Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One and One

I came here during an afternoon of bar-hopping on a rare Friday off from work. We were hungry, and I saw the words “veggie burger” on the menu so although I didn’t have high hopes I went ahead and ordered it.

One and One

And it was pretty much the exact level of mediocrity that you would expect to find at the average bar or pub. The patty was a generic pre-made one but it was a step above some of the worst pre-made patties I have had the misfortune of eating - and at least they cooked it all the way through.

The toppings were the best part – along with the standard lettuce/tomato/onion, the burger was covered with roasted red peppers and mushrooms. I don’t care for mushrooms at all (I know, that’s weird to hear a vegetarian say, right?) but they were easy to pick off of the burger before I ate it. I am of the opinion that roasted red peppers improve almost everything they touch, and that certainly held true in this instance. The bun was a big disappointment though – rather stale and tasteless. My carnivorous friend had ordered a pulled pork sandwich and his was served on the same disappointing bread as well. The sides of fries that were included were nothing special either.

Was it good enough to refuel us for an evening of continued bar-hopping? Yes.
Would I ever go back and order it again? Not unless I was drunk and too hungry to walk another block or two in search of something better.

Cost: $10
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
burger patty: 2 bun: 1 toppings: 3

One and One
76 E 1st Street
on the corner of 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009
212.598.9126

YumVeggieBurger review #3

Monday, June 28, 2010

Zen Palate

A coworker and I came here for lunch one afternoon – I had read good things about Zen Palate’s veggie burgers and was eager to check them off my list.

Our waiter took awhile to get around to taking our order, but once we got his attention he was very apologetic and friendly so although the service continued to be a bit inattentive throughout our meal, we forgave him. I ordered from the lunch special menu – $8.95 for the “zen burger with yam fries” and a pineapple iced tea. Not a bad deal.

Zen Palate

My first bite was pretty satisfying. The bun felt like it was just starting to go stale, but the toppings were good enough to mostly make up for that – lettuce and a garbanzo bean spread beneath the burger, tomato and sprouts on top.

The patty itself tasted great. I could see bits of corn and a few other vegetables, but they were mixed together so well you didn’t taste a different one in each bite (which is often a complaint I have about some lower-quality patties). It wasn’t the most mind-blowing burger I have ever eaten, as described by some reviews I had read online prior to this lunch. But it was a pretty darn good burger anyway – a solid three stars.

zen_palate_02_photo

And the yam fries were amazing. I have to give them credit for 1. Offering yam fries as the default side instead of regular potato fries, and 2. Not charging extra because they are yam instead of potato. More restaurants should do this, in my opinion!

The rest of the menu had some pretty tempting-sounding dishes as well, so I wouldn’t mind returning to try something else. Although if I am in midtown and craving a veggie burger again, I also wouldn’t mind returning to eat this one again.


Cost: $8.95 lunch special ($9.50 on the dinner menu)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3    Bun: 2      Toppings: 3

Zen Palate
663 9th Avenue
between 45th and 46th street
New York, NY 10036
212.582.1669

YumVeggieBurger review #2

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sparrow Tavern

Welcome to YumVeggieBurger!

This is my first review – Sparrow seemed the perfect choice because I had eaten their veggie burgers many times before starting this blog. And geographically they are the closest to my apartment of all veggie-burger-serving restaurants (just a few blocks away!) Which is perfect because I have a strong appreciation not only for good veggie burgers but also for candle-lit bars with beautiful interior d├ęcor and delicious wine.

My burger tonight was just as good as the ones I have previously eaten at Sparrow – they are served on both the brunch and dinner menus.

Sparrow

The veggie patty itself is excellent– a mix of different veggies (chopped so finely that none stand out awkwardly) and breading, slightly crispy on the outside and warm and rich on the inside. The flavors and textures are exactly what I enjoy in a veggie burger. And topped with greens and a very tasty spiced mayo it is an immensely satisfying combination. I’m a sucker for a good mayo-based sauce, and Sparrow’s is superb. The sauce comes on the side though, so if you don't add it to the pita, the whole thing is vegan without it.

The burger comes in a whole wheat pita rather than a normal bun, which is tasty and an interesting change from all the other veggie burgers I eat… it almost begs the question “does it really qualify as a burger?” Sparrow’s menu says it does, but the experience of eating it is just different from what you imagine when you think of eating a burger. It’s not that it ruins the overall taste – I think the pita actually works in favor of the patty and other fillings in this case. But the texture is not the same and the very act of picking it up and biting into it is not the same.

A choice of green salad or fries (herbed or spicy) is offered with the burger. I have had the burger served with the green salad before, which came with a nice dressing and was very enjoyable. But the herbed fries are my favorite. Whether with a burger or just on their own, actually... if you are here drinking late at night and find yourself slightly hungry before the kitchen closes, you should definitely order them!

Cost: $9.50
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 5   Bun: 3   Toppings: 4

The Sparrow Tavern
24-01 29th Street
Astoria, NY 11102
718.606.2260

YumVeggieBurger review #1