in evenings during my childhood back east.
Dieters beware: this is not the place to go if you are counting calories. Pretty much everything on the menu is designed to put you at risk for a coronary, in the best possible way. The Brie fondue, a decadent, dripping combination of Brie, garlic, honey and white wine is a must have and is among the best I’ve had in Vancouver. There’s something about huge chunks of bread dipped in a pot of melted cheese that I find so comforting during these depressing winter days. When it’s freezing out I also crave soup, and Burgoo offers a lengthy and diverse list of choices. On my most recent visit, my friends opted for the French Onion, which was rich and loaded with melted cheese spilling over the brim, while I chose the curried red lentil which was well-spiced and hearty. The sandwiches are large and open-face and are so packed with ingredients that they require a fork and a knife to eat. The portions here are huge; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone leave without a doggy bag. As we’ve just begun what is promising to be a lengthy winter, I’m sure I will be frequenting Burgoo quite regularly over the coming months. (SR)