Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I'm off traveling and spending the holidays with my family and pets, so here's to you and yours and Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas Eve!


I'll have some new posts up after the holidays, including an old favorite veggie burger from my hometown which I just had the chance to enjoy again last night for the first time in several years, and finally photographed for a blog review :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Union Square Holiday Market: Mighty Balls

Question of the Day: Does a meatball slider count as a burger?

I confess, I have a sentimental weakness for the Union Square Holiday Market. Sure, it’s a lot of the same stuff year after year and it’s way overpriced and I rarely even make any purchases… but I love just walking through the festive atmosphere and looking at all the beautiful things under all the holiday lights.


This year, a new vendor caught my eye – Mighty Balls (har, har), serving gourmet meatballs on heros and sliders. Sliders! That means burgers, right? Their menu said they had veggie balls. So I decided that, even though you could argue it’s not really a burger, I had to try them.


I ordered two sliders – you get to choose your balls and your sauce, so I got African Onion sauce on one of my veggie balls, and Cranberry Horseradish on the other. All of the sauces are vegetarian except for the “Not Your Average Brown Sauce” – which I appreciated the vendors warning their vegetarian customers about. The balls themselves contain egg and cheese, so they’re unfortunately not vegan-friendly.

They look like burgers to me!

The Onion Sauce was definitely the better of the two – saucy and tangy and the perfect compliment to the patty… er, meatball, I mean! And it had peppers and pieces of onions in with the sauce, so it was more than just liquid poured over the meatball. The Cranberry Horseradish was tasty but there wasn’t enough of it on the slider, so that one ended up being too dry.

The buns were light and sweet, easy to hold, kept the balls and sauce safely inside with minimal oozing out the sides, and were the perfect size to accommodate the veggie balls. The veggie balls themselves were a mixed mash of vegetables (I couldn’t really identify specific ingredients), fried on the bottoms, which really brought out the taste of the cheese in them. I probably would have appreciated this more if I still ate dairy with any regularity, but since I hardly ever eat cheese now I’ve kind of lost my ability to enjoy it. The balls were a little dry, but the onion sauce at least made up for that on one of the sliders.


Mighty Balls just opened last spring. They don’t have a brick-and-mortar location but they describe themselves as a “mobil vending company” and sell their meatballs at fairs like the Holiday Market and the Hester Street Fair, and do catering and other events. Check their website to find out where you can find them next.

Cost: $3.50 per slider
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 3      Bun: 5      Toppings: 4

Mighty Balls
Currently selling at the Union Square Holiday Market until Christmas, December 25th. Check their website for other upcoming events and locations.

I feel like there's enough of an argument to be made in favor of reviewing meatball sliders like burgers… or maybe I’m just trying to justify another trip to The Meatball Shop in the near future? ;)
What do you think?

YumVeggieBurger review #77

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gardein Beefless Burger

I heard some good reviews of Gardein’s faux-meat products awhile back, so I’ve been curious to try them. Especially after I learned that they make a veggie burger, too!


Described on the packaging as “The Ultimate Beefless Burger” this vegan burger patty looked pretty meat-like to me as it sizzled in the frying pan. I even felt a little nervous about it, it seemed so much like real beef! Instead of the infamous “hockey puck” shape of most store-bought veggie burgers, this one looked more natural, like a home made patty.


I loaded it up with avocado, greens, and hot sauce on a fresh roll. Avocado just goes so well on everything, in my book. Especially when they are on sale ;)



The taste is very similar to Boca’s traditional “hamburgers”. I didn’t find it very different at all, actually, except for the shape as I previously mentioned. I was surprised, because I had been expecting Gardein to be a vast improvement on the usual frozen veggie burger patty. The texture was that soy, faux-meat texture I think all vegetarians are intimately familiar with by now.


It wasn’t very flavorful on its own, maybe next time I’ll try slathering it with barbecue sauce while it’s still in the frying pan. Not terrible, but there are better store bought burger patties out there. Although I am a fan of Gardein’s other faux-meat products like their various flavors of “chicken” (which, I should note – come with really delicious sauces, which is probably why I enjoyed them so much more than the burger).

My local grocery store doesn’t seem to carry Gardein products, although when I went upstate for a weekend last month I saw a bunch of them at a big supermarket up there, even way out in the country, which surprised me. Where did I end up finding mine?


Bed Bath & Beyond! No, really. I didn’t realize they had so many food products either. But they do! And a lot of vegetarian stuff at that! I was quite impressed. And with one of those “save $5 when you spend $15 or more” coupons that I get from them in the mail every so often… it’s the perfect place to stock your freezer with a few bags of faux-meat products.

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
purchased at: Bed Bath & Beyond in Manhattan
price: $4.99 for a bag of 4 burger patties

YumVeggieBurger review #76