FANFARE>>“I wish more restaurants would offer veggie burgers!” –a FB post from Georgia from Bookstore1Sarasota
“Yes, you can eat all these veggie burgers. I believe in you!” said Megan Greenberg, one of Sarasota’s popular cooking trio, The Three Kitcheneers. She was encouraging Whole Food’s marketing director Nikki Logan, as a group of us launched our quest to find Sarasota’s best veggie burger. We spent an afternoon eating our way through the veggie burgers that had won the most nominations from our Facebook fans: Veg, Simon’s, Cheeburger Cheeburger and Square 1 Burgers & Bar. And the winners were…
Best Overall: Veg. “It’s a great size, and it tastes like a veggie burger should,” said Greenberg. “It’s not greasy; it’s not pretending to be meat.” The earthy flavor and plethora of toppings (including caramelized onions, mushrooms, avocado and Gouda) were a hit as well—as was Veg’s commitment to local, eco-friendly ingredients. (Veg’s burger is available only at lunchtime, which is 11 a.m-2:30 p.m.)
Best Presentation: Simon’s. We sampled two veggie burger varieties—one served on gluten-free millet toast and the other served quesadilla-style. The plating of both burgers was so pretty we almost couldn’t bring ourselves to take a bite.
Best Texture: Tie! We just couldn’t decide between Veg’s firm patty and Simon’s softer one—described by Greenberg as “crabcake-like.” It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.
Best Toppings: Simon’s. “The fresh ingredients leave you feeling healthy,” said Heil. “Plus you can add any topping from Simon’s roster to your burger”—everything from fake bacon bits to that yummy dill sauce.
Heartiest: Square 1’s Very Vegan burger. “The burger was big, and you could identify each of the ingredients in it just by looking,” said Sarasota Magazine associate editor Hannah Wallace. We also loved this one’s creative topping, which was classic lettuce and tomato with sundried tomato, avocado and an artichoke hummus.
Most Family-Friendly: Cheeburger Cheeburger. This place will keep even the youngest of kids entertained—and you can choose from every topping in the world.
For a behind-the-scenes look at our tasting, scan this with your smart phone Microsoft Tag reader