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:
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.