Even when I got turned off of red meat for a spell as a teenager, I still never ever ate veggie burgers. That’s what chicken was for. And as someone who can have allergy concerns with soy protein, I kind of completely avoided even considering veggie burgers. But then a few years later someone introduced me to Money’s Gardenburgers. A poor grad student’s new best friend. Warmed in a frying pan and then plopped on a toasted bagel? Dinner when I wasn’t eating cereal or spaghetti. But that was like a decade ago. I’ve moved on. Red meat is a bosom buddy and meals that feel like carbs-on-carbs are less appealing to my aging metabolism. But riding the wave of FOMO with the fried chicken, a friend and I made our way to the veggie burger hot spot of the moment, Superiority Burger. Opened by Brooks Headley, former pastry chef of Del Posto and author of Fancy Desserts, Superiority Burger has tongues wagging over its completely vegetarian menu and what many have said is the best veggie burger they’ve ever tasted.
I would agree with those many. The burger was delicious. We found it very well-seasoned with a deeply satisfying flavour. The texture does not overcome the challenges of veggie burgers; the patty is still quite soft, making it hard to get that “bite” feeling with your teeth. However, the inclusion of quinoa gives it some good chew. The regular burger accoutrements of a special sauce, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and a potato bun don’t fool you, they just make it fun. Yelp will tell you that the burger is small. It’s certainly not large, but I would say it’s similar in size to any other fast food burger—that is, a McDonald’s hamburger, not their quarter pounder.
While there is definitely genius behind that burger, I was much more impressed by the taste and creativity evident in the vegetable sides. Now, these portions are on the small side. We ordered three between two of us: the burnt broccoli salad and the daily specials of potatoes oreganato and a cucumber salad. If I return, I would get two for myself. The eggplant in the broccoli salad was sort of like a puree/baba ghanoush on the bottom of the plate, which completely removed any worry of the nightshade’s common textural issues. The potatoes reminded me of homemade breakfast potatoes made from sliced leftovers. Although here made 10 times better because they’ve got crushed potato chips worked in. The cucumber salad was my favourite. There was some nice heat from a jalapeno honey, but I was all over the texture. The creamy yogurt-covered rice, the snap from the sesame stick, the crunch of the cucumber. A bowl of that for dinner, please.
We inhaled our gelato-sorbetto combo before I could snap a pic, but given that it was made by Mr. Headley, I would have been disappointed if dessert tasted like an afterthought. I never order sorbetto, but, when in Rome, given the chef’s pedigree. It tasted of the most perfect raspberry right off the vine with absolutely none of the iciness I often dislike in frozen dairy-free desserts. The vanilla labne gelato was our winner, though. Tart enough to clue you in to its namesake and creamy enough to not remind you in the least of Pinkberry.