Monday, June 17 was Eat Your Vegetables Day and to celebrate, the IOL Lifestyle team in Cape Town tried veggie burgers from Nando's, McDonalds, Wimpy and Steers.
The judging criteria included taste, texture, freshness as well as the size and texture of the patty.
These were our thoughts:
Whenever I crave a burger, which isn’t very often, a veggie burger never comes to mind.
I can’t think of anything more bland and boring. However, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the Nando's and McDonalds burgers.
As expected, the Nando's patty wasn’t great, but the mild sauce and garnishing was enough to mask the taste.
I also enjoyed the McDonalds burger, but I feel like they can make a little more effort with the patty. It’s basically a hash brown with bits of veggies mixed inside.
And while the garnishing wasn’t great, the curry-like taste of the potato made up for it. The other two burgers were as bland and boring as I expected.
Would I ever spend my own money on a veggie burger? Probably not.
Uninspiring is the first word that comes to mind when one describes my overall comments about a tasting of four veggie.
Perhaps it's early days yet in a relatively new market, but fast food outlets are going to have to put on their thinking caps to meet better criteria when making up veggie burgers.
All the burgers were soggy and most had no taste barring.
Nando's was a little spicy and one simply tasted like a hash brown on a burger roll and I ain't gonna name and shame.
My suggestion is that people who seek veggie burgers are also looking for healthier rolls and garnishes that complement the burger - think wholewheat rolls and mushroom toppings and possibly even shaved zucchini.
I'm not a big burger fan. The thought of soggy lettuce and tomatoes induces a dry gag response.
But my first veggie burger experience was somewhat tame in relation to my expectations.
Would I buy a veggie burger from any of these fast food places? No. Would I eat it again? Maybe.
Hands down, Nando's was the surprise winner.
I went in with zero expectations and their veggie burger with cheese was digestible. The soft bun and generous helpings of seasoning and sauce probably masked the tasteless veggie patty which I have no idea what was made from.
McDonalds got my thumbs down.
Looking like a chicken burger, the bun was soggy with most of the tomato sauce soaked through already. I couldn't stomach more than one bite.
Overall most of the burgers were mushy, tasteless and lacked sauce.
I enjoyed the Steers burger the most as it was the closest thing that tasted like meat. The patty was solid, tasty and didn't fall apart.
My least favourite was the McDonalds burger, the bun was too sweet and the patty was tasteless and it fell apart in my mouth.
The Mcdonalds burger was really good. It was a patty that was made from veggies and it was unique and flavourful.
The most disappointing burger was the Wimpy veggie burger. There was a relish but no sauce and the burger patty was tasteless.
This was my first taste of veggie burgers and overall I was quite surprised by the variety available from the different quick service restaurants and how innovative the burgers are in terms of attempting to recreate that meaty burger taste and flavour.
Most of the vegan/vegetarian burgers have a mushy texture and little to no effort is put in to make a truly appealing burger.
Out of all the ones we tasted, Steers was the only one that was even halfway enjoyable.
If you really want a great vegan/vegetarian burger than Lekker Vegan is really the only option in Cape Town.
Their sweet potato burger is the bomb dot and something I would actually order.