Julia often meets me downtown for lunch. We’ve already explored most of the falafel Midtown Manhattan has to offer so we agreed to veggie burgers. We opted for the Rockefellar Center Bill’s Burger Bar. While our waitress was not wearing “flair” it had that vibe; dark wood everywhere, kind-of sports bar.
So why would a couple of vegans go to a place like Bill’s? We like to see what the cow-chower-chain likes to feed their vegan guests.
We have non-vegan friends who are tired of eating at the V-spot. So we get to know who’s vegan option is worth a damn. In these meat-centric establishments there is a danger. The wait staff may think vegan and vegetarian is the same. In other cases, they may not care and serve the unsuspecting vegan a dish with egg or some parmesan dust in it.
As a method to our survival, we lie. “We’re lactose intolerant.” The thinking being that if they think it is going to make us ill, they probably won’t serve us that poison. We do this all the time.
Now I realize there could be meat contamination from the grill but that’s life. If you start asking about that stuff, you risk a cook or waiter putting something even more disgusting in your meal (like spit or worse).
Our veggie burgers (although possible chicken finger contaminated) were not great. The main vegetable in the burger was definitely potato. It was essentially a hash brown shaped like a burger. The sweet potato fries were very good.
I can hear our critics now, “Why would you go to Bill’s Burger Bar to get a veggie burger?” “What do you expect?” I expect effort or they don’t get my money.