Getting the flavour right in a burger is probably the most important thing. But I’m a big believer in getting the texture right too. What does it feel like when you take that first bite? If the patty – or central ingredient of the burger – is soft and mushy, then you might have a problem. But make sure the bun is toasted or add some crispy ingredients to add crunch and you can restore the balance. Unfortunately the burger I had today had none of that.
When Grill’d first appeared a few years ago I was in heaven. Here was a main-street burger chain that had not one but three vegetarian burgers on the menu. So I sampled them all, accompanied by their tasty herbed chips… Until a helpful staff member informed me that the chips were in fact not vegetarian – having been pre-cooked in beef fat. That’s just cruel to vegetarians and cows. And you can’t have a burger without chips – so I stopped going to Grill’d. But today I decided to revisit.
Purple Peanuts is a busy Japanese cafe at the Southern Cross end of Collins Street. I’ve just ordered the Gammodoki Tofu Burger but when it arrives I’m a bit taken back – it doesn’t look like a burger but more like something you’d order in a sandwich shop. But never mind all that. One bite and I’m in burger heaven.
When my partner and I visited Portland, Oregon, in 2013 we were excited by the food truck culture there. On one city block alone there were around 60 food trucks, open daily. The choice, flavours and aromas were amazing. We have nothing on that volume here in Melbourne yet, but steadily food trucks are gaining popularity.
In theory Huxtaburger now have two vegetarian burgers on offer, the Sondra and the Vege Denise. I ordered the Sondra, but with no luck – I was told they were sold out. So I went with the Vege Denise. “Lucky,” the lady behind the counter said. “We only have three left!” And this was before the lunchtime rush. There were going to be a few disappointed vegetarians at Huxtaburger today. Or maybe not? You see, Huxtaburger got themselves in trouble with vegetarians a while back, saying on Facebook:
What defines a burger? What if something looks like a burger and tastes like a burger but the menu doesn’t say it’s a burger? What if it’s from a bakery, not a burger restaurant? And you can’t get it with chips?