Hold the Beef: Best Veggie Burgers Around the Country
After decades of derision from the meat-first crowd, veggie burgers have become the hottest item on a bun, front and center at some of the hippest restaurants in the country.
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Photo By: Mikey Pozarik
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Hip to Be Veg
Once upon a time, veggie burgers were thought to be cruel and unusual punishment, the cardboard-flavored penance of an ethically sound vegetarian diet. Not anymore. With increased interest in produce and the meatless diet, even the most-ardent omnivores are digging into plant-based patties, and chefs are answering the call with hearty two-handed burgers that could rival even their beefiest brethren. Including fresh vegetables and ingredients from international cuisine, these veggie burgers are leading the meatless movement.
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Native Foods — Palm Springs, Calif. (and more)
Tap 42 — Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
PM: Sushi, Bistro and Bar — Nashville
By Chloe — New York City
In the not-too-distant past, New Yorkers queuing up for vegan cuisine would have been a punchline, rather than a reality. But By Chloe has changed that. Chef Chloe Coscarelli rose to fame winning Cupcake Wars with her vegan recipe. Now she’s bringing that same A-game to Greenwich Village with flavorful salads, sandwiches and veggie burgers that people line up out the door to try. The classic is made from a tempeh-lentil-chia-walnut patty with semitraditional toppings — pickles, onion, beet ketchup, special sauce. The Guac Burger, though, has quickly become of the city’s most-popular sandwiches in any category. A meatlike patty, made from black beans, quinoa and sweet potato, is topped with corn salsa, onion, guacamole, tortilla strips and chipotle aioli, all stacked on a whole-grain bun.
Photo courtesy of Mikey Pozarik
The Madison Blind — Madison, Wis.
Pincho Factory — Miami
BeefSteak — Washington, D.C.
José Andrés is one of the best-known and most-beloved chefs on the planet, hailed for his high-end modern Spanish cuisine. He’s also an activist dedicated to reducing food waste and increasing access to healthy, nutritious fare. He’s made the latter easier at BeefSteak, his first fast-casual concept, where farm-fresh vegetables are the main ingredient. The food is healthy, affordable and bursting with flavor. Like everything he does, Andrés’ BEETsteak sandwich turns traditional notions (of veggie burgers, in this case) upside down. There’s no patty, per se. Marinated beet — what playful Andrés dubs #theotherredmeat — is the main layer, topped with pickled red onion, sprouts and romaine on an olive-oil brioche bun alongside a pile of veggie chips. As for the restaurant’s meaty name, it’s a joking nod to the juicy summer tomato.
Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez