Moonburger in Kingston offers vegetarian fast food by car
Dining options for vegans and vegetarians in central Hudson are expanding, with several entrepreneurs now pushing the boundaries of what was once considered the extreme manifestation of healthy eating to include fast food favorites, without meat. Hudson Valley One recently reported on the instant success of one of those great “vegan junk food” stores in Kingston, the Secret Vegan Café. Now another has joined him from across town: Moonburger, a “plant-based drive-thru burger restaurant” at 5 Powell’s Lane. It is in the building that housed the Ice Castle, its old battlements are now covered with a more contemporary style facade.
Who would have guessed that vegans secretly want to eat the kind of food that’s supposed to be bad for you? Brooklyn hipsters, that’s who. Owner Jeremy Robinson-Leon, a public relations manager who fled the city to Kingston during the pandemic last year, wondered, “Why not create a totally new and totally exciting hamburger stop from scratch.” for 2021, building on the history of big, classic burger restaurants and we challenge ourselves to imagine what else is possible? A place for people – starting with a great and fair place to work and growing from there to offer a truly distinctive offering to our community.
As culinary and merchandising consultants, Robinson-Leon has surrounded himself with Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Amiel Stanek, cookbook author / culinary personality Alison Roman and former Shake Shack manager Anoop. Pillarisetti. So far, his unlikely bet seems to be paying off: Since opening day on Saturday, October 16, consumers have been lining up in their cars to wait for their chance to enjoy vegan fast food – most of the time. between them willing to wait up to 90 minutes, which seriously calls into question the “quick” part of this description. On the second day, word of mouth was so fierce that Moonburger ran out of food and had to shut down several hours earlier.
That’s right: Moonburger has no dining room, no place to sit. It is as minimal a “restaurant” experience as one might imagine. The only way to get your food is to sit in your car until it’s your turn. There have already been sarcastic comments on social media about whether eating vegan reduces your carbon footprint if your automobile is idling and spitting CO2 into the atmosphere while you wait. Probably not, so the incentive here has to be the food itself, more than the need to feel virtuous for the environment.
On the day that HV1’s intrepid food investigator showed up to check out the offerings (Halloween, Sunday, around 6 p.m.), the queue was a bit shorter than previously reported and was moving – slowly , but not so slowly that it made sense to keep turning. the engine on and off. From when we entered the queue to when we left with our dinner it took us about 35 minutes.
Was it worth it? It depends on how strong your nostalgia for takeout burgers is. We tried the ‘classic cheeseburger’, which cheats a bit: while the galette is an Impossible Meat Burger, it is served under real dairy cheese on a Martin’s potato roll which contains dairy and gluten but a gluten-free option and a dairy-free option. Our conclusion was that it was better than any standard cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant. However, despite having an acceptable beefy taste and texture, the thin patty would not fool or satisfy those looking for, say, a good, thick, farmhouse Kobe burger. There is simply no way to make it come out rare and juicy.
But that’s not what you come here for, is it? It’s the familiar and heartwarming experience of a family getaway to the hamburger restaurant in the car minus the dead cow, bad cholesterol and dollars in the cash register of a gigantic faceless global corporation that exploits the planet and its paycheck. minimum, no benefit to employees.
Besides burgers with and without cheese, Moonburger’s limited menu offers some pretty decent fries, both in the ‘classic’ and ‘hot’ varieties sprinkled with cayenne pepper – the latter is not too overwhelming even for wimps. by Scoville Scale. Cheese sauce for dipping your fries is extra. You can get an apple for dessert. The beverage choices are a variety of soft drinks, iced tea, bottled water and the Brownie Batter Shake. Made with oat milk and chocolate ganache, the latter is non-dairy and tastes, lacking the roundness in the mouth that we associate with a real milkshake. But it is dense, very chocolatey and evokes a drinkable brownie.
Moonburger is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit www.moonburger.com to see the full menu.