Thursday, February 20, 2014

Better Burger Company

Last weekend, I rode a bus through a snowstorm to Providence, Rhode Island. When the bus finally arrived, two hours delayed, this was my first view of the snowy, nearly-empty city:


Despite the cold snow blowing into my face, it was kind of beautiful.


I trudged up a snowy hill from the bus stop to the Better Burger Company in search of dinner. Reviewers online had praised their veggie burgers, so I was excited to try one. While many nearby restaurants and coffee shops had closed early due to the snow storm, Better Burger Company was thankfully still open. Although the place was mostly empty, there were a couple of guys watching the Olympics on the large tv screens, as well as a group of four college girls taking “selfies” and dancing in their seats to pop hits on the radio.


Better Burger Company’s menu boasts three veggie burgers: a falafel burger, a veggie burger, and a black bean burger. The black bean burger is listed as “vegan” on the menu, but when I asked the staff if the bun was vegan too, the cook informed me that the bun contained dairy and egg. “Most bread has dairy in it,” he added. No shit, Sherlock – but maybe you shouldn’t call your burger “vegan” if you know the bun it is served on does not qualify! Even the gluten-free buns (available upon request) are not vegan. The cashier told me that a lot of people order the burger without the bun, and they can serve it in a lettuce wrap. I still think this should be noted on the menu, so that people keeping a strict vegan diet are not mislead!


My non-vegan bun was pretty standard whole wheat bread, but larger than average to accommodate the oversized patty (I’m not sure these pictures do it justice, but this thing was huge!). But it was too soft and crumbly – the whole bun fell apart in my hands and my fingers ended up covered in sauce from the middle of the burger.

The patty was a hearty mash of black beans with a bit of spice. It was insanely crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside – it was rather greasy, and I wondered if the whole thing had been deep fried. Definitely homemade, which is nice, but far from healthy – but then again, this is a fast food burger joint afterall.


Topped with lettuce and tomato, the burger also contained a strange yellow sauce or dressing with a bizarre flavor that I couldn’t identify. The menu described it as “spicy BBQ aioli” but it didn’t taste like any barbecue or aioli sauce I had ever had before. I was not a fan.

The burger was too ginormous for me to eat the whole thing, even as hungry as I was – I think I ate enough of it to amount to a normal-sized burger, and had to leave the rest on my plate. I can imagine if I were a college student in Providence, I might spend many a late night here after a lot of drinks. A big, greasy veggie burger probably tastes great then - but sober and having spent over six hours on a greyhound bus, I found it less enjoyable.


Cost: $6.99
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3       Bun: 2      Toppings: 2

Better Burger Company
215-217 Thayer Street
Providence, RI 02906

YumVeggieBurger review #122

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I was already to like this place based on the fact that they were open for you. Then, the dreaded non-vegan bun. Thanks for always looking out for the vegans; we like bread too, BBC!