The Unvegan

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This stuff comes with the food.

I’ve been meaning to head to The Foundry on Melrose for a while. Not only have I heard good things about the food in general, but I also heard that once upon a time The Foundry challenged Father’s Office to a burger taste test. I’m not sure who ended up winning that particular taste test, but I was happy to know that someone had the balls to challenge the pretentious Father’s Office. Finally, a 30% coupon from Blackboard Eats pushed me over the edge to finally visit The Foundry.

We took a seat at their nice outdoor area and got to looking at the menu. I knew I would have to get the burger, but I wanted to see what else the place had to offer. The “Patio Season” Burger (as they called it) was only 12 bucks and the prices of entrees ran all the way up to the thirties. Good thing I had already had my mind set on the burger. The menu said it came with cheddar, Hawaiian (how exotic!) bread and summer condiments. I was told the condiments (tamarind caramelized onions, bacon and pineapple relish and house made mayo) all came on the side, which saved me some worry about an uninvited guest ending up on my burger, but just to be sure, I asked if anything else came on the burger. Despite not being on the menu, I was told it came with arugula, pickles and tomatoes. Good thing I asked, or else that would have been a rude awakening. I asked to get it without those hidden ingredients and was grateful when the waitress complied. Already, this place was better than Father’s Office.

Why would you put that in a grilled cheese?

I had also been told the Grilled Cheese ($9) from the Mid Course menu (what the hell is a mid course?) was amazing, so we decided to order that as an appetizer. The menu said it came with Taleggio (cheese), raisin bread and an apricot/caper puree, plus an extra 3 bucks to throw in some short rib. Those all passed the unvegan test and we placed the order.

As we waited, we were brought some delicious pieces of bread, and then the grilled cheese arrived. What was this? Red and green things sticking out from inside the sandwich? I had been duped. Although I should have realized from the burger, apparently The Foundry likes to add ingredients to their food that aren’t listed on the menu. I know a lot of restaurants do this, but why take the time to list a few ingredients when you aren’t going to list them all? So strange. Luckily, the cheese had not congealed and I was able to open up the sandwich and remove the leafy green and red pepper invaders. After that, the grilled cheese was really great. I’d never had taleggio cheese before, but it worked really well on grilled cheese. It was mild, but a little bit sweet, although that could have been from the raisins or puree. It was a little pricier than I would typically spend on grilled cheese, but for 30% it was worth trying.

Cheese and burger. And Hawaii!

While we were waiting for the main course, we were brought a couple of little biscuits. it was great to get that (and the bread) between courses to keep us hungry patrons happy and make us feel loved. Then came my cheeseburger. Covered in cheese (and nothing else), it sat upon four Hawaiian rolls. Off to one side were the condiments and to the other were onion rings. I was told the onions rings were pickled red onion tempura rings, which I guess are kinda different from the beer-battered onion rings unvegans like me are usually used to.

This is a good condiment.

I tasted the bacon and pineapple relish and decided to put a bit on the burger and it was a good choice. The burger was great. The beef was perfectly cooked and I was so happy that they had been able to cater to my simple palette by only sticking cheese on it. Coupled with the Hawaiian bread, the burger made for a great sweet and salty experience, which is something I always love. The only problem was that the bread was a bit bigger than the burger, due to its square shape. This led to some burgerless bites, but at least it was Hawaiian bread and not some plain, boring bun I was eating.

I did attempt to eat the onion rings and found them to be pretty bad. Sometimes I can tolerate onion rings because they are so fried you can hardly tell there is any onion in there, but these still tasted a hell of a lot like onions and were really really really crunchy.

This should wash down some burger.

Finally, we decided some dessert was in order. We were pretty full, so the only thing that sounded good was some ice cream/sorbet. For 7 bucks, we got three scoops and chose peanut butter, guava and chocolate ice. Of the three, peanut butter was definitely my favorite, which surprised me because I really love guava, but the guava here was just too sweet for its own good.

In all, the experience at The Foundry was pretty good. The service was great and they were very amenable to my unvegan needs. Unfortunately, their failure to list out all of their ingredients made for less-than-stellar grilled cheese experience. So beware, fellow unvegans, for although I recommend The Foundry, you must be sure to ask what comes with everything, because there could be some surprises.