Wednesday, June 04, 2008

This time, a vegetarian burger.

As much as I love a good burger - gourmet or plain - I also love veggie burgers.

My favorite veggie burger ever was one I ate at a little hole-in-the-wall vegetarian restaurant in Bethlehem, PA called So Eat Already. It was an eclectic (mostly) vegetarian restaurant where everything was mismatched and mish-mosh - the chairs, tables, plates, napkins - all looked like they had been picked up at any number of garage sales or thrift stores. No ambiance whatsoever. Not much in the way of service either. But the food was fabulous! They had a grain burger that was absolutely delicious and a vegetarian Reuben (made with a chickpea mixture topped with slaw and cheese) that I loved almost as much. The Green Cafe now occupies that space - I don't know if it's the same owners, but they still have that Reuben on the menu but the grain burger appears to have fallen off the menu. It's probably been a good five years or more since I've eaten there. We just visited recently, but I didn't think to check it out. Darn.

Bulgur Veggie Burgers
When the June issue of Gourmet arrived, I was reminded of those grain burgers and I knew right away that I was going to make the Bulgur Veggie Burgers with Lime Mayonnaise. Not quite like the grain burgers from the restaurant, but they sounded yummy nonetheless.

The burgers are comprised primarily of bulgur, pinto beans and walnuts and come together quickly. They are very moist, so they benefit from a good chill/freeze before you put them on the grill. We were not terribly sparing on the olive oil - rubbing both the burgers and the grill sheet generously in order to avoid sticking. They stay pretty soft even after getting a nice crust from the grill, so turning them was a little tricky but I managed to get them all flipped without any tragedies.

The lime mayonnaise is definitely a nice addition to this tasty burger. Although I photographed it open-faced, we actually chose to eat them on leftover wheat hamburger buns. I think they might be even better tucked in a whole wheat pita.

Whatever kind of bread you choose, these make a flavorful and satisfying vegetarian meal.


  1. I'm so happy to see a review of this recipe! I love the idea of a lime mayo and can't wait to try them (we have yet to break out the grill this year...)

  2. Wow - that looks great. I'm a lover of veggie burgers, too! I'm in Bethlehem sometimes, so I might just check out that cafe! Just curious - what brand of bread is that? It looks nice and hearty.

  3. Stephanie - We liked these quite a bit - I've never made a veggie burger with this combination of ingredients before. Get that grill out! ;)

    Sandy - Definitely check the restaurant out - it's on the south side. I believe the bread is Sara Lee Hearty Whole Wheat with Honey. We usually get Pepperidge Farms though.....

  4. I love veggie burgers that aren't trying to taste like meat. These look quite delicious and I can imagine how yummy the lime mayo is on top.

  5. Sharon - I agree. I stopped eating meat for several years in the 90s and back then I would seek out meat substitutes. My vegetarian cooking is actually better NOW than it was then. Maybe since I do eat meat, I'm more open to experiencing a true vegetarian dish. I'm not seeking to replace anything but to enjoy it for what it is.