I used to think people just went to One80 for drinks. Well, tonight was my first time to dine there and I was impressed with the menu offerings and the delicious food. I will definitely be going back for the veggie burger and more. In the meantime I am honored to welcome my second guest blogger, friend and band mate, Sarah Mueller.
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Recently my vegan-eating world came crashing down around my shoulders. One of my favorite comfort food luxuries was McCoy's veggie burger: simple, smothered in guacamole and ketchup, surrounded by fried-just-right fries. I cheerfully gave my regular order the overly helpful waiter--veggie burger, no cheese--and the overly helpful waiter looked up with a smile and delivered Five Words of Doom: "Our veggie burger isn't vegan." Dum, dum, DUM. Turns out that sucker was packing some serious egg. Not one to throw away a year of consciously choosing vegan food, especially in front of my parents, who were visiting from the Iowa farm where they raised me to be a polite carnivore, I quickly switched to the vegan wrap. But, man, I missed that burger. Thankfully, Sergio has launched the 31 project, and he offered to help me find a new go-to vegan solution.
Luckily, there was a willing contestant right across the street. One80, operated by the same good folk who run McCoy's and The Foundry, offers a vegan patty made with white and black beans and topped with sprouts, fresh avocado slices, tomato and lettuce. (I skipped the aioli to be on the safe side, but next time I'll ask if their version is eggless, and, therefore, vegan.) The burger tastes great. The bean mix makes for a great texture and the hint of garlic spiced things up. You can't go wrong with ripe avocados, and the bun was a soft but substantial white roll (a welcome change from the regular whole-wheat stand-in that often gets paired with veggie burgers). Two disappointments: 1. The patty immediately crumbled when I picked the burger up, with all non-bun-supported chunks kerplatting on my plate. Although this does indicate it's a handmade patty, the whole burger experience is more satisfying when you can woman-handle your whole meal. Don't get me wrong. I like a good, thick, messy burger that you have to switch from hand to hand as you lick your fingers. I just like most of the burger to stay in the burger. 2. The fries were subpar. Thin-cut, lukewarm, not quite crisp, not quite soggy. I'll try out a different side next time.
Yes, that's right: Next time. One80 has a big selection of vegetarian (and vegan-izable) entrees. Plus big, comfy booths. And during our stay they played the new U2 album straight through; that never hurts. Overall, One80 delivers a great tasting option that doesn't quite deliver on the whole burger experience. I found a worthy interim solution, but I still haven't found the vegan burger I'm looking for.