The big debate with veggie burgers remains: make them taste like meat? Or let them taste like vegetables?
Over at Craigie on Main, Tony Maws’ flagship restaurant, a veggie burger has, for the first time, been put on the menu.
Tony Maws’ brother is a true vegetarian and the brothers collectively believe that when eating vegetables, one should let them be celebrated for their true identities, and not as a sub-par meat knock-off.
You might say this burger is an ode to brotherhood, but you could also see it as a fantastic challenge for the Chef, who makes his way around meat and veggies alike with incredible ingenuity. The veggie burger, available only at the bar and only on Tuesdays, is no simple matter and Tony treats it as seriously as any beef and bacon fueled patty.
The veggie burger is made up of 13 ingredients, including roasted black beans, brown rice, lentils, fire roasted mushrooms, tahini, fermented black bean powder, miso powder, pomegranate molasses and egg (so it is not vegan). It is large, and will give any appetite a run for its money. The bun is big, airy and makes you reminisce of childhood and the accoutrements are pickled vegetables and aioli with a healthy side of potato wedges. The house-made ketchup is actually made with anchovies and so is not served, unless explicitly requested.
If you are not a vegetarian, but interested in experiencing this burger, I recommend doing the ‘Battle of the Burger’. Simply, go in and order two burgers, one classic Craigie burger, and one veggie burger. Taste them side by side and see the difference – it’s astounding how they each hold their own.
As always at Craigie, you can wash these burgers down with any of their excellent wines or expertly crafted cocktails. The team is dedicated and quality-oriented, all as part of Tony’s vision. The future of the veggie burger is an ongoing process and tweaks will continue to be made as he hones his definition of a perfect veggie burger. Be sure to head in early as both burgers sell out very early.