Falafel – Veggie Burger

Falafel Veggie Burger
This review focuses on a little café/restaurant in Budapest called Falafel, which serves vegetarian and vegan food only with a salad bar format. You can also order certain items from the kitchen, such as the veggie burger or “vega burger” as it is referred to on the menu. It comes hot to your plate after about a five minute wait, during which time you can find a seat upstairs. There is very limited space at this venue, so be sure to avoid peak times if you want to be certain of getting a table.   The burger itself comes in a medium soft white bun, which is floury, with a slightly harder upper crust adding some texture. It is quite a nice bun, in fact, though very simple in taste and texture. It came with fresh salad in generous amounts – two huge tomatoes, lettuce, caramelised onions, and more. The top and the bottom of the bun are coated with light creamy houmous – just enough for you to taste it, and not enough to overpower the rest of the flavour. The sweetness of the onions is a great combination here, and it goes really well with the burger itself. It’s a nice thick patty which is very satisfying in shape and size, and the taste and texture of it is very similar to a falafel. I suspect they have simply used their falafel mix to make a much bigger lump than normal and then pushed it into the right size! Whatever they’re doing, it certainly works. The cost was just 990 ft, which at that time was less than £3. It’s a pretty good deal for a burger this big! It tasted really good as well, although the only downside was that it did not come with any extras. You literally get a burger on a plate, and nothing else! If you do still feel hungry afterwards (we didn’t – it is very filling) you can always pop back downstairs and get a small amount of the salad for not much extra.  

The main criticism that I would give is that it was quite dry – I think it really needed a sauce of some kind, perhaps tzatziki or thousand island dressing. The problem is that the houmous just isn’t moist enough to counteract the dryness of the bread and the burger put together, so there is a little something missing there. The texture was fantastic, however, and the rest of the burger was well put together with tastes that fitted and did not have to wrestle with one another for attention too much.

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Kennewick, Washington – Hotel Burgers

Veggie Burger at the Red Lion, Kennewick

At the start of this year I found myself in Kennwick, Washington, staying in a hotel for the week. I did sample quite a few veggie burgers while I was over there (particularly mushroom burgers, which seem to be very popular in the US – much more so than in the UK), but this was the only one that I have images of, and also the only one that I ate more than once. The hotel we stayed at was the Red Lion, and they had a small bar facility on site which served food, including the veggie burgers which we ate.

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Quorn – Southern Fried Chicken Burgers

One of the staples of the frozen section for vegetarians is Quorn, and although I’ve got a real love/hate relationship with it, I can’t deny that it comes in handy. Living with a meat-eater means that we can compromise by having something that is at least intended to be a bit like meat – and it’s an interesting exercise to see just how closely it hits the mark with someone who knows what it should taste like. For this review I’m looking at their Southern Fried Chicken Burgers, available frozen, which are the kind of thing you’d pick up for a proper burger in a bun or just to eat on the side with fries. The cooking time is around 16 minutes, which is a little better than some burgers from the frozen section, and could make them quite a convenient choice when you’re in a rush. Here’s what the burgers look like frozen, before going into the oven:

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Ed’s Diner – Cajun Vegetable Burger

Ed's Diner - Cajun Vegetable Burger

This review concerns a burger that I ate quite a while ago now at Ed’s Diner in Norwich while staying there for a short break, so if some of the details are a little vague, hopefully you will forgive me. I do remember one huge point which stuck out to me during even the ordering process and which certainly coloured my experience of the burger right from the get-go: the price. £6.55 for a burger on its own – no fries, no side salad, no drink, nothing but the plate it sits on – seems a bit excessive to me. We aren’t talking about prime Kobe beef here, but a simple Cajun Vegetable burger served with lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickle, mayonnaise, mild mustard, and a lightly toasted seeded bun. In order to figure all of that out you have to read up and down the menu a few times, too, as the entry for the Cajun Vegetable burger itself unhelpfully describes it simply as “the Original”, meaning you then have to go and read up on that menu item in order to get anywhere.

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Two Brewers Hadlow – Vegetarian Burger

Recently I ate at The Two Brewers in Hadlow, which is a Harvey and Sons pub. It’s not the kind of place that I would normally choose to go, but a Secret Diner opportunity came up so we decided to give it a chance. First off I’ll apologise for the quality of the images that are included with this article – unfortunately the lighting was so low that my phone camera couldn’t handle it, and as I was trying to be somewhat incognito, flash seemed like a bad idea! On the menu, the burger is listed as the following: “Vegetarian burger in a sesame bap served with straight cut chips, homemade coleslaw & mixed leaf salad”. It only costs £6.95, which isn’t bad for pub food, but when compared to something like the Wetherspoons brand it does seem a bit pricey – particularly after  you taste it.

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Pitcher and Piano – Tomato, Houmous and Sweetcorn Burger

The Pitcher and Piano in Tunbridge Wells is local to me, so I’ve tried most of the vegetarian items on the menu – including, of course, their veggie burger. This happens to be a tomato, houmous, and sweetcorn burger, served with (according to the menu) goat’s cheese rarebit, tomato, lettuce, and Russian dressing. On the occasion I’ll be describing here, I also had pan fried halloumi and chilli oil, as well as a delicious milkshake. The burger on its own costs £8.50, and is served with chunky fries, as you can see below.

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Smith & Western – Prairie Meat Free Burger

Smith and Western Prairie Meat Free Burger

Recently I went to Smith & Western in Tunbridge Wells, one of a handful of branches around the area. Of course I had to try their Prairie Meat Free Burger, and here I bring you the results! It costs £11.25 (although you can add extra toppings at a higher price), and is served with house relish as well as your choice of potato product – I went for the curly fries. Strangely, it is served open – although this does make sense as it means that you can put in your relish or other condiments more easily. This is how it was served – I then took out the tomato, added relish, and mayonnaise to the inside of the bun:

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The Blues Kitchen – Lightly Spiced Creole Bean Burger

The Blues Kitchen Lightly Spiced Creole Bean Burger

Recently I read about The Blues Kitchen opening a new branch in Shoreditch, and as we had a trip to the National Theatre coming up, I decided to book a table for before the show in order to check it out. There’s been quite a lot of hype about this new restaurant, so we went with high expectations – and the good news is that they were met. We went too early to see any music, but we were able to take a look around and enjoy the atmosphere of the early evening.The decor is great and really in keeping with the theme, and the music played during the day fits too whilst not being too annoying – most of it is instrumental. What really struck me about the visit was that a lot of people there seemed to know one another and the waiters, so it seems like there is a community springing up there already.

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The Breakfast Club – The Veggie All American

The Veggie All American

Here’s a review of something that I ate last year, but often enough that I can still review it… something that really was very special, and that I miss a lot since having moved out of the St Albans area. The Breakfast Club can be found on Stanhope Road just past the main train station, so it is definitely worth a visit if you are going to be in the area, even for a short period of time.

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Subway Veggie Patty

Before I begin this review, I have to state that the problem with Subway is the amount of customisation which is possible. I will give a review of the patty itself as much as possible, but it has to be noted that my experience of it may be different to someone else’s due to the different bread, salad elements, and dressing which can be chosen. With that in mind, I will describe the exact Subway sandwich that I almost always order: a six inch veggie patty on Italian herb and cheese bread, with cheese, lettuce, sweetcorn, red onion, and ranch dressing. I’ve been eating it this way for years, and I doubt that I’ll be changing any time soon!

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