Welcome to the second installment of the VegLympics in Los Angeles, Veggie Burger Competition!
Recap of the game thus far:
First up was Hole In The Wall Burger Joint (HITW), which received a score of 53 (out of a possible 60). We’ve adopted the ISU Judging System, that’s the International Skating Union scoring system, minus the 8 other judges and a comprehensive understanding of how it works. Apparently, a score on a scale of .25 to 10 is given in each of the following categories:
-Skating Skills (SS)
-Transitions/linking footwork and movement (TR)
Today’s contestant is O! Burger. Also located on Santa Monica Blvd., O! Burger is in the city of West Hollywood, which is located in the middle of, but is its own entirely separate city from, Los Angeles. Get your head out of the gutter, the ‘O’ stands for Organic. They claim to be the first burger joint in L.A. (county, I guess?) serving only 100% certified organic food. Okay, shhhhhhhh, they’re about to start, here comes the food.
SS = 8.0
I got the classic O!veggie burger. That comes with cucumber slices, Napa cabbage, sweet pickles, tomato, grilled onions and 1000 island (made with Veganaise). I then made it a combo for three bucks more and got fries and an iced tea. Dang it, now that I’m looking at the menu on-line, I could’ve gotten chipotle sauce instead of 1000 Island and a vegan shake?! Whaaaaat? That sucks, I totally would’ve gotten that had I seen it. The menu is on two flat panel screens above the registers. They are up high and they flash between pages and it’s hard to make heads or tails of it when you’re stomach is eating your brain from hunger and only half literate to begin with. The quality of the ingredients is great and it’s regular burger sized.
TR = 8.0
There are some other, more expensive burger options, but I want to keep the playing field as equal as I can. Not sure why they use cabbage instead of lettuce. As a general rule, I like cabbage, but in this context I wasn’t a huge fan. It’s certainly crunchier than regular lettuce, but not in a good way, and the flavor just isn’t the same. Having pickles on the bottom and cucumbers on the top is kind of odd, and again, they went with sweet ones. The fries were crinkle cut, really good (but not as good as HITW), and a reasonable portion size, which at first seemed small, but at second, when my belly was full of burger, seemed just right.
PE = 8.5
This is another “Garden Patch” style patty (as opposed to Meatless Technologies), homemade with spinach, corn, carrots and peas. I saw the spinach, but again, the most prominently seen ingredient is corn. I’m not sure I get it, chefs. Someone explain it to me. Who wants sweet when they’re thinking burger? And add to this the new trend in sweet pickle topping (or bottoming in this case) and you’ve basically given me dessert with my burger. This is my bone to pick (pardon the expression) with veggie burgers now. Rant over. The burger was really handsome and tasted the kind of good where I ate every bite (“Is that really saying much these days?” Says my waistband).
CH = 8.75
One interesting twist was a layer of dressing on the top AND bottom buns, and three different choices of self-serve iced tea (I had the Rooibos and it was delicious) but other than that, it’s totally Anywhere USA Nice Burger Joint + the word ‘Organic’ which equals pricey. This lunch set me back $13.
IN = 8.25
Points taken off here for sweetness, cabbage use, and clearly I fell during the triple something Salchow that was my ordering, like Michelle Kwan at the 2002 Olympics.
T = 9
Everything was made to order and it took around ten minutes. Maybe fifteen. The food came hot, though we had to endure some techno beat soundtrack while we waited, it’s still a better than average burger bar.
Total Score = 50.50
Good job! They’re currently in second place.