Veggie Burgers Highlighted in NYT

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The veggie burger at the NoMad Bar in New York City uses grains, fresh vegetables, quinoa and lentils, “to replace the texture of meat,” chef Daniel Humm said, with eggs, cream cheese and Dijon mustard to hold it together. (CreditAlex Wroblewski/The New York Times)

When a laudatory 1,300-word article is published about you in The New York Times, it’s a pretty good bet you’ve ‘arrived’ – long after the likes of well-liked blogger Vegan Miche began singing your praises.

‘You’, in this instance, is the veggie burger – a contradiction in terms that, hardly surprisingly, appeals to many carnivores as well is vegetarians, vegans and other special-diet followers.

The Times noted that, until relatively recently, the veggie burger was “a culinary nobody, mushy and maligned. But when a chef as decorated as Daniel Humm turns his attention to perfecting a veggie burger, the signal is clear: That second-fiddle vegetarian staple has arrived.”

Mr. Humm has a restaurant in Manhattan called Eleven Madison Park. It has three Michelin stars, so it’s a pretty good bet his “carefully constructed” version veggie burger – it uses grains, fresh vegetables, quinoa and lentils “to replace the texture of meat,” he told The Times – also employs “eggs, cream cheese and Dijon mustard to hold it together.”

He added that, “Nothing goes into the burger that doesn’t serve a purpose.”

His mission was to make this item “to be able to stand next to our beef burger and our chicken burger, not be a dish we just put on the menu for the sake of it,” he added.

He offers it up at his NoMadBar, which is steps away from Eleven Madison Park.

The Times article continued (today, August 31):

After decades as an amateur player eager for a big break, the veggie burger has made its ascent, becoming a destination dish and hashtag darling as never before.

The newest generation of veggie burgers has moved from the edges of the menu — at best an interesting challenge for chefs to tackle — to its center, a dish to offer not just for the sake of meat-avoiding customers, but to make memorable in its own right. To do that, they are turning to a vast arsenal of ingredients and techniques to get the flavor, texture and heft they’re seeking.

April Bloomfield created a veggie burger inspired by soondae, a dark Korean blood sausage commonly stuffed with noodles, rice or vegetables, to serve at Salvation Burger, which is set to reopen this fall after a fire damaged the kitchen. (Her version is made with sweet-potato noodles, lentils, carrots, carrot juice and garam masala.)

Chef Brooks Headley, formerly a pastry chef at Del Posto in New York, has a restaurant, Superiority Burger restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, that is built around his veggie burger, “arguably the most acclaimed burger of any kind in New York recently,” The Times said.

The Times article went on and on, and included links to an assortment of veggie burger recipes. They did a good job of highlighting what an increasing number of people will be striving for as they increasingly build ‘healthful eating’ into their lifestyles. (Butchers, beware!)

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