Is This the World’s First $15 Veggie Burger?
I ask the question with tongue pressed firmly in cheek, because I know, sure as hell, someone, somewhere has slapped an even higher price-tag on a veggie burger. Still, it wasn't that long ago people were bitching about paying $15 for a real hamburger. When will this madness end?
The veg burger at Redwood combines white beans and wild mushrooms into a mammoth patty that apparently wants to compete, in terms of sheer volume and prestige, with the 8- to 10-ounce gourmet steakhouse burgers out there. To its credit, the burger tastes light on traditional binders like breadcrumbs and rice. But it has other problems, like a mushiness that I can only compare to oatmeal, even when the patty is topped with house-made pickles and tomatoes.
It's like eating Quaker Oats between two brioche buns. The flavor isn't much better.
The problem is the choice of main ingredients — beans and mushrooms, which are both loaded with earthy, dare I say, mushroomy flavors. The patty needs some assistance from other vegetables, other flavors. Check out Chow.com's excellent experiment two years ago to create the perfect veggie burger.
Then there's the price-tag. I don't care if the managers, after pricing out the dish, had to affix a $15 price-tag on it. Psychologically, no one wants to pay that much for a veggie burger, especially when Redwood's Roseda Farms dry-aged beef burger is the exact same price. A major error in judgment there.
So if Redwood's veggie burger doesn't cut the mustard, whose does?
Good Stuff Eatery has an artery clogger of a veg burger, called, condescendingly enough, "Vegetarians Are People Too 'Shroom Burger." It features Portobello tops stuffed with two different cheeses, coated in panko, and deep-fried. The thing's tasty, but it's more about oil and fat than veggies.
Where else? Where are all the good veggie burgers hiding?