Fogwood & Fig vs.
It’s not surprising that Diane Bezanski has a background in photography. If the images of her veggie burgers, under the name Fogwood & Fig, were all I had, they might still win a few battles. It is true that you eat with your eyes first. Her towering, well-fixed burgers had my heart since I saw them showing up at Vegan Shop-up‘s Instagram account. It was several months later that I found myself standing in front of their menu board at the Homegrown Arts and Crafts Fair in Milford, Pennsylvania.
It was a relief to see that the beauty of her photographed veggie burgers was naturally occurring, unstaged. Watching Diane piling flavor-packed components on one of four scratch-made veggie burgers–pinto bean burger, aduzki brown rice patty, chickpea sweet potato burger, and a black lentil mushroom brown rice–it was clear that the burger I’d soon be eating would be one of the best ever. Top-notch, near-perfect if not perfect… and I hadn’t even eaten it yet.
My choice was the Flirty Burger with chili cherry sauce with its black lentil mushroom brown rice patty, avocado, arugula, and lemon sriracha aioli. I chose this one party for the mushroom and lentil-based patty, which I believe to be a winning combination. (V.V. Burger Showdown champion Toad Style has a mushroom and lentil based patty, too!) I also chose this because I wanted the chili cherry sauce. Though it may be that there is no wrong choice with Fogwood & Fig, my burger was mind-blowing. Full of flavor, I savored each bite of it.
The bun, soft enough to not disrupt any of the burger’s textures, which is so important. The patty, hearty and flavorful, a vehicle for an amazing housemade sauce, bitter arugula, crunchy red onion and a creamy smear of avocado. Fogwood & Fig, this is burger love.
Going up against this amazing burger, No. 7 Veggie, the latest of the No. 7 restaurant group housed in the Whole Foods in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The all-vegetarian menu contains the veg options of their other restaurants, including their signature broccoli “meat” sammies. But today was all about burgers.
But first, I had to order. After an indifferent counter boy glared at me and continued assembling a previous order, he eventually found a moment to greet me as best he could, poor guy. I get it that I am in Williamsburg, home of perpetual adolescence and its petulance, but service really counts.
I decided to go with their Deluxe–a patty (origin not described) topped with lettuce, tomato, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard & Vegenaise. All of those fixings, the classics, are a must if an eatery doesn’t make their own condiments. They can pick up the slack in many ways, mostly for texture variance and nostalgic association.
But No. 7 Veggie would need more than that to take down Fogwood & Fig. They’d need a superb patty, the heart and soul of all veggie burgers. But alas, the patty fell short. It was too mushy and nondescript in flavor. This, along with the surly service, means a definite win for Fogwood & Fig!
✰Winner: Fogwood & Fig ✰