I’ve wanted to try Pure Food and Wine’s veggie burger for awhile, so I was delighted to finally have a chance to stop in for lunch one day (Note: The veggie burger is only on the lunch menu, not the dinner menu!).
The restaurant has a beautiful, relaxing interior that’s fancy but not pretentious. It looks like they have a garden seating area out back, which would be lovely when the weather gets a bit warmer!
While most of the food here is raw cuisine, the portabella and hemp seed burger is served on sprouted manna bread, which the menu points out is “neither raw nor gluten-free”. So I realized I was not getting the full raw food experience by ordering the burger, but I was still looking forward to something healthy and delicious.
I hate to say it, but that side salad was probably one of the worst I've ever had - I swear it was dressed with nothing but oil, no other seasonings at all. So literally just oily lettuce with some cilantro. Sad.
My first thought was that the burger looked smaller than I had expected – it appears to be stacked quite tall, but it’s not very wide. The bun was very thick and dense, full of grains and maybe seeds, with a nice nutty flavor – but it was hard to even wrap my mouth around it, it was so thick! And it was even too tough to cut with a knife.
The patty was dark and earthy – I’m not a mushroom fan, but I sometimes make an exception for portabellas. Luckily, this patty was not too strongly mushroom-flavored; I could tell the portabella was blended in there somewhere, but there were other flavors too. It was rather mushy. I could not decide if I actually liked the overall flavor or not – it was certainly unlike any other burger I have eaten, even though I have eaten several other raw burgers over the past few years.
Now you get a sense of scale!
The toppings were the best part. The soft lapsang souchong tea smoked cashew cheese was nice and sharp, and went well with the caraway kraut, pickled pink onions, and mustard. Very creative!
Overall though, the bun and the patty were not as stellar as I had hoped for, given Pure Food and Wine’s reputation (many people have raved about the food here!), and the price of the burger ($15). Maybe I should come back and try something other than the veggie burger, since I’ve apparently been spoiled by too many amazing veggie burgers at this point!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Burger patty: 3 Bun: 3 Toppings: 4
Pure Food and Wine
54 Irving Pl
between 18th & 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
Takeout also available from One Lucky Duck – 125 ½ E 17th Street
YumVeggieBurger review #128