The film shoot I was working on has finally wrapped – so now that I’m not working 20-hour days constantly, I have time to go eat more veggie burgers!
And time to do other things, too… like go on dates. This happens to be the first burger I ate and reviewed while on a date. Don’t worry though, it was a third date – I might talk about Battlestar Galactica on a first date, but I’ll save my dorky photographing of half-eaten veggie burgers for a later time, when the guy in question knows me a little better and won’t be totally weirded out ;)
I’d wanted to try Westville’s burger for some time now, since a friend recommended it to me awhile ago. Having walked by their East Village location many times, and noticed how cozy and fun it looked, I figured it would be a good place for a date as well.
Of course I ordered the veggie burger – which comes “topped with mixed mushrooms & spicy tartar sauce”. Since I’ve often professed my dislike of mushrooms, I asked the waiter if I could order the burger without them. I added avocado ($1.50 extra) to compensate for the missing topping.
Alas, my burger was still served to me with the mushrooms - although they did remember to add the avocado.
But I just shoved the mushrooms off with my fork before eating the burger. My date didn’t seem too turned-off by this.
Avocado was a much better topping, along with the lettuce, red onion, tomato, and pickles. The little tartar sauce left behind after most of it stuck to the mushrooms I removed tasted pretty good as well. I thought the bun was just average – nothing too special.
But the burger patty itself was delicious.
Warm and soft on the inside, with the ideal layer of crispy on the outside. Everything was mashed together so finely inside that I couldn’t quite pick out individual ingredients. It tasted like red peppers might be a main component though, and that would explain the bright orange coloring of the patty as well. I could also see corn, bits of onion, and other vegetables as well. The flavor was wonderful – very rich and savory.
I asked the bartender (we were eating at the bar because they were rather crowded and we didn’t want to wait 20 minutes for a table) if the burger was vegan, and he said he would find out. Another employee came out and told me that the burger was vegan, no dairy or eggs. But after he left, the bartender confided to me that he thought that guy was wrong - and that there were actually eggs in the patty. I was surprised by this contradiction among the staff – it reminded me of a Food Network article which Super Vegan linked to recently, describing how about 15% of chefs said their vegetarian dishes might not be completely vegetarian”. I’m sure the statistics are even higher for vegan dishes… tartar sauce is not normally vegan.
So if you are vegan, I’d hesitate to recommend that you eat Westville’s burger – although the bartender pointed out to me that they do serve an all-vegan hotdog. For vegetarians though, the burger really is worth trying. And the sweet potato fries were amazing! My date had a vegetable platter which he enjoyed very much as well, and says he can't wait to come back to this restaurant again. The menu quite extensive – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a long list of daily specials before! I definitely want to come back to try more of the dishes here, although I’d be just as happy to come eat the veggie burger again, too.
Cost: $10 + $1.50 for avocado
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4 Bun: 3 Toppings: 5
173 Avenue A
at the corner of 11th Street
New York, NY 10009
Westville locations in Chelsea and the West Village as well
YumVeggieBurger review #28