The World Loves Adelaide (Rob) attended the much anticipated launch of Lord of the Fries in Adelaide.
“Vegan hot dogs and hamburgers.” he typed.
I paused and double checked the screen. Vegan … meats?
“So you want me to go to the opening of a vegan take away franchise?”
“Trust me, you’ll love it…”
With that I was booked into check out the opening of the new Lord of the Fries outlet in Adelaide. Let me be upfront, I like hamburgers, hot dogs and, well, all sorts of take away food. So the thought of vegan versions of some take away favourites wasn’t too enticing. Still, I’d go and take a look and give the boss his review.
Cheerful owners below - vegans rejoice at the arrival of Lord of the Fries!
It’s now late Thursday afternoon in Adelaide. Another hot one and I’m walking down Hindley Street to number 23a which is where the new outlet’s just opened. If you’re in the city, it’s just around the corner off King William Street.
The person on the door takes my name and in I go. There’s a bunch of people taking careful pictures of vegan versions of hamburgers and of course, the chips. More on the chips soon. I wander in and head for the counter, I need a cool drink after the walk in the Adelaide summer heat and grab a juice. After the first long drink, I take a minute to watch the staff behind the counter, cooking and serving up food that, well it looks pretty good. I’m skeptical. Still I’m here, I’ll give it a go.
I’m asked if I’d like a fish burger and by now my 20 year old daughter has joined me. She’s enjoyed vegan food for a few years now and is into ethical treatment of animals so she too grabs a “fish” burger. These are smaller versions for the various writers and bloggers and photographers. I go for the big bite.
And it’s delicious… seriously. Wow. I look at my daughter and she’s finished hers and has launched into chips. The chips - what can I say about a place that’s called, Lord of the Fries. They had better make good fries or there’s a serious branding problem. Thankfully they are very good. Next up comes a beef burger with no beef. It looks like beef. Smells good, just like a traditional burger but this one is vegan and it’s called Spicy Tijuana. It has lettuce and some sauce and cheese - all vegan versions. And it has a kick! I real spicy tang that I love instantly. Damn, this is good!
As I stand and munch of my ethical food, I wonder about the idea behind the franchise and go over to meet the owners, Jay and Swati Patel. Both very friendly and passionate about their food and their commitment to “ethical fast food” as the advertising promotes. Both are committed to good food that is made ethically. Wandering among the staff in the kitchen area, there’s a good vibe and all are happy to say hello and get a picture. Food looks great on the hotplates and smells good too. Back out in the restaurant area, I take a minute to look over the press release. Here’s a few facts:
The idea was born in 2004 when founders, Mark and Mandy met whilst living in Taiwan. Later in 2004, they hit the streets in a food truck and in time, a bunch of stores across Australia an also Auckland. The menu offered 100% vegetarian meals and low gluten options. The food is Halal, Kosher and offers vegan fare. Vegan and vegetarian? Ok, let’s back pedal a bit, the Hindley Street store is the first all vegan offering and is a direction that the group promises to go down for all locations during 2017.
Australia consumes around 12 tonnes of Lord of the Fries each week.
Sauces, burgers and hot dogs are inspired by cuisines from around 15 countries around the world.
The oil they use to cook is later repurposed to fuel its delivery trucks!
The menu has great options no matter what sort of take away you’re after. Burgers, hot dogs, fires and sides including onion rings, nuggets and all with a bunch of sauce options. Fries come in shoe string and thicker sweet potato and chunky options.
So the question is would a non-vegan enjoy the food? Yes, i think so. I liked the food and it had the right texture and smell that didn’t get me thinking I was eating tofu or some wobbly soy snack. I’d have liked to try a hot dog but I had to leave for another appointment. Getting home I mention to my wife that the food was good but I’d love a hot dog… yeah I like a good “dog”
My wife smiles, “You already had one!”
“Remember when we were in Melbourne and we walked along Chapel Street? Well that day we stopped and had a snack - me fries and you inhaled that hot dog… that was at Lord of the Fries!”
Well there you go - I’d eaten a “dog” and enjoyed it so much I didn’t realise it was from Lord of the Fries and meat free.
Vegans and vegetarians will love it. But even if you are not that way inclined, check it out, it’s good healthy food that tastes great and has a lot of love behind it.