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New: Guud & Evul Vegan Eats Fades Stereotypes & Has Fun With Food

Food & Drink, Food & Drink News

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on January 6, 2022
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

When you think of vegan food, you probably think of serious people who avoid animal products for serious reasons. But as vegan food gets more mainstream, the old stereotypes are fading away.

At the new Guud & Evul Vegan Eats in Tonawanda, vegan food is definitely not taken too seriously. It’s even, dare we say, fun.

Co-owner Shawn Mereau recently told us that health issues forced him to adopt a vegan diet. Mereau said he tried switching to Imposible meat to get his protein fix, but stopped eating it when he realized it contains genetically-modified ingredients.

Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

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“I didn’t want that inside my system,” he said. “Once you have health problems, you try to stay away from certain things. So, I’m trying to stay on the holistic route. That’s my main thing – to go holistic.”

Mereau said he and his business partner Clarence Middlebrook came up with the idea for Guud & Evul when they were driving back to Buffalo from Arkansas.

“The only vegan food we could find was either Impossible meat or Beyond meat, and I’m not gonna eat that,” he said. “So I was eating apples, bananas and oranges across the country. It sucked. That gave us the idea for Guud & Evul.”

Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

If your goal is to establish a restaurant, vegan or not, you have to make it fun. Fortunately, Mereau and MIddlebrook ooze fun. You can see it on their socials, and you can see it on their menu. The Smack burger, which you can get “hood dipped” (battered and deep fried), comes with vegan American cheese, pickles and Thousand Island-style Smack sauce. The Crack Rolls are deep fried apple pies, and the Weed Bowls are, you guessed it, salads. 

“I want to grab the customer’s eye,” Mereau said. “So, on my window, I’m gonna put: WE SELL CRACK. And then underneath it, in small letters: rolls. Then, put: WE SELL SMACK. Then underneath: burgers.”

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Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Chicken Fried Green Beans with creamy wasabi mirin sauce and black sesame seeds at Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

Vegan burgers are the main feature at Guud & Evul. There are also vegan hot dogs, chicken strips, garbage plates and poutine. Specials and new menu items are regularly announced on social media.

It’s not all fun and games though. Some culinary know-how went into developing the menu. Middlebrook is a classically trained saucier and Mereau learned classic techniques while working as a chef at Templeton Landing and the Seneca Niagara Casino. Mereau said he developed the restaurant’s own vegan “evul meat”, while Middlebrook used classic French techniques to develop the restaurant’s vegan sauces.

“We keep the standards of classical cooking but add some fun,” he said. “We play with names of dishes and give people stuff that they’re used to eating.”

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Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Caribbean Stir Fry at Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Blueberry Crack Roll at Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

“We want to inspire other people to eat vegan, and good vegan. Vegan ain’t gotta be just a salad or some pasta; because that’s what everybody thinks. If you say let’s go to a vegan restaurant to somebody, you get: AAH NAW! Like you’re gonna catch the plague or something.”

The beverage options at Guud & Evul are different types of bottled water and pop. Mereau said all of the pop at the restaurant comes in glass bottles.

“For a decade, I’ve refused to drink anything out of plastic bottles because of the harmful things that plastics does,” he said. “Soda may not be the best thing for you, but at least you can get it here in a glass bottle.”

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Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul
Guud & Evul / Photo courtesy of Guud & Evul

“I’m not trying to serve nobody anything I wouldn’t eat or drink,” he added.

Hours at the time of publishing (Subject to change): Wednesday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Guud & Evul Vegan Eats

21 Main St. Tonawanda, NY 14150 • $

Vegan

North Towns

Fast Casual / Counter Service

We don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to your food and service. In doing so, we’re able to offer our customers high-quality food ...

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for the Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
Find More ➭ Northtowns, Tonawanda, Vegan

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