So this week I’ve been out for a burger twice which is a rarity for me.
The first was after yoga on Monday. It’s turned into a routine that we try something new every week and it’s a good excuse to get my yoga teacher Kirsty to try vegan food and to show her how good it is. This week after seeing lots of rave reviews on Instagram we went to Holy Cow.
It’s local, seasonal and 100% vegan… just the kind of restaurant that I want to visit and support. They have l a list of 5 burgers which for the price of £9.50 come with a side of chips. As there was two of us we had a burger each so we could split and try more.
I went for the green tofu burger. It’s a tofu and lentil patty with added spices for flavour but not heat. Given Kirsty doesn’t do heat this ticked all the boxes. She went for the bloody burger which is a beer burger with garlic mayo.
So here the green tofu burger. Sadly I found it pretty bland. The spices were there but it was very much like when I’m too lazy to toast my spices before I make a curry. It comes out muted and powdery until you cook them down and bring out their full flavour.
The bloody burger was even more tasteless, as we were splitting I only had half of one but even then I barely touched a quarter of it before leaving it. The only way I can think to describe it is floury. Now beetroot isn’t a flavour to hide in the background it’s earthy and seeet but somehow this burger had managed it. Even the buns were dry and plain.
Vegan food gets a bad rep sometimes and when you take someone to an all vegan place and they leave feeling that vegan burgers are rubbish it’s pretty disappointing. Vegan food can be amazing, flavourful and much more satisfying than it’s meaty counterpart… just not in this instance.
All that hard work I’ve put in to convince her to cut down on meat and try vegan options has now been scuppered.
Fast forward to today and we’re going to Bread Meats Bread, a place that prides itself on meat and poutine, the last place you would think to eat as a vegan. Much to my surprise they have 3 vegan options on their menu and they all sound pretty good.
The burger is £7.50 and the regular fries are £2.50 (and huge). While it’s down as a pulled mushroom burger your not getting tiny shreds your getting thick slices of juicy mushroom in a sticky sweet and slightly spicy BBQ sauce. On the side their in house vegan Mayo which is miso and tofu based.
I stopped short of licking the plate with this but that was only because I would explode if I ate anything more. I couldn’t bear to leave anything on the plate though as it was just delicious. A special mention has to go to Leo’s fries choice. Those glazed sweet potato fries are incredible.
So here’s the dilemma.
I want to support independent vegan places. It’s a small business, it’s vegan and it’s a treat to be able to pick anything off the menu rather than be lumped with one crappy option but that was the worst burger I’ve ever (half) eaten. Then we’ve got a place that specialises in meat but has gone to the time and effort to make something truly delicious and is easily one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
I’m not going to stop supporting vegan places but at the same time there is no point supporting somewhere purely because it’s vegan, it needs to be good at what it does too.