Vegan cuisine, sometimes deservedly, has spent decades fighting off a less-than-stellar reputation.
Beyond the element of restriction—we've all got a friend who sits there sulking over a wilted salad while everyone else eats pizza or burgers—there's the fact that a lot of vegan food has been historically hippie-ish: poorly executed homemade soy milks, barely seasoned quinoa patties, rubbery hunks of seitan. Rock-hard frozen ice cream that tastes like it was made in a lab. And worst of all, crappy frozen veggie burgers.
Of course, there is fantastic vegan cuisine to be had too. There's Chris Rubinstein's absurdly delicious barbecue mushroom sandwich, and Cata.Pirata's fresh watermelon cake that highlights the sweetness of fresh fruit.
And now, you can add Chandra Gilbert of Gracias Madre's phenomenal veggie burger to that list. Never fill your freezer with those hideous meat analogs again. There's a new sheriff in Vegantown and she wouldn't touch that garbage.
This patty is made with beets (because, after all, "even vegans like their burgers bloody"), mushrooms, rice, black beans, and spices, and then smothered with truffle cashew cheese and spicy mayo. And, obviously, there are gonna be all the fixings: lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
Don't worry about the spirulina, and disregard the rice cheeze. They're far away now. Just rest assured that things are about to get really good, and no animals were harmed in the making of this sandwich.
Being good never tasted so ... good.