Not many restaurant names inspire a quick double take when driving past. The Vegan Butcher is an exception, with an eye-catching oxymoron moniker that’s not as self-contradicting as it first appears. This playfully appealing eatery offers a spectrum of plant-based and animal protein dishes, with the main focus on healthful, freshly prepared foods that can please a diverse group and also be adapted for specific food sensitivities. The kitchen maintains completely separate cooking surfaces, utensils and equipment for vegan dishes to avoid cross-contamination. Two pieces of equipment not found in this kitchen are a microwave and a toaster: Rolls are flame toasted.
Owned and operated by brothers Ayoub Abboud – the head chef – and Dr. David Abboud, a physician who looks to improve patients’ health through lifestyle modification, this sibling team developed a menu with varied iterations of the same dish. For example, four specialty burgers adorned with scratch-made toppings – and a choice of dairy or plant-based cheese, plus a gluten-free bread option – may be made with 100% real beef (fine ground in house) or plant-based versions that include an Impossible Burger and a Beyond Burger Patty. The Egg-Splosion Burger may be topped with a plant-based egg or real egg. So everyone can come together at the table and eat the same-yet-different dish. Essentially, this is fast food, elevated.
Sandwiches include Banh Mi (choice of tofu or beef barbacoa) with an abundance of crunchy veggies on a French baguette, Avocado Toast with egg options and more. A trio of tacos – again, meat or non-meat – on hand-pressed tortillas sport generous toppings, and extra-bountiful Pineapple or Soy Fried Rice Bowls can easily be shared. (General Manager Galen Rodriguez reports that four cups of cooked rice go into every serving.) Appealing sides include vibrant Lemon Fries tossed with parsley (only one version!), Truffle Fries (with a choice of plant-based or real Parmesan cheese) and Loaded Fries with plenty of choices. Street Corn – grilled corn on the con with avocado dressing, Old Bay Seasoning, and sliced scallions – is totally irresistible. Happily, it’s not an easy dish to share.
An upbeat vibe – fueled by retro-fun vintage toys, an Atari game, bright murals, a cheery chalkboard and a wall covered in cassette tapes – lifts the spirits as guests approach the counter to order. The seamless process begins by first informing the employee of your diet restriction before choosing a menu item. The cooking pros will then be able to tailor your order with the appropriate proteins, bread, cheese, aioli and more to fit your personal dietary preferences. It’s also that easy when ordering to-go items for pickup or delivery by DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Grubhub.
The Vegan Butcher has acquired a stellar reputation in the plant-based food community, and guests from Philly, New York, and beyond make this a destination on weekends. As a sponsor of Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the restaurant is thrilled to feed the players. A customizable catering menu can meet the special dietary needs for any size event – even a wedding for 400 guests.
THE VEGAN BUTCHER | 768 UNION BLVD., ALLENTOWN | 610-351-1265 BYOB