Monday, June 30, 2014

The Best Thing I Ate This Month That Wasn't A Veggie Burger

I apologize in advance if this post makes you jealous...

Once upon a time, I said that my lovely neighborhood of Astoria, Queens would be absolutely perfect if we could just get a pizzeria that served vegan pizza, and an ice cream shop that sold scoops of vegan ice cream. Well, we now have delicious vegan pizza options at Tufino Pizzeria Napoletana. And as of earlier this month, we now have vegan ice cream too:


Sweet Jane's Frozen Desserts just opened a few weeks ago, but I have already stopped by many times. They have regular dairy-ice cream as well as dairy-free flavors - all homemade and organic!

Check out this menu, dairy-free options on the right-hand side:


Amazing, right?

A sampling of the dairy-free flavors I have tried so far, from left to right:
Gingerbread, Chai, Chocolate Raspberry, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, and Strawberry. All delicious!

And the best part: This ice cream shop is just a couple blocks from my apartment. I can walk there in less than three minutes!
Complete dream come true. I have every intention of stopping by ice cream at least twice a week for the rest of the summer. And you should come check it out too!

Sweet Jane's Frozen Desserts
27-17 24th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11105

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday to YumVeggieBurger!

p.s. Today is the blog's 4th birthday!


Happy Birthday, Blog!

Sweet Earth Natural Foods Teriyaki Veggie Burger

I picked these up on a whim the last time I was at Whole Foods – because they were right next to the Field Roast sausages, so I assumed they would be delicious by association.


And since my roommates and I had a barbecue out on our patio last weekend, it was the perfect chance to try them out.


Those are not real grill marks – if you look at the prevous photo, you’ll see that the burgers come with painted-on grill marks. But these vegan, grain-based patties did cook up pretty well on the grill! They are quite firm, and held together just fine. Even flipping them over wasn’t an issue (although I brushed a little olive oil on them just to prevent sticking).


They got a little bit dried out on the grill, but they were pretty dense to begin with anyway. Neither the soft, crumbly texture of homemade veggie burgers, nor the stringy faux-meat texture of some store-bought patties, these burgers were actually more like the texture of vegan sausages.


The teriyaki flavor was nice, not overly sweet or spicy, but a pleasant taste. I didn’t want to mask it with too many condiments, but since the patty and bun were kind of dry on their own I added some guacamole and greens. One of my roommates is also a vegetarian, so she ate the other patty that came in the package of two, and proclaimed it quite tasty as well.

Although the teriyaki burger was the only flavor that Whole Foods had when I was shopping, I looked on Sweet Earth Natural Foods’ website and saw that they also make a santa-fe veggie burger and a za’atar flavored veggie burger. I love za’atar seasoning, so I will definitely try that one if I ever find it locally! They also make a bunch of flavored seitans, which I have not noticed in stores yet but I would be curious to try as well.

Has anyone else tried this brand? What flavors, and what did you think of it?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Sweet Earth Natural Foods
purchased at: Whole Foods in NYC (Bowery location)
price: for $4.99 for a package of 2 patties
YumVeggieBurger review #137

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Williams & Bailey

I stopped in at Williams & Bailey by chance one Saturday afternoon, because they seemed to be one of the few places in Williamsburg that didn’t have a line out the door for brunch. Seeing that they had a veggie burger on their menu sealed the deal.


The vegan veggie burger is offered on both the brunch and dinner menus – one of the few vegetarian or vegan offerings here, but it’s a good one.


The patty is made of brown rice, black beans, oatmeal, beets, and herbs. Rice seemed to be the primary ingredient, or at least the one I noticed the most while eating it. It was almost more like a rice patty than a veggie patty, and was fried lightly on both sides. Although it did not hold together too well, and fell apart quite a bit as I ate it, it tasted great. The flavor was really unique, I could not put my finger on what spice or seasoning it was, but it was exceptionally delicious.


The toppings could have been a bit more creative – simple lettuce, tomato, and white onion (does anyone actually enjoy raw white onion? I sure don’t). But the bun was wonderful – sweet, light, and just slightly toasted. My favorite kind of bun.


As I ate at the bar, I stared at the impressive whiskey selection. This would be a good place to return for an evening drink. As long as you don’t mind the hipstery decorations:


Cost: $9.00
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4       Bun: 5      Toppings: 2

Williams & Bailey
507 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

YumVeggieBurger review #136

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little Green Black Bean Veggie Burger

I finally fired up the barbecue grill this past weekend, for the first time this year – and, of course, my friend Michelle and I grilled veggie burgers to celebrate.


I had picked up these burgers at Whole Foods when I saw that they were on sale, although at the regular price of $5.99 for a box only containing two patties, I would have normally deemed them overpriced for frozen veggie burgers.


They are vegan, and the ingredient list is full of familiar, healthy things. I had no idea how well the patties would do on the grill, but I brushed them with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking, and laid them out over the flames.


To my delight, they grilled up quite well, and were never in danger of falling apart as I flipped them! They did look a little bit dry by the time I took them off the grill, but we ate them with fresh spinach, tomato, and mayo on whole wheat buns, so any dryness from the grill was compensated for by those toppings.

Michelle remarked how pleasantly spicy the patties were – they had a nice, bold flavor (but would still not be too spicy for someone who does not care for spicy foods). I was quite impressed too: although they had come from the frozen foods aisle, these patties could have almost passed for homemade once they were cooked. They held together well and did not fall apart as we ate them, but they were not the dreaded “hockey pucks” either. The texture was just right. And mixed in with the black beans were large chunks of peppers and other vegetables, giving it even more of a homemade feel. The box actually calls them "handcrafted" black bean burgers, and I can see why!


Although they are not the most economical choice of frozen burger patties, they were so delicious that I would definitely consider trying some of the other Little Green veggie burger varieties - or treating myself to these black bean ones again if I feel like splurging for a special barbecue party!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Little Green Handcrafted Black Bean Burgers
purchased at: Whole Foods in NYC (Bowery location)
price: on sale 2 for $8, regularly $5.99 per box (2 patties per box)

YumVeggieBurger review #135