V.V. Burger Showdown, Round 2!
Vburger vs. Go Zen
Vburger is an all-vegan vegan fast food eatery near Union Square in Manhattan. It shares space with the Hummus & Pita Co., a non-vegan franchise with several locations in New York City. Based on how many trademarks are on their website, I am going to presume Vburger an experimental venture of Hummus & Pita Co., jumping on the plant-based bandwagon. The website makes “veganwashed” (the new greenwash) claims:
Plant Based, Great Taste!™
At V Burger, a healthy vegan lifestyle is our passion. Using time-tested recipes and the freshest cruelty-free natural ingredients available, we have mastered the art of plant-based cuisine to create New York City’s first 100% vegan burger joint. We are your destination for delicious vegan fast food, all with your health in mind.
At VBurger, every burger is plunged with wholesome and natural, real flavor; every bite is not just a set of nutritional value numbers – it’s a step towards an environmentally sustainable diet; every meal is a contribution to a better world by reducing the discharge of greenhouse gases.
Our vision is to bring the burgers of the new generation to the table. Our focus has always been making a plant-based burger inspiring and exciting.
Yes, this is all very convincing… except… there are no “recipes”… there is no “freshest… ingredients”… no “mastered art of plant-based cuisine.” No inspiration. No excitement. Just that same old frozen grey soy protein patty that gets around all over New York City.
Sorry. I just have no more patience for these kinds of eateries. They are a waste of my time. And I am just going to tell it like it is in this Round of the Burger Showdown. There are too many eateries doing great things with vegan cuisine to put a place like this in the same category.
So let us move on.
This space, the space where Go Zen inhabits, used to be Vegetarian Paradise 2, a mock meat originator a few doors down from the still active mock meat icon, Red Bamboo. They are also affiliated with another defunct plant-based icon, Zen Palate, who I remember fondly from my youth–particularly the one that opened its doors on Long Island.
With that old skool cred, you might imagine the menu be stocked with all sorts of those soy science meats (May Wah central), and it is. But they have also got their own housemade veggie burger… and it’s pretty darn yummy.
So look! At first glance I would say that this bun, airy and enticing, looks an awful lot like the bun at Pickle Shack. And to my surprise, it tasted like it too! The soft bun made way for their soft patty. The patty was moist and subtle, a great vehicle for crispy fixings and tasty condiments: guacamole on the bottom bun, holding tight to some iceberg lettuce. On top, a sweet ketchup of sorts. All make a bite quite yummy. This is an easy win for Go Zen!
✰Winner: Go Zen ✰