Get Your Sizzle On
Plant-based proteins are making an impact on the food world.
Bursting with avocado, arugula, crispy onions, and a spicy basil aioli, the Sooo Veggie, featuring Beyond Meat’s hot Italian sausage, is a Dog Haus fan favorite.
From high-end eateries to fast-food chains, the demand for meatless proteins is sweeping the nation. According to Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, 46% of Americans agree that plant-based proteins are better for you than animal-based options. They’re putting their money where their mouths are, chomping down on everything from burgers and bacon to sausages and chicken strips. And the Springs is no exception.
Dog Haus Biergarten
Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Springs, Dog Haus prides itself on offering the Absolute Würst hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and one Bad Mutha Clucka. With its high-energy vibe, local beers, and signature top-shelf cocktails, Dog Haus offers craft casual dining for the entire family.
“In 2018, we added plant-based burgers and sausages to our menu,” says Hagop Giragossian, Dog Haus partner, “and over the last year, we have seen our brand-wide sales for plant-based items almost double.”
The Impossible Burger is definitely a three-napkin experience. Bursting with flavor, the burger looks just like the real thing, and the secret sauce is so addictive you can’t have just one. “Customers can’t believe how good it tastes,” says Aven VanVleet, assistant general manager.
The Sooo Veggie, featuring Beyond Meat’s hot Italian sausage, is equally rave-worthy. Served with wild arugula, avocado, tomato, crispy onions, and a spicy basil aioli, it’s perfect with an ice-cold beer. And luckily, Dog Haus has 30 beers on tap from which to choose.
For a true biergarten experience, order the Beyond Brat. Topped with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, and spicy mustard, it will have you saying, “Wunderbar.”
Dog Haus has also teamed up with No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org) to help end childhood hunger. If you’re interested, let your cashier know you’d like to round up your total to the nearest dollar, and they’ll contribute the difference to No Kid Hungry.
Santana’s Vegan Grill
In 2017, Dusty Hernandez opened a tiny kiosk at the corner of Union and Academy to sell vegan fast food. Before he knew it, cars were lined up on both sides.
He found a new location, and now, less than two and a half years later, Santana’s Vegan Grill is the only vegan drive-through in Colorado, and it includes a 40-seat restaurant.
“We didn’t come into this with a corporate bank roll,” he says. “What you see is the work of the community.” In addition, “Everything on the menu is 100% vegan and cholesterol free from steak and cheese to donuts and chocolate chip cookies.”
Hungry for a vegan breakfast? Santana’s cooks up everything from bacon, egg, and cheese burritos to sausage (Hernandez uses Beyond Meat products for the burgers and sausages), egg, and cheese sandwiches.
The deluxe bacon cheeseburger is the number one seller. It’s so juicy and flavorful, you’ll swear it’s the real thing. And you’ll never guess the cheese is made with potato starch and the bacon is made with soy.
The Buffalo chicken and ranch is a new crowd favorite. Crisp and tender, these soy-based chic’n strips appeal to kids and adults. Served with a vegan ranch, they are addictive.
Hernandez’s fans are so passionate about his food that they are clamoring for more locations. “The people have spoken,” he says. “We’re planning on opening a second location in Denver, and hopefully, a couple of out-of-state franchises.”
The Burrowing Owl
The Burrowing Owl is a cozy, neighborhood bar that serves soul-satisfying comfort food. It’s 100% vegan, and it may very well alter your perception of plant-based food.
“Vegans don’t want to eat just kale,” says co-owner, Cody Rilo. “We want to enjoy nachos and mac and cheese, just like you guys do.”And that’s what the Burrowing Owl delivers.
The queso is so addictive they go through gallons daily. The addition of almond milk and turmeric makes this cashew-based sauce creamy and irresistible.
Hungry for tacos or sloppy joes? The Burrowing Owl uses textured vegetable protein, a dehydrated soy product that takes on the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked with.
The Pueblo, an open-faced sloppy—with spicy taco mix, beans, queso, King’s Chef green chili, and mayo—is over-the-top delicious and just right for the plant-based curious.
The Serious Nachos are another omnivore favorite. Loaded with taco mix, jalapeños, queso, tomatoes, and corn chips, you’ll be begging for more.
Feel like splurging? You can do it guilt-free. The pumpkin spice cake with vegan cream cheese icing is so rich and flavorful you’ll be licking your plate.
Here’s a twist on an old favorite. The Adult Chocolate Milk combines Benchmark bourbon, almond milk, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup. Enough said.
For a more “healthy” cocktail, order the Mother. Apple cider vinegar is mixed with Benchmark whiskey and agave syrup and poured over an ice sphere.
There’s something for everyone at the Burrowing Owl. So grab a friend—it’s open for lunch and dinner now—and get your vegan on.
IF YOU GO
THE BURROWING OWL
1791 South 8th St. 719.434.3864
DOG HAUS BIERGARTEN
162 Tracker Dr. 719.488.4278
SANTANA'S VEGAN GRILL
3220 Austin Bluffs Blvd. 719.694.9331