I’ve been to TGI Fridays a couple of times, although the last time was a while ago. I don’t know whether they have changed their menu recently, but I certainly remember having a much better meal the first time I went. Whether the food has changed, or whether it was the fault of the particular chefs, I’m not sure – but I expected a bit more from this burger, or “sandwich” as they call it, than I got. To start with, it was brought out first with the wrong fries, and out of a table of eight there were four mistakes when they brought the food out, with another plate arriving very late. Three out of eight is not a good start.
On the VegBurge scale, I give this…
Taste – 5/10
Price – 4/10
Rest of experience – 5/10
A while ago I went to the Smith and Western in Tunbridge Wells and tried their Prairie Meat Free Burger, and recently I went there again to discover that their menu had changed. They now offer you the chance to swap the meat version of any of their burgers for a vegetarian one, which means a lot more options are now available to you. However, the price does not go down for any of the swaps, so in essence you still have to pay meat prices whether you’re eating it or not, which is frustrating. The prairie burger that I reviewed before is no longer available, however, the burgers do still come with coleslaw and a choice of normal fries, curly fries, or wedges as before.
I was in Norwich over Christmas and had time to stop off at the Revolucion de Cuba bar and restaurant for lunch. Their Spicy Bean Burger is £10, and the description on the menu reads: “black beans, cannellini beans, sautéed peppers and onions mixed with Cajun spices, then breaded, deep fried, and topped with mango salsa.” It also came with chips in a mug, pickle, some beetroot slices, and paprika and rum flavour mayonnaise, all served on a wooden board.
I am quite excited to have my first recipe post to share with you, and to report back on how it worked out for me. I found this recipe online by Kathy Patalsky, and wanted to try it right away. We love sweet potatoes and cook with beans and spinach all the time, so it seemed like a perfect fit! I changed a few small details in the recipe, so I will record exactly what I put in and how I cooked it here. I actually even forgot a stage or two, so I will reproduce the recipe here with my changes added.
When you head to a Burger King, as a vegetarian, there are two options: the veggie burger, or the veggie wrap. As we are about to see, those two options are not so very different after all. One of the things that always has and always will annoy me about restaurants and fast food venues is the lack of choice for those who do not wish to eat meat; given the increasingly large number of vegetarians and vegans in the country, and also the factor that not everyone who does eat meat wants to eat it at every meal, you would think there would be more on offer. But instead of the wide range of options of fillings, burger buns or wraps, salad accompaniments, sizes, and so on that carnivores get, for vegetarian diets, there are just these two.
I recently stayed at the Arden Hotel in Birmingham ahead of Clothes Show Live, and since all of the food venues in the NEC closed early, we ended up eating at their own restaurant and bar. Apparently you have to book ahead to get into the main restaurant (even though the entire thing was empty bar one table when we got there), so we ate at the Burgundy Bar section just opposite. Unfortunately for the burger, it found itself in an inhospitable environment: drunk Christmas party guests were staggering around, gusts of cold air were blowing in from outside in the smoking area, and much more could have been desired from the staff.
Recently I ate at a pub in a small local village in Kent, Wrotham. The pub is called The Moat, and they serve a sweet potato and red pepper burger on their menu. Of course, I just had to try this out! It comes served with homemade coleslaw and skinny fries, and has a gherkin stuck on top as well, giving it quite a strange appearance. It is placed on a wooden board with a paper tray, which unfortunately is quite easy to tear once you start to eat the coleslaw. This is one of my pet hates at the moment as paper seems to be “in” with burgers – it just makes a mess, and I don’t want to eat it by accident.
This week I’m taking a look at the Iceland Spicy Bean Burgers, which are available in the vegetarian freezer section and can be cooked either in the microwave or the oven. For the purposes of this review, I put them in the oven, although a favourite snack when I was a student with no money was to put them in the microwave. I would then cut them into strips, lay them inside a tortilla, and wrap them up with some salad vegetables. They are fine if done like this, but can be a bit soggy underneath if they get too damp.