Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chickpea & Olive

I’m on hiatus! The nice thing about working on tv shows is that you get a nice, proper bit of time off for the holidays. So, with my Christmas shopping all done and my apartment all freshly cleaned and organized… it’s about time I catch up on some VERY BELATED veggie burger posts!

This one is from back in October – my friend Sasha and I went to Williamsburg to check out the foodie spectacular known as Smorgasburg. As I usually do, I immediately hunted down the local veggie burger option… and there was Chickpea & Olive, with vegan SLIDERS!


Made with beets, barley, mushrooms, and lentils, these sliders were a bit pricey as far as tiny burgers go, but looked so mouth-watering that I couldn’t resist. The staff making and selling the sliders (and other delicious-looking vegan food) were very friendly, and chatted with me while they cooked. Apparently a lot of people are mislead by their name, and end up disappointed that they can’t order, literally, chickpeas and olives. I think the words “Phatty Beet Slider” caught my eye before their name, but I’m biased.


I took my sliders and met up with my friends on a picnic bench in the park next to the Smorgasburg area (while it may be a foodie’s dream come true to have so many food vendors all in one place, once it starts getting crowded, it’s as claustrophobic and annoying as Times Square! Go early in the day if you can).

But these sliders were definitely worth the crowded event – the bun was delicious, toasty but still soft. A little hard to fit in your mouth due to the shape and height though, so I ended up taking my sliders apart to eat them. The sauce had mostly melted into the patties, so I couldn’t really distinguish it from the patty flavoring itself. But that was definitely the best part – the rich, hearty, spicy patty! I immediately wished it was larger, I would definitely eat this in a regular non-slider burger size! This is exactly the kind of veggie burger patty that makes the inexperienced veggie burger eater say “OH! THIS is what they can taste like when they’re done right!”


Smorgasburg is over for the season now, but hopefully Chickpea and Olive will be back serving their tasty sliders there next year!

Cost: $6 per slider, or two for $11 (they are small, you will want at LEAST two!)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 5       Bun: 4      Toppings: 3

Chickpea & Olive
check website for current location it looks like they will be at the Vegan Shop-Up tomorrow, December 22nd, but not serving veggie burgers.

YumVeggieBurger review #87

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The General Greene

My motivation for visiting the General Greene was twofold: First, a good friend of mine has recently begun bartending here, and I wanted to come visit him while he was at work. Secondly, he had informed me that the restaurant served a good veggie burger. While he is not a vegetarian himself, he has good taste, so I trusted his opinion.

Look at that menu: “vegan w/out bun” how considerate! Imagine if every restaurant listed that information and you didn’t always have to ask for it…

I enjoyed a cocktail while I waited for my veggie burger. And I may or may not have enjoyed several more before the evening was over…


Did the burger live up to my friend’s recommendation? Yes it did! The patty was deliciously crispy, like some kind of fried fritter on the outside, but moist on the inside (and very well-seasoned). I saw/tasted bits of black beans, carrots, and potato, among other ingredients.


The bun was sweet and fresh, lightly toasted – just the way I like it. But the real star of the show was the herbed mayo (hmm, the menu should probably mention that vegans should ask for it without the mayo too…). It just added the perfect kick to the whole burger, a very refreshing flavor. And everyone knows avocados and roasted red peppers are my preferred toppings for burgers when I am making them at home… Served with a side salad.

The whole restaurant is very cute, warm and cozy and smelling of delicious food. I haven’t spent much time in Fort Greene, but I can imagine that if I lived there I would come back to this restaurant again. Actually the whole neighborhood was quite cute. It’s been awhile since I tried a veggie burger in an unfamiliar neighborhood, but it’s so much fun because I get to explore new places while I’m getting a (hopefully) delicious meal!

Tip your bartender well, especially if he is the man in this photograph!

The cocktails were delicious as well.

Cost: $13
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 4      Toppings: 5

The General Greene
229 Dekalb Avenue
between Adelphi Street and Clermont Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

YumVeggieBurger review #86

Monday, October 8, 2012

Veggie burgers mentioned in Gothamist

Missing my burger reviews? I have a few in the works... have just been working too many hours at my real job to post any lately.

In the meantime, here's a recent mention of veggie burgers in the news:
Five Very Good Veggie Burgers That Even Carnivores Will Like
I need to try Korzo Haus sometime soon...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vacation? What's that???

It's been almost four years since I went on a real vacation.
I've been living so frugally and trying to save money all the time, and even when I'm making enough money I'm working so many hours on such intense shoots that I can't even think about taking time off for travel...
But I just booked myself a flight to HAWAII for February of next year!
(I know, I know, too far off in the future to get excited about yet... but damn it I'm excited anyway!)


I can't wait! Not only do I get to skip out on miserable NY winter for two weeks, return to one of my favorite places ever, and hang out with my one of my best friends ever, but I am going to get to taste some new veggie burgers (Hawaii has great vegetarian food!) thousands of miles away from New York! Woohoo!

So if anyone wants to recommend their favorite veggie burgers in Hawaii... you've got roughly six months to speak up!
(not that I have a countdown app on my iPhone or anything like that...)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop

I’ve been hearing about this place for awhile (including in a recent news article about the best veggie burgers in the city), so honestly I am not sure why I have not sampled their veggie burger sooner.

Since I was downtown seeing a movie anyway, I decided to stop by for dinner afterwards. (Side note: the movie was 2 Days in New York which I had eagerly anticipated, but unfortunately did not enjoy as much as I had its predecessor, 2 Days In Paris). Anyway, onto the burger…!


Although the menu says it comes with cheese, I ordered mine without – and learned from the waiter that if ordered without the cheese and the veggie bacon, the burger will actually be vegan (the bacon contains egg, apparently). Yes, even the bun is vegan.


Called the “Big Mack Daddy”, this burger is obviously trying to be the vegetarian version of McDonald’s “big mac”. But far superior to anything McDonald’s could ever dream up – I mean, look at that crispy bun! Sweet and fresh, very high quality bread, with a flakey exterior.


The patty is a thick, faux-meat hunk of (presumably) soy protein with little bits of other vegetables peeking out. It was very chewy, and held together well. Definitely not for those who hate faux-meat products, but still far superior to the “hockey puck” veggie burgers of lore!


If the patty might have been a little dry on its own, I didn’t notice because the toppings were so juicy and flavorful. I barely noticed the veggie bacon (the thin, soy-based kind, not the tempeh which I prefer) because the lettuce, tomatoes, and abundance of ketchup, mustard, and “special sauce” (that’s what the menu called it, anyway…) took center stage. I’m not really a mustard fan, but it seemed appropriate here, and actually enjoyed it in spite of myself. The whole thing was a bit messy to eat with all these toppings, and I kept dripping mustard and ketchup all over myself… but isn’t that also in keeping with the tradition of eating a good, messy burger?


Since Kate’s Joint sadly closed recently (does anyone know why, by the way???), it’s good that there’s still at least one place in this city where vegetarians can find the McDonald’s of veggie burgers! And I will definitely come back to try the other sandwiches (many vegan options!) on Tiny’s menu.

Cost: $8 (comes with chips!)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 3       Bun: 5      Toppings: 4

Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington Street
at the corner of Rivington & Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002

YumVeggieBurger review #85

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Veggie Burgers in the news, again!

Did you see this? CBS lists NYC's 7 Best Veggie Burgers.

While I think they left a lot of good ones out of that list, I do agree with a few:
Westville, 5 Napkin Burger, and Bare Burger.

and I've been meaning to try the veggie burger at Tiny's Sandwich Shop for awhile... I should get on that!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I’d been to Teany once before, and noticed the veggie burger on their menu… but that was an evening when I did not have my camera with me, and this was before I had the iPhone 4 so I didn’t want to risk taking crappy cellphone pictures at the time.


But last weekend when I was in the Lower East Side to shop for some sandals at Moo Shoes, I decided to treat myself to a veggie burger brunch.


The menu notes which items are vegan or can be made vegan upon request. Oddly, the veggie burger was not marked as such, although the waitress assured me that if I ordered it without the feta cheese, the patty, bun, and everything else were indeed vegan.


My first impression was surprise - the patty had already fallen apart before I even picked up the burger! Although I’m well aware that many veggie burgers don’t hold together so well, and sometimes a messy, drippy meal is part of the fun, I usually anticipate the patty at least looking whole before I eat it. However, it tasted good – lots of quinoa, which I’m becoming quite a fan of in burgers, and a very nice blend of spices that were more savory (did I detect a hint of cinnamon too?) than hot, although the menu called it a chipotle veggie burger.

The patty by itself was rather dry, but luckily, there was enough vegan mayo to compensate for that. Actually, maybe too much mayo (and I, mayo lover that I am, hardly ever say that!). Perhaps they gave me extra to make up for the missing feta cheese? The tomato slices were nice and juicy, but the arugula was actually slightly cooked in the center by the heat of the patty! Another unexpected feature.


The bun was a delicious, light brioche. Overall, the flavors of the burger were great – the execution just had a few flaws. I like Teany, and I’d eat here again, but the veggie burger is not the strongest feature of their menu. Luckily, they have a lot of other veggie and vegan sandwich options to choose from.

Fun fact: Several of my friends have informed me that musician Moby owns Teany, although Wikipedia clarifies that he co-founded and used to co-own the restaurant, but does not anymore.

Cost: $10
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3       Bun: 4      Toppings: 2

90 Rivington Street
between Orchard & Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002

YumVeggieBurger review #84

Friday, July 20, 2012

Meet Lynx

By the way...
In all the chaos of various film shoots last month, I neglected to mention some exciting non-veggie-burger news:

I have a cat now!

His name is Lynx. I adopted him from the ASPCA in Manhattan.

And I'm in love with him :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck


I’ve been dying to try the Cinnamon Snail’s veggie burger for a long time. Last year, I was planning to go to Jersey just for the sake of their food (that’s how highly it came recommended to me by other vegetarians and vegans!) – but then they started parking their fabulous truck on the streets of Manhattan! Unfortunately, I was always working in Queens during the same hours.

So when I recently had a week between film shoots, I immediately sought out this mecca of vegan food.


Of course there was a line – and it wasn’t even noon yet! I’m sure the line gets even longer at peak lunch hours. While everything on their menu sounds mouth-watering, I had my eyes set on the veggie burger, of course. Actually, there are TWO veggie burgers on their menu (is this heaven or what?). I opted for the ancho chili seitan burger.

Look how massive that is!

The first bite was all bun – which normally would have left me dismayed, but in this case the bun alone was so tasty I didn’t even care! Wow. Herbed focaccia bread, lightly toasted. Delicious!


The patty was rich and chewy, with just the right amount of spice. I like seitan, I think it lends itself very well to the texture of a burger, and this was one of the best ones I’ve eaten. It’s also quite filling! I could barely finish the burger, as hungry as I was – you’ll definitely get a full meal out of this one.

And the toppings were excellent too – “beer simmered” onions and garlic, arugala, pepper sauce and horseradish cream (I thought I tasted wasabi, but looking at the list of ingredients now I suppose that was just the spiciness of the horseradish). The patty might have been a little dry on its own, but all these toppings saved the day, creating the perfect combination in my mouth.

Definitely a five-star burger!

Yes, my stomach was totally full after devouring that monster of a burger – but I couldn’t resist trying one of the award-winning crème brûlée donuts too… vegan as well, like everything that the truck serves!


See that picture of the Maker’s Mark bottle on the truck? That’s because these amazing donuts are made even more amazing by BOURBON. Yes, I was seriously in heaven. The friendly truck employee told me that the Cinnamon Snail is now actually sponsored by Maker’s Mark! Can you get any more perfect than that? A vegan food truck that serves a five-star veggie burger and the best donuts I’ve ever tasted… sponsored by a bourbon brand??? That must be what heaven is like.

my new favorite donut

I think I have to go back this week to try the other burger, the “gochujang burger deluxe”, especially after reading A Soy Bean’s review of its amazingness

Cost: $9 (plus $3 for that orgasmic donut)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Burger patty: 5       Bun: 5      Toppings: 4

The Cinnamon Snail
Parking in various locations around Manhattan, check their Twitter feed for current location.

YumVeggieBurger review #83

Thursday, June 14, 2012

NYC Healthy Bites Food Cart

I’d seen this cute little food cart once before, outside the Union Square Barnes & Noble, but the other day when I was running errands in midtown and on my way to the Home Depot I finally ran into NYC Healthy Bites again, and had time to stop and order a burger.


I got really excited to see vegan sausages on the menu – how unfair is it that there are so many hotdog carts in NYC but none of them serve veggie dogs?? I’m definitely going back to try one of the sausages. But today I was here for the burger!

Intrigued as I was by the “Bollywood burger” on the menu, I was told they were out of that at the moment and only had the black bean burger. That’s okay though, I’m a huge fan of black bean burgers. I picked my own toppings off of the menu – shredded lettuce, cucumber, caramelized onions, and a whole wheat bun. This combination equals an entirely vegan burger (yes, the buns are vegan too! This cart knows its vegan rules!), but I was far too curious about the “spicy cilantro sauce” listed on the menu to pass that up, even though the guy who took my order made sure I was aware that it contained dairy (educated and conscientious, thumbs up!).


My burger looked a bit sad and smushed when I sat down on a bench to open the foil wrapper – but don’t let that fool you. It still tasted delicious!

side note: I didn't have my "real" camera with me, but I just got a new iPhone 4S to replace my 3S which finally died a tragic death, and I have to say I'm quite impressed by the quality of the photos! Maybe not print-and-hang-on-your-wall quality, but for blogging? Sure! Now I won't have to turn down the chance to try a veggie burger just because I didn't bring my camera with me

The patty was a classic black bean patty, with whole beans and chunks of other vegetables, slightly spicy. The bun was soft and fresh, but just a generic bun – nothing special (and admittedly a bit small for the size of the burger patty, which stuck out on all sides). But it was the toppings which really made this burger amazing for me – the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the spiciness of the cilantro sauce was just perfect. And the crisp coolness of the cucumbers and lettuce balanced it off nicely.

If you go to the NYC Healthy Bites cart, I’d definitely recommend ordering the spicy cilantro sauce and the caramelized onions! Unless you are vegan. In which case you should beg them to add a vegan version of the sauce to the menu. Because it was just that amazing.


I can’t wait to come back to try one of the sausages next!

Cost: $6.50
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 3      Toppings: 5

NYC Healthy Bites Food Cart
Spotted on the corner of 5th Ave & 20th Street
Check the schedule on their website for their current location

YumVeggieBurger review #82

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Courage Burger

Life and work have been a bit crazy (in good ways, though!) for me the past few months… I’m actually working from home this month, which is a new experience for me (those long periods of sitting at my desk editing my resume and searching for work between jobs don’t really count as working from home because they didn’t come with a paycheck attached). But it’s certainly got its benefits… wearing pajamas all day? Check! Home-cooked lunches? Check!

…Which gives me a chance to try some new store-bought veggie burgers!

First up: “Courage Burgers”


I’m not entirely sure why they have that name, but I kind of like it. (Is it saying you’re courageous for eating it, or saying that eating it will give you courage? Who knows!)
I’ll admit, the name was half the reason I picked this box of veggie burgers from amongst all the other choices at Whole Foods. The other half of the reason was they they were among the cheapest! And they’re vegan.


The instructions on the back of the box suggested heating the patty in a toaster – which sounded so crazy and unusual that I just had to try it!


And surprisingly, this cooking method actually worked pretty well – nicely crisp on the outside, and warmed all the way through the insides.

Oddly, although most people associate traditional meat-burgers with beef, these burgers claim to have “the terrific taste of chicken” – which certainly proved true when I tasted them. They were more like faux-chicken patties than faux hamburgers, certainly. But the texture was less stringy than most faux-chicken I’ve eaten. This was more like a mash, although it still held together quite firmly.


The flavor itself was mild, slightly sweet. It probably would have been best paired with a slightly spicy or sweet and sour sauce, but I wanted to use up some leftover sundried tomato hummus so that was what I put on mine.


I’d probably market this as more of a chicken patty than a burger patty, since it was not too memorable as a burger. But I think I prefer the Boca chicken patties over this, if chicken is the flavor I’m going for… I actually chopped up and fried the remaining three patties in a stir-fry a few days later, and enjoyed them much better that way!

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Soyboy “Courage Burger”
purchased at: Whole Foods in Manhattan
price: $3.39 for a box of 4 patties

YumVeggieBurger review #81

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival: Perelandra Natural Food Center's Veggie Burger

I was so excited to see a veggie burger for sale at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this year – last year I sampled a lot of delicious food, but I have to admit that I am biased and I was therefore disappointed that there were no veggie burgers amongst the options. So that’s another improvement in this year’s festival over last year’s!


The lovely folks from Perelandria Natural Food Center had a table set up with samples of yummy banana bread and information about their store. I eagerly stepped up to purchase a veggie burger – they were cooking them right there behind the table, and so many people were ordering them that there was a ten minute wait. No surprise, people love veggie burgers! ☺


My friend Sasha ordered one too, and when they were ready we fought our way through the increasingly-crowded room to some empty chairs by the stage area where a band was playing some amusing songs…


Even though we’d been stuffing our faces with free samples for the past hour, I was still hungry enough for a whole veggie burger, and this one looked delicious. The coleslaw was fresh and crunchy, and there was some kind of spicy sauce on it as well that gave the whole thing a nice kick. The patty itself (seitan and lentils) was tasty, and nice and crispy on the outside, but just fell apart too much. “My god, it’s everywhere!” Sasha exclaimed as she attempted to eat it. Luckily, I’d saved a fork from another vendor’s free samples earlier.

moments before the whole thing fell apart in my hands

The bun was a yummy ciabatta roll which tasted great but was a bit too chewy to eat a burger on (you know the type of bread I’m talking about – not the crispy, flakey kind, but the kind that’s so chewy you have to play tug of war with it in your teeth!). Nonetheless, I still enjoyed my burger and felt quite full afterwards. And like almost everything at the festival, it was happily clearly-marked as "all vegan!" on the sign at the booth.

If I lived in Brooklyn I’m sure I would love to shop at Perelandra (they gave us fliers about their brick and mortar store, which advertise a large “climate controlled” bulk room! Maybe I should make a special trip to Brooklyn just for that…)

Read my full review of this year’s NYC Vegetarian Food Festival here.

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

Veggie burger sampled at the 2nd NYC Vegetarian Food Festival in Manhattan
Perelandra Nautral Food Center store located at:
175 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

YumVeggieBurger review #80

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

Here's my recap of the 2nd NYC Vegetarian Food Festival which I attended two weekends ago:

The line was much shorter than last year's! And moved much faster!

My good friend, fellow vegetarian, and soon-to-be roommate Sasha joined me for the adventure.

Inside, the event was much more spread out than last year (yay, bigger venue!). It was still pretty crowded when we arrived though, and the more popular tables were already hard to get to with so many people clustering around them.

Let the food-sampling begin! Even though I make this kind of daiya quesadilla at home all the time I had to have a slice...

Free snacks? Don't mind if I do... (I saved these in my purse and they made an excellent dinner later, by the way)

Probably the most popular booth: Sweet & Sara! I happily purchased some vegan marshmallow peeps. They are just too good.

more samples - mmm kale.

This stuff was really delicious!

And I finally got to try that Faux Gras stuff everyone has been blogging about! I have to say, I thought it was going to be gross, just because fois gras always sounded gross, so wouldn't a vegan imitation have to be gross too? But nope, it was really tasty!

Love this picture of the little kid enjoying vegan ice cream :)

By the time we left, the place was about as crowded as I remembered it being last year (so crowded it was hard to walk around or see anything!). I was starting to feel claustrophobic, so I was glad we'd arrived earlier this year and gotten to see and sample everything.

Was it worth the $5 ticket? (last year it was free) I'd say yes - I felt like I got my $5 worth of free samples, not to mention some cool coupons, etc. And having the chance to try samples of things I wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to was great.

And there was a veggie burger this year! Naturally I had to try it... stay tuned for the full review ;)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Vegetarian Food Festival

Hey, what are you doing this weekend?
Are you going to the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival? I am!

I went last year, and it was crazy crowded but I'm still glad I went. This year the festival has a bigger venue and is two days long, so I am hopeful that they have worked out some of the kinks and the whole thing will be even better! You can read my recap of last year's festival here.


p.s. yes, it's been awhile since I posted a new burger review - my real job (which I LOVE) has kind of dominated my life for the past month, but more veggie burger updates are to come in the near future, never fear! :)