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This feels blasphemous to even put out there, but has anyone had a veggie burger anywhere in the area that they really enjoyed?  I mean a burger made in house with vegetables/grains...not a soy/fake meat burger.

I had a very nice one the other night at Brookland Pint (just make sure to ask for real cheese instead of that Daiya crap), and Woodland's Vegan Bistro on Georgia has an ok version, but not great.

Bonus if it comes with good fries on the side.

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Do you mind if there's any tofu at all, and must it be in the shape of a burger?

For starters, I believe that veggie burgers should not be served on a hamburger bun - a hamburger bun is designed to soak up the juices of ground beef which also has a much stronger flavor profile than vegetables. Because of this, it's too thick of a vehicle. Vegetable sandwiches (burgers or otherwise) should be served on something thinner, even toast.

This said, do you mind tofu on the sandwich, or do you prefer only vegetables and grains? Regardless of the answer, you may want to give the Avocado and Jicama Sandwich at Sunflower (Falls Church) a try. I love avocado, and jicama is a good textural partner for it. Elizabeth also posted this the other day from Slipstream which looks pretty tasty (note that it does have goat cheese, but you implied that you don't mind dairy - if that's the case, a grilled egg and cheese sandwich on buttered toast makes for a deliciously comforting, if fickle, friend).

Questions like this need parameters defined before they can be correctly answered (e.g., are "wraps" okay?), especially since some people actually want the sensation of a patty on a bun (and there's nothing wrong with that); others are vegetarian for health purposes, religious reasons, or for the humanitarian issues surrounding meat. I've just gone off on a huge, unnecessary tangent, but answering several questions (patty on a bun? any tofu okay? near H Street or a Metro?) will help others help you.

As a related answer, I had the Mona Lisa two days ago at Earl's Sandwiches in Ballston, and it was terrific as always - do not let it sit overnight, however because it becomes too soggy the next day via absorption. You might also like the Sconset at Jettie's, but I'm not as strongly in the Jettie's camp as I am Ballston Earl's, G Sandwich, or SundeVich which may be my three favorite sandwich-focused restaurants in the area. Consider also the Fun Guy (or a flatbread) at, no, not Pizzeria Orso, but WTF; or the Eggplant Parmesan at Bub & Pop's.

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I'm not vegetarian, though I have been eating much less meat these days.

I tend to agree about the whole bun-to-patty ratio problem, but sometimes I do want an actual veggie burger...that is to say, a patty of vegetable denomination, served on a bun.  Can there be tofu in it? Sure.  What I don't like are the all soy-protein patties that are flavored to mimic beef.

The other vegetarian sandwiches and wraps sound great, and there is definitely room in my day for them, but I'm going after a specific thing here.  Location isn't terribly important as I'm just curious if notable versions even exist.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they do not.

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The other vegetarian sandwiches and wraps sound great, and there is definitely room in my day for them, but I'm going after a specific thing here.  Location isn't terribly important as I'm just curious if notable versions even exist.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they do not.

You know, I've had one within the past 3-4 years, and I can picture it: it's a vegetable patty on a bun, with visible cubes of carrots, the entire patty being darkly grilled, and brushed with a very spare portion of sweet-and-sour like Asian-y sauce - just enough to give it a hint of sweetness and tang. And it was delicious!

Now you're going to ask me where it was, and I have no idea. I can visualize the patty, and if you put it in front of me while I was blindfolded, I could probably tell you what it was from smell alone, and I honestly cannot remember where I had it.

:unsure:

Sorry to go off on a tangent again, but you may want to try a vegetable pattie from Negril. I find them to be somewhat addictive, and I'll bet they're still less than $1.75 (they used to be something like $1.10 at the Waterside Mall location). "Huh? What's Waterside Mall, Don?" :) You can really turn up the volume if you get a little tub of Matouk's hot sauce which is made with Scotch bonnet peppers, and which Negril probably still has sitting out to kill you with.

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My memory is telling me that I had a perfectly good one at Lincoln at lunchtime a couple of weeks ago - nice texture contrast between outside and (greenish) inside, but nothing mushy - but I don't see it on their menu.  Maybe I am crazy.

The best one EVER was at a Brooks Headley "pop-up" event at Toki a few weeks ago - you can read about his burgers here and elsewhere.  Incredible.

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It's been awhile since I've had one, and it's not the chunks-of-vegetable variety but rather a vegetarian alternative that doesn't mimic meat, but I have enjoyed BTS's Haight Asbury (Crispy Falafel Patty, Pickled Vegetables, Feta, Cilantro Raita).  

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Mr. S doesn't usually like meals that are trying to mimic the real thing, but in trying to eat "healthier" he often will try a veggie burger. That being said, it is his burger of choice at Counter Burger. I've heard others say that their veggie burger is exceptional as well.

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This is really interesting. I'm like Mr. Squids on foods designed to mimic others, Love nearly all veggies including many types of veggie sandwiches. But, something about a dish even called a "veggie burger" just isn't my thing. All the more interesting to read everyone else's views. May try whichever one seems to get the most raves.

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I tried the vegan burger at First Watch in Laurel today.  I had never heard of the place, but one of my coworkers recommended I give it a shot.  They position themselves as a "healthy" breakfast/lunch spot.  The menu is heavy on breakfast items.  I was surprised that given the health-conscious focus, most of the menu items (and ALL of the salads) featured meat (chicken or turkey).

The burger was a brown rice patty served on a wheat bun with avocado, lettuce, and red onion.  Sadly, the patty was indistinguishable from what one might get from the frozen foods aisle at the supermarket.  Mushy texture, with a taste of stale dried spices used in an attempt to lend some flavor where none existed.

They also have a grilled vegetable sandwich, and a vaguely Mediterranean wrap that I'll have to try, but as of now if you're looking for vegan/vegetarian American food in Laurel, Silver Diner is probably your best bet.

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i like the veggie burger at plan b because you can get it so many ways, but the patty itself isn't anything special. If you like indian flavors, you should try the penn quarter burger from grand trunk. It's not really a burger, it's more like a very loosely bound slab of samosa filling on a bun, but it's quite tasty.

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DGS now has a "falafel burger" - a very good falafel patty (the size and shape of an ordinary burger patty), good bun, good fries.  At this moment I would call it the best veggie burger I have had in DC (other than the one-time-only Brooks Headley thing mentioned above).

according to the menu, you can usually get an egg or avocado or chicken cracklins as add-ons - but those weren't listed on the Passover-related menu today so no egg for me -

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I think the mushroom burger at The Big Board is good. Especially on their Chicago Fire set up.

I gave it a shot today on the standard "Rose City PDX" setup.  I agree, good burger.  Good crisp on the outside, and soft but not mushy on the interior.  This is a thick patty.  Nice flavor...a good amount of thyme in mine today.  They also have a chickpea patty that I'll try soon.

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Sadly can't endorse the version at Bluejacket.  Points given for the fact that it's clearly homemade...a loosely held together puck of rice, black beans, and chickpeas.  Served with a nice ancho mayo and pickles on a grilled brioche bun.  The flavor was almost there, but the texture undid everything.  No attempt to get a sear on the patty, which fell apart upon the first bite.

I really appreciate a burger that has some crunch from the griddle/grill on the exterior.  That textural contrast can cover up a lot of other sins.

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Sadly can't endorse the version at Bluejacket.  Points given for the fact that it's clearly homemade...a loosely held together puck of rice, black beans, and chickpeas.  Served with a nice ancho mayo and pickles on a grilled brioche bun.  The flavor was almost there, but the texture undid everything.  No attempt to get a sear on the patty, which fell apart upon the first bite.

I really appreciate a burger that has some crunch from the griddle/grill on the exterior.  That textural contrast can cover up a lot of other sins.

The way you describe it makes it sound like it's fixable into something pretty good - am I reading this accurately? Maybe a higher-heat sear, with a brushing of some type of binding, teriyaki-like sauce just before grilling (and correspondingly less mayo so it's not goopy)? I think restaurants that have the courage to put together a house-made veggie burger (and there are plenty who don't - pre-made ones aren't worth going out for) should do a small amount of research into the industrial versions to see what makes them keep their structural integrity. Or maybe even serve them in an open-on-one-side pita so even if they do fall apart, so what?

Negril has a Vegetable Patty that's very tasty (I won't say delicious, but it's very tasty) and cheap, because it's served locked inside a Jamaican-style loaf that's pinched shut before baking (think empanada in terms of the way it's shut, although the vehicle itself is nothing like an empanada) - plus, this way they can use more interesting vegetables that otherwise might come plopping out the side of a bun. As long as the dough is house-made, nobody cares if it isn't on a bun (and dare I say, most would prefer it). I understand that the first paragraph describes a grilled patty, and the second describes a baked pocket, but give Negril's a try sometime.

Also, go to the successful vegan restaurants in the area: Sunflower, Yuan Fu, heck there are now two just in Falls Church, and see if they offer anything resembling a veggie burger (I'm certain Sunflower serves sandwiches). Yes, it might contain things like tempeh, etc., but people won't mind.

Attention food writers: This would be a very interesting *and useful* article - pitch it!

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The almond hemp burger at Khepra's is on point, though it sounds like the texture might not be right for you. Not a ton of crust or sear on the patty itself, but the flavor's there. Meridian Pint's lentil barley burger is also great, with the texture leaning a little more toward the "real burger" side. Always tough to find the nice, hard browning you get from the Maillard reaction of fatty beef.

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