Dearborn – Juicy burgers and spicy brats are what Christopher Oliver, a former butcher, loves to dish up. The twist, however, is that there is no meat in the building, it’s all vegan.
While working as a butcher, Oliver suffered from health problems including cancer and diabetes. With encouragement from a friend, he tried switching to a vegan lifestyle, first cutting out bread. When he saw improvement in his health, he continued removing more and more non-vegan foods, the last of which was meat.
“My health improved tremendously, " says Oliver. “What happened is that ethically I could no longer continue to be a butcher.”
But he still craved some classic American comfort food, and that gave him an idea.
“It bothered me that vegans were experiencing such difficulties living a normal lifestyle,” explains Oliver. Often times when he went out to eat, he had to ask for many substitutions, or for ingredients to be left out, and that made the experience not very enjoyable. He wanted to create a place where he could have everything on the menu, where it was filled with options he enjoyed, hence he created Unburger Grill.
“I wanted things that had the mouthfeel, evoked the memory of that stadium brat when you were 6 years old with your parents at a game. I wanted to connect with people, and help them to realize that good food is just good food.”
The menu at Unburger Grill is full of burgers, brats, and sandwiches. He developed 4 different types of burger patties you can get done up in a variety of ways. There is the black bean and mushroom patty, a spicy chickpea and zucchini patty, a Caribbean style patty with black beans, chickpeas, and vegetables, and “The Ultimate” patty which is his take on an Impossible or Beyond burger that grills up like ground beef. They also have fries, nachos, mac and cheese, and more as sides.
Currently, they are open for dine-in, delivery, and have patio seating out back.
For more information, watch the video above. If you would like to try Unburger Grill, they are located at 22018 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.