Posted On: 04/01/2018
Veggie burgers have come a long way from the tasteless brown patties found in frozen food aisles. These days, many omnivorous restaurants take as much time to develop unique plant-based patties as they do their beefy counterparts. When we crave a veggie burger, weíre not necessarily after something determined to be as meat-like as possible; we want blends of real legumes and vegetables that deliver protein, pair perfectly with a spectrum of toppings and appeal to both our vegetarian cousin and carnivorous brother. These three house-made veggie burgers give all diners something to cheer about. Ė Catherine Klene
Luluís Local Eatery
3201 S. Grand Ave., St. Louis, 314.300.8215, luluslocaleatery.com
Luluís Local Eatery has touted the Buffalo Blue Burger since its earliest days as a food truck. The patty is coated in panko for a crunchy crust that gives way to a soft sweet potato and black bean interior. Itís soused in a lip-tingling Buffalo sauce tempered by a smear of house-made vegan ranch dressing, all snuggled in a sturdy pretzel bun. One bite of this tangy burger and youíll understand why itís been a menu staple for six years.
4317 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9252, laylastl.com
At a meaty burger joint, itís easy to default to a thin, premade patty for the lone vegetarian in an omnivorous crowd. Not at Layla. Red beets add a vibrant, medium-rare hue to Jane Says, a thick lentil-based patty bolstered by a supporting cast of condiments on a brioche bun. White farmer cheese and lemon-garlic mayo add creaminess with a subtle heat, flash-fried kale gives crunch, smoky mango sauce brings sweetness and roasted sumac onions provide a surprising tartness.
2203 S. 39th St., St. Louis, 314.771.4278, sweetartstl.com
For proof that SweetArt chef-owner Reine Bayoc works meatless magic in her Shaw cafe, look no further than the Southwest Burger. This towering indulgence piles the lentil- and carrot-based SweetBurger with cheese (dairy or vegan), mixed greens, tomato, a rich, how-is-that-vegan Southwest chipotle sauce and crowns it all with two crisp, golden onion rings. In theory, you should pick up this Dagwood-esque burger with your hands. In practice, thereís no shame in using a fork.
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