Just about everywhere you go, there's a veggie burger on the menu. But often, restaurants resort to using Boca patties or some other pre-made frozen disc. Now, I love me some Boca. But I can have that at home. When I dine out, I want a homemade, original patty. Luckily, there are several delicious vegan burger options in Memphis. Here are my favorites:
1) Fuel Cafe's Veggie Burger
This housemade patty is, hands-down, the best burger in town. It's firm enough that it won't fall apart when you eat it, but soft enough to prove that it is, indeed, a veggie burger. It boasts a smoky flavor, and though I'm not sure what's in it, it seems to have some sort of grain base. And, best of all, they offer vegan cheese and vegan mayo.
2) Huey's Veggie Burger
Before Fuel came along, I never believed anyone could top Huey's veggie patty. It's firm and meaty, even though it's packed with veggies. You can actually see flecks of carrot and other vegetables peeking out. Plus, it's served in all kinds of ways. My fave is the one above — Texas Toast-style with jalapenos, mushrooms, and onions (ask them to leave the butter off the toast). You can also order the patty West Coast-style on a whole wheat bun with guacamole or the traditional Huey's burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. Huey's also serves a black bean patty, but I've never inquired of its vegan-ness. The veggie patty is definitely vegan though, as I once had them read me the ingredients.
3) Trolley Stop Market's Veggie Burger
This burger is generally always vegan, but be sure to ask first. It's made fresh daily, and the last time I ate there, the server told me the cooks sometimes add cheese. But he was more than happy to check, and lucky for me, it was dairy-free that day. The patty is really veggie-heavy, and different from any other burger I've tried. I detect a hint of broccoli, maybe. Or potatoes. Honestly, it's a mystery, but whatever's in it is delicious. Plus, its fried, so that adds to the flavor. The flat patty is quite large, but not too filling. It comes served with chips, potato salad, or the fresh veggie of the day. I love the English peas!
4) Balewa's Vegan Gourmet's Live Burger
This patty is totally raw! Memphis' own raw guru Balewa prepares several different versions of his famous raw veggie burger in a dehydrator. But he'll have to kill you if he tells you what's in it. You really just have to trust him on this one. The burger obviously has some beets, which would lend it that pink-ish color, and I detect some nuts. But who knows? It's served on an Ezekial sprouted grain bun, so that makes it not quite as raw. But if you're a purist, order sans bun. I prefer it on a bun with a tasty side salad.
So there you have it. If you live in Memphis or you plan to visit soon, these are the best places to grab a burger. If you need address and phone number information on any of these locations, check out my Memphis vegan restaurant guide.