After a bit of conversation on this blog's Facebook page about the best veggie burgers in Nashville, I decided I should try (and review) each and every one of them. This is actually a more daunting challenge than one might think due to a reasonably large selection of house-made veggie burgers at restaurants around the area. This is a good problem to have!
My first review was of the veggie burger I have generally thought of (as in, before starting this process) as my favorite: The Pied Piper Eatery. Distinct advantages it has are:
- beets that simulates the look of a beef burger (without tasting beet-y)
- the option to make it into any of the specialty burgers on their menu and
- it tastes great.
But when I mentioned it was my favorite, friends and fans chimed in with their own favorites. And thus, the veggie burger review idea was born.
For my second review, on the recommendation of fellow Bites contributor and author, Chris Chamberlain, I tried the veggie burger at PM. Like the Pied Piper burger, it is a housemade patty comprised of a number of vegetables, legumes, and grains. And, apparently, dairy and/or egg as it was not noted to be "vegan" on the menu. It was my first time to have the burger as I always get the peanut sauce fondue. I love that in a way that's illegal in most of the south. Anyhoo.
Also, like the Pied Piper burger, the PM veggie burger comes on a luxurious kaiser roll. But unique to it is the topping of a sweet chili sauce. It's a perfect complement to the burger, which I didn't feel needed any other toppings. I used the wasabi mayo that comes with it to dip my sweet potato "fries." The mayo is fantastic, but the sweet potato "fries" are notsomuch. They're actually discs of sweet potato that are deep fried like chips. Except they're well over 1/4 inch thick (too thick to be chips), so the result just tastes like roasted sweet potatoes. Which is fine, if that's what you want. But I wanted crispy fries. But this is about the burger and it's delicious. Just order the wonton chips as a side instead.
Next up, I finally got down to the Fat Mo's in LaVergne to try their housemade veggie burger. I've heard about it for a while, but the Fat Mo's near me is a franchise and drive-through only, so it does not have the veggie burger on the menu.
The Fat Mo's veggie burger is made from primarily lentils, fava beans, and chickpeas, along with cheese and eggs, so it is also not vegan. But it is amazing. And huge. I estimate somewhere around six inches in diameter and at least an inch thick. It's got a bit of a falafel-ly thing going, but is more deeply satisfying. There's a hint of Middle Eastern spice in it, but not so much that it would turn anyone off. As I looked at my burger and the generous amount of fries I got (man, I love spicy fries), I thought, "I'll never be able to finish this." But in about 30 minutes, it was all gone. But I sure as hell did not eat dinner that night.
According to the helpful girl who waited on me, the Fat Mo's locations in Rutherford county (LaVergne, Smyrna, Murfreesboro) serve the veggie burger and according to my friend Kelly, the one on Franklin Pike in Melrose does as well. Check with your local Fat Mo's and if they don't serve it, I can tell you it's worth a special trip to one that does. I think it's probably good for my waistline and my wallet that the Fat Mo's near me does not serve this burger.
So, that's just three veggie burgers down and several more to go. I've got trips planned for Burger Up and Bobbie's Dairy Dip in the near future, so look for those reviews coming soon. At some point, I've also got to get to Germantown Cafe, J. Alexander's and back to The Pharmacy (twice!). Oh, and Fido, The Wild Cow, Gabby's...oh, boy, I've gotta start working out.