Saturday, June 25, 2011

Off the Griddle

(UPDATE 10/3/12: Off the Griddle has closed their food cart to focus on their brick-and-mortar restaurant. Check them out at AND Cafe!)

Off the Griddle, located in SE Portland at the A la Carts Food Pavilion (SE 50th and Ivon), sells vegetarian and vegan burgers.

One of my good friends from law school -- who also loves to seek out good food -- accompanied me on this food adventure. We split a Hot O.T.G. vegan burger ($6.50). The burger consists of a vegan patty (made from leeks, mushrooms, wild rice, and brown rice), Daiya vegan cheese, jalapenos, grilled onions, and a spicy tofu-avocado sauce.

Close-up of the cross-section
My friend and I really enjoyed this burger. The Dave's Killer Bread bun was one of the high points, in my opinion. The bun was soft, yet easily contained the patty, cheese, jalapenos, and sauce.

The Daiya vegan cheese is touted as one of the best vegan cheeses on the market (taking cheese taste and melting ability into account), and I can see why. It tastes pretty darn close to cheese and worked very well with the rest of the burger.

The jalapenos and the spicy tofu-avocado sauce brought a bit of healthy fat and mild heat to the party. It was the slightest nudge of heat for me, but it can be a good thing because too much spice will not allow me to enjoy the other flavors of the burger.

My friend and I gave the patty mostly positive reviews. The flavors were very good, and the rice gave the burger a bit of welcoming texture. However, we wanted the patty to be a bit firmer. I felt like we were eating a vegan cheesy Sloppy Joe instead of a burger.

$6.50 sounds about standard price for a non-fast food burger nowadays. The service was very good.

Overall, I really enjoyed Off the Griddle's burger and I recommend this place to anyone -- even if you aren't vegan. I will be back one day to try something else! 8/10

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