Monday, August 23, 2010

Rockin' Raw

This was my first raw food restaurant experience! I’d eaten raw foods made by myself or others, or purchased at a store, but never had a sit-down meal at a raw-food-only restaurant before. So I was excited to add a whole new type of veggie burger to this arsenal of reviews.

Since it’s Summertime, and I came to Rockin’ Raw on a pleasantly warm and sunny day, I sat outside in their back garden. Which is absolutely beautiful. It felt like going over to a friend’s house and hanging out in their backyard for lunch. As someone who grew up in the country, I miss that sometimes – and this is probably the closest I’ve come to experiencing it in NYC.

So if you visit this restaurant, I highly recommend sitting outside if the weather permits. I bet it would be really beautiful (and romantic!) at night too, since I saw lots of string-lights and candles scattered around.


Raw food is expensive, I have learned, after peeking at menus online as I scope out future places to visit on my quest for more veggie burgers. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that Rockin’ Raw has a “4 Course Prosperity Lunch” special for $13 that includes a juice, salad, soup, entrée, and dessert. And the “Rockin’ Raw Burger” just happens to be one of the four entrées you can choose from on this menu. Perfect!


The “bun” is what makes a raw burger so dramatically different from any other. It’s so dense and hearty that it could almost be a patty itself if you placed it between slices of bread. Beneath it were stacked tomatoes, pickles, and greens – with a layer of something that tasted like hummus at the very bottom below the patty.


The patty was the best part of this burger (which is vegan AND gluten-free!). The flavoring was amazing – eggplant, walnuts, herbs… and yes, mushrooms. While I normally hate mushrooms, I don’t mind them if they are chopped up and I can’t distinguish them from other ingredients. The mushrooms in this patty passed that test – plus, their flavor was outdone by the strong deliciousness of the eggplant. Why don’t more veggie patties incorporate eggplant? It seems perfectly suited to the task… thick, meaty, and flavorful.

I think I might have liked this patty better on its own though – with the same toppings to complement it, but minus the bun, which just felt too similar to the patty in texture, and kind of took away from my enjoyment of it. It’s interesting to see how something I take for granted like bread can be realized in raw-food form… but it’s kind of trying too hard in this case. I can easily imagine it being delicious with some kind of fruit spread on top. But it doesn’t work as well for a burger.

Did my raw meal absolutely blow my mind? No, but I had a nice lunch anyway.
The lemonade and the soup were quite good. The chocolate ice cream I had for dessert was an itty-bitty serving, but it tasted delicious. And I can’t say enough times how nice the whole garden area was – I wouldn’t mind coming back with friends for dinner sometime, although I would try something else on the menu instead of the burger.

Cost: $13 on the lunch special menu ($15 on the dinner menu)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 4      Bun: 2      Toppings: 3

Rockin’ Raw
178 North 8th Street
between Bedford and Driggs Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

YumVeggieBurger review #19


  1. Very cool! I never knew about this place!

  2. I just discovered your blog. Way cool to specialize in the Veggie Burger Grail. I've subscribed and am churning through your reviews. Can't wait until you wander, (or I read up to), to the Upper East Side. You're saving me from countless Gardenburger and Dr. Praeger lunches. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Marty's Flying Vegetarian Review

  3. Hi Marty,

    Thanks for the comment! (and the link to your blog - always glad to read more veggie reviews!)

    do you have any recommendations for the upper east side? I have not tried any veggie burgers there yet.