Burger, hold the cow

March 27, 2008

A recent survey by goveggie.com ranked D.C. the sixth-most vegetarian-friendly city in the country. And for thrifty college students, what spells fast-food-vegetarian better than the classic veggie burger? Even fast-food giant Burger King has caught onto the veggie craze with its 2005 introduction of the BK Veggie Burger. But why walk to Rosslyn for a commercialized slab of not-meat when there are better options within blocks of the Georgetown campus?

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or simply vegi-curious, Georgetown’s veggie burgers give you a chance to do good for your environment, body and wallet all in one sitting.

Bloodless burger: it may not look good, but vegetarians taste better.

While none of the veggie burgers reviewed for this article will run you more than $7.50, there is still something to be said for being a wise consumer. Starting at the bottom of the barrel, Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall serves up re-heated black bean burger patties nestled together in a dish alongside beef patties and the fixings for chili-cheese fries. A bit on the dry side and with its flavor relying on spice with little body to back it up, the Leo’s black bean burger gets points only for convenience and its physical proximity to the French fries.

If you’re not on a meal plan or trying to avoid the dining hall as much as possible, the Wisey’s version of the veggie burger both looks and tastes like a beef patty—good for those just embarking on the veggie scene. Ringing in at a reasonable $3.85, the veggie burger comes with your choice of cheese and toppings to make for a legitimately satisfying meal.

If your level of satisfaction depends upon the burger’s greasiness rather than its savory flavor, Wingo’s is for you. Like Wisey’s, Wingo’s orders can be placed in advance, but with the added ease of an online ordering system. Slightly pricier at $4.99, Wingo’s makes up for it by offering a Veggie Combo which includes fries and a drink for $6.49. Their patty is a fried ball of peas and carrots, and is bottomed (rather than topped) with fresh alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onions and green peppers.

While some may write the Five Guys veggie sandwich off as merely toppings slapped between a bun, it’s only $2.09, and when ordered with cheese and prepared with love, it makes for a satiating mealshy;—just be sure to take advantage of all the toppings, and don’t shy away from the “upon request only” green peppers. If you want to be extra health conscious, you can request raw toppings instead of the regular sautéed goodness. If you have a large appetite, add an order of fries and you’ll still come out under five bucks.

Our final veggie sandwich is the Tombs’ swanky $7.50 house-made veggie burger, which is topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions and comes with fresh lettuce and thick-sliced tomatoes on the side. The Tombs Garden Burger puts other burgers to shame in size, flavor and presentation; plus your $7.50 includes fries, bottomless water and full bowtie service. Enjoy.

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