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.
I knew someone a while back who ate almost exclusively at McDonalds and Hungry Jacks. He was a committed meat-eater. When Lord of the Fries opened their first store he started eating there too, and liked it. He didn’t realise the burgers were vegetarian – and for good reason – in their very early days there was nothing obvious on the menu saying that they were. Even I avoided the place for months thinking there was nothing there for me.
YOMG stands for Yo My Goodness, and it’s a busy restaurant in Glen Waverley which specialises in burgers, shakes and frozen yogurt. One glance at the menu and you see they are pretty serious about their burgers. There’s two options for vegetarians.
I’ve been vegetarian for ages but I really wish I could be vegan. It would be far more ethical. But it’s hard enough being vegetarian sometimes – someone serving me in a cafe recently was convinced that vegetarians could eat chicken. When asking a restaurant if their food is vegetarian or vegan you are always at the mercy of their understanding of these terms.