One of the things I love about the CNY Regional Market is the vast variety of vendors. Vegetables aside, I counted two seafood stands, four cattle or pig farms, two dairy farms, five bakeries and two or three “miscellaneous” type vendors. One of the latter was a stand from Go Veggies, a Buffalo-based cafe that makes vegan food for its diners and for sale.
The Go Veggies story is actually pretty cool. The owner, a native of Sri Lanka, is a computer programmer turned chef, who opened his business in a shared community kitchen. The popularity of his product propelled him into his own space and, later, a cafe on Bryant Street. His business plan includes a booth at the market.
The Wife and I were intrigued by the stand and the sign for carrot burgers. The hook for me, though, was the lentil burgers also for sale. We picked up a package of four for $7, got our cooking instructions (more on that later) and made our way through the building. The ingredients were simple: lentils, carrots, chickpeas, brown rice, and spices. The burgers are packed to about 1/2-inch thick and frozen, separated by sheets of wax paper.
Cooking these burgers required a little finesse and, apparently, I did not use enough. The girl who sold them to us, said to heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the burgers frozen 7 to 8 minutes each side and never, ever, ever press down on them. I assumed that by cooking the burgers frozen that they would hold their form.
I was wrong.
I followed my instructions diligently, but on the flip, they crumbled into a mess. I was able to salvage one of the burgers and reform it into a patty. The other couldn’t be saved. I did my best to corral it together and make sure that it went on a without too much falling off.
As for taste, they were great. The spices were perfect and the flavor didn’t have that overpowering fake veggie taste that come with some veggie burgers. These were clearly fresh made, without a lot of processed ingredients. The Wife pointed out that they would be really good with a little bit of tzatziki (how come I didn’t think of that?!).
I would definitely buy these again, but I want to know a better way to cook them and keep them from crumbling to bits.