Young and Hungry

Comments Come True: Black Squirrel’s Vegetarian Burger

Eating my way through your advice, an ambitious list of vegetarian sandwiches from 24 different restaurants. More Comments Come True.

Remember when Jack Shephard told Kate Austen not to "let the fear in?" Oh, not a Lost freak? Let me explain.

In the first season of the popular ABC series, the protoganist Jack (Matthew Fox), a surgeon, needed Kate (Evangeline Lilly), a runaway fugitive, to stitch up a wound on Jack's back. As a non-medical professional, and after just surviving a plane crash, Kate became frightened of closing the gash. Jack then told Kate a story to help calm her:

Well, fear's sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a sixteen year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after thirteen hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac, shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open and the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I... and the terror was just so crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I'd let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that's all I was going to give it. (Source: Lostpedia)

This story of nerves spilling everywhere, subsequently causing fear, popped into my head as I took my first bite of the Black Squirrel's vegetarian burger.

The lack of patty—only eggplant strips encircling loose quinoa—creates a mess of a meal. The eggplant and bun cannot contain the tiny dots of grain, with each bite spewing its contents everywhere. Just like Jack, I panicked. How do I save this sandwich from certain un-eaten death? Well, I counted to five and ordered a porter to ease my panic. The extra beer let me care just a bit less about this unruly burger.

Like Lost, it's now over and I won't be back again.

In order of appearance in the comments:

  1. Cork Market
  2. Cowgirl Creamery
  3. Busboys and Poets (sandwich 1) (sandwich 2)
  4. Taylor Gourmet (sandwich 1)  (sandwich 2)
  5. Booeymonger
  6. Pret a Manger
  7. California Tortilla
  8. Jaleo (sandwich 1) (sandwich 2)
  9. Highland Cafe
  10. Jimmy John's
  11. Greek Spot
  12. Sticky Fingers
  13. Earl's
  14. Yum's
  15. Super Taco
  16. Luna Grill
  17. Five Guys
  18. Sidamo
  19. Everlasting Life
  20. Au Bon Pain
  21. Devon & Blakely
  22. Corner Bakery
  23. Potbelly
  24. Black Squirrel

Photo by Allison Barnett

  • Dave

    If you're willing to come to Annapolis, Punk's Backyard Grill has the best vegetarian burger, hands down.

  • Ward 4

    Woodmont Grill (formerly Houston's) in Bethesda should also be listed.

  • Come On!

    You might be the pickiest eater I've ever encountered -- the posts about the vegetarian sandwiches are SO TIRESOME because you don't seem to enjoy any of them. Whether it's too much greenery, not flavorful enough cheese (or labeled the wrong type), too messy...I'm beginning to think you should be told to go to your room so you'll appreciate your food more!

  • Kate

    Additions To Your list:

    Mao's Vegetarian
    Good Stuff Eatery
    G Street Foods
    Star & Shamrock

  • blanket

    i agree with kate, theres a mushroom croquette sandwich at Good Stuff Eatery that, while not very healthy, is a fantastic dish.

  • Mario

    Why does Black Squirrel get so much press in CP? Gotta believe they have an inside man or woman pushing stories. I got nothing against the place, but it seems like they're in here once a month.

  • Alex

    That burger sounds terrible, but your metaphor was worse.

    As an aside, @Come on!, reviews of vegetarian food by non-vegetarians are almost always tiresome and condescending...personally, I almost never take them seriously. Being vegetarian changed my palate for sure, and as a result I don't believe meat eaters can appreciate vegetarian food the same way.

    Would it kill a publication to have a vegetarian critic to review vegetarian food?

  • hamster

    I agree with you completely, this sandwich is terrible and I have no idea why people continuously recommend it.
    Agreed that you should try Maoz, not "Mao's."
    Also try the "Nana's Original" (but ask for the labneh to be put on after cooking) at Muncheez Mania in Georgetown.

  • Lily

    Au Bon Pain has a black bean burger. I order it on the multigrain bread with guacamole, lettuce, and tomato. It is pretty good.

  • Mimi

    @Alex - she is a veg.

    @Steffie- I can't believe YUM's is on this list.

  • melissa

    Did you get service or were you ignored there because you're not a dude?

  • colin

    DC's best no particular order...

    Torta @ Atlantico
    Teatro Burger @ Goldoni's
    Falafel @ Amsterdam
    Peking Duck @ Mark's (wrapped in rice paper, etc)
    The Extravaganza @ RHOB (everything bagel, scrapple, grilled ham,sausage patty,sliced sausage link,bacon,egg)