Monday, April 14, 2008
Veggie Burgers, Take 79830543
Does anyone still eat veggie burgers unless they have to? Like BBQs where being on a deck with your friends and half a bottle of ketchup makes everything taste perfect? Is it a sweeping generalization if I say that nobody does? Unless you make a damn fine faker on a bun, don't talk to me.
As my enthusiasm entails, there are a few veg burgs I haven't gotten around to. This is a plus--it means our gracious host city has enough tempeh clubs and tofu scrambles that I never have to settle for a simple frozen patty that the kitchen sells one of every couple of months. For those restaurants in Philly still embracing a dented box of Gardenburgers, we're not happy.
It was time to give the Abbaye a shot. I've always been appeased with their cooking, if not their unpredictable wait times. Could they make a McVeggie cry?
The Abbaye's veggie burger is not as impressive as its seitan cheesesteak, but it's close. The handmade patties are vegetable/rice-based and have a subtle kick. They come quite large, too, capped with melty gruyere. The frites, as always, are perfected by the zesty aoli.
I bring a first-timer to the Abbaye. Considering his savage appetite, he orders the last thing I expect. A standard portabella sandwich is elevated with crusty focaccia, provolone, and pesto. He raves about the bread, admits that the sandwich is deceptively filling, lingers over the aoli until few frites remain. As
usual, the art on the walls is ghastly. Burgered out, we agree that sometimes, you don't need ketchup and you don't need barbecues.