Vegans, vegetarians and people just looking to avoid meat in the Chicago area are about to have their very own burger joint.
The Amazing Kale Burger is slated to open in mid-November at 741 Howard St. in Evanston. The burger itself, a creation of Brandon Byxbe, has been on sale at various co-ops and farmers markets in the Chicago area for two years.
Byxbe, 32, a self-taught chef, got started making the burgers for himself, and they took off from there.
“I worked at a farmers market and these farmers were giving me all this kale,” Byxbe said.
“I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do with all this kale?’”
The restaurant will serve the burger with various toppings, many of which will be made in house – including the whole-wheat bun and a variation on ketchup that Byxbe is calling “beetsup.” Vegan baked goods and a vegan weekend brunch round out the eatery’s offerings.
What’s in the burger?
Kale, Crimini mushrooms, onion, potato, zucchini, tomato, black beans, red pepper, gluten-free oats, garbanzo bean flour, coconut aminos, jalapeno, salt, garlic, nutritional yeast and olive oil.
All of the vegetables in the burger come from local farmers Byxbe has gotten to know while selling his burgers at farmers markets.
He was working in a shared kitchen space to make the burgers he sells at the Logan Square Farmers Market, but as his popularity grew, he outgrew the space.
Byxbe has the space all painted and tiled, but he is still gathering the tools he needs for next months opening. He’s raising the money he needs for a steam kettle and commercial oven for the space on Kickstarter.
What’s his favorite kale burger?
“I really like them in the oven or a barbecue grill, to get them crispy,” Byxbe said. “They almost look like they’re burnt.
“My favorite is with some kind of vinegar, mustard or pickles, it really brings something out in the burger.”