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Who’s the Baddest? Breaking Boards with ShoNuff Vegan Burgers

One of my absolute favorite movies is 1985’s The Last Dragon – a martial arts meets Motown yarn starring the monochromatic monikers of Taimak and Vanity.

Thanks to the performance of the late Julius Carry as the dastardly villain ShoNuff – the Shogun of Harlem – the movie has been a part of my life for nearly 40 years, with repeated late-night viewing on rentals and cable.

Equal parts funny and terrifying, ShoNuff is like a villainous peacock, full of attitude and flair, always ready to show off his martial arts skills to anyone on the mean streets of Harlem who dares to challenge him.

He's also apparently a big fan of vegan food.

Recently. I learned about a hidden spot in town called ShoNuff Vegan. Unable to resist the calling of the pop-culture zeitgeist being merged with nutritious vegan eats, I stopped by to see, as the shogun says, "who’s the baddest?"


Much like the dyspeptic inner-city depicted in the film, ShoNuff Vegan stays true to character, and is located in, I think, a rundown retirement home at 901 NW 25th St.

When you arrive, you walk to the very back of the place, open up a rusted rundown steel door, and enter a cafeteria-style room featuring a pair of dry-erase boards that showcase the made-to-order menu.

When you decide what you want, you ring the buzzer and place your order and then, after around twenty minutes or so, you have a vegan burger ready to go. Phew!

Although it may require a little bit of work to find the place, once you try ShoNuff’s burgers, all doubts and misgivings are immediately cast away.

In other words…it’s totally delicious!

My ladyfriend and I had two of the flagship burgers—the This the Shiz’nit ($8.99) and the ShoNuff Vegan Burger ($8.99)—as well as BBQ Fries ($3.79).

With the Shiz’nit, we have BBQ sauce, fake bacon, veg cheez, and garlic aioli, as well as a quinoa patty.

From the top, the fries are alright – basically, fried potatoes dowsed with BBQ sauce. But, the actual non-meat…that was fire!

The down-home taste of the burger is very prevalent and very pronounced. The patty is crispy, wrapped around the veg cheez and the fake bacon. But, the garlic aioli really came to play, giving top marks!

But, really, I think the whole experience can be summed up with the original sandwich – The ShoNuff Vegan Burger.

Comprised of veg cheez, veg mayo, pickles, lettuce, onion, and tomato, on top of a quinoa patty, this is a stacked burger.

Much like the diner hamburgers I have wine and dined on through the years, this is a true testament to the skills of the ShoNuff kitchen and its staff. With the crispy brown sear on the vegan patties, you wouldn’t know this is fake meat. it's tasty and I already want another one.

As I write this, it looks like The Last Dragon’s Taimak will be at a screening of the film early next month at the Rodeo Cinema. Being the martial arts master he is, I'm thinking there's a massive promotional opportunity here.

Well, if he can find it.

Either way, ShoNuff is a top-notch vegan kitchen and should make your eating list. Although they didn't provide fortune cookies with their meal – something they should consider – it's got the glow.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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