Most of you probably already know about Boustan's legendary status in Montreal. For students, business professionals, and everyone in between, the lure of shawarma and garlic potatoes is far too tempting to deny. Since 1986, Boustan has been serving up some of the best Lebanese food in town and hasn't made many changes to its classic menu... until now. 

On August 3, 2020, Boustan unveiled new soon-to-be-classic dishes to its menu: the vegan kebab plate, vegan kebab pita, and the vegan garlic sauce. 

What's a vegan kebab you ask? Made from grilled-to-perfection shiitake mushrooms that are marinated in a mix of signature spices, the vegan kebab is Boustan's entry into the vegan revolution that's taking over Montreal's food scene. 

I had a chance to try out Boustan's new menu items and was super excited because I absolutely love Boustan.

As a former downtown worker, I'm quite familiar with everything on that menu and was stoked to try a new dish. 

Full disclosure — I'm nowhere near being a vegan but believe me, I'm not at all afraid of plant-based food. 

Here's my totally honest review of Boustan's new vegan kebab.

Upon unwrapping my meal, I was greeted with the familiar scent of garlic potatoes but what struck me the most was that other than that, there was almost no smell at all. 

As some of you know, the smell of Boustan's meatier menu options can permeate the entire house. 

Presentation-wise, it's what you come to expect from Boustan: a hearty portion of veg and meat heaped on a bed of rice and potatoes with a side of hummus and garlic sauce.

The pita wrap was — well, a pita wrap. I don't know what I was expecting.

At first, I was thrown off by the texture of the kebab's "meat" and honestly thought it was Beyond Meat but a quick phone call confirmed that it was shiitake mushrooms. 

Now, I'm not crazy about mushrooms or their texture and my palate is by no means expertly refined, but I don't think anyone will be mad about this. 

The most surprising thing was the vegan garlic sauce. Unlike the gloopy mess of deliciousness that's the original sauce, the vegan version has more of a tahini-like consistency with only a hint of garlic present in the background.

My fellow taste-tester, Jordan, on the other hand, is a mushroom fiend and absolutely loved everything about the kebab's taste and texture. Kudos to shiitake mushrooms, y'all. 

It's not at all what you'd expect. It's one of those dishes that gets better the more you eat it. 

Personally, I preferred the pita over the plate. The pita maintained its structural integrity throughout and the lack of meat grease was a welcome relief to my paper towel budget. 

Speaking of meat grease, I was bracing myself for the inevitable stomach regret that comes with eating a ton of Boustan but wouldn't you know it, there was none of that to speak of — only a full belly and a smile! 

All-in-all, the vegan kebab dishes are an excellent choice and will make all vegans and vegetarians happy. For you meat-eaters, I don't think it'll never replace your classic favourite, but there's no harm in trying something new.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

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