Lunch: Wednesday, May 13, 2009

“Better Burger.” Really, who says so? Isn’t that pretentious, a little? Or was it founded by some bitter former “Goodburger” employee?

photo(3)Reading the menu, words such as “soy protein,” “air-baked” and “nitrate-free meat” sent off warning bells. Is this one of those uses of “better” as in “better for you”? In the world of burgers, there is no such thing. My hackles were raised.

But, as I was unable to otherwise articulate what I actually wanted for lunch, beyond something new (to me), something fast, something not sit-down and something not deli — and at that moment I was outside the Better Burger location in Hell’s Kitchen on Ninth Avenue — I decided to give it a go.

And you know what? I’m really glad I did. Better Burger’s homemade veggie burger is made with a patty which is everything a veggie patty should be: savory, with a texture of rough-ground grains/vegetables, and unapologetically not a hamburger. (I love a good veggie burger; can’t stand the ones that wish they were meat.)

photoAnd to compliment the patty, some really first-class condiments: Thick, ripe roma tomato slices; thin-sliced red onion; long, slender pickle slices; a short stack of iceberg lettuce.

Top it off with a little Karma ketchup and … Don’t laugh. I, too, thought Karma ketchup was yet another crunchy-granola shout-out. It’s infinitely better. Karma ketchup is organic ketchup doctored up with curry, cumin, coriander and cardamon.

… As I was saying, top it all off with a little Karma ketchup and, yes, a little bit of bliss. I’ll be back for the beef; I hope they can cook it medium rare.

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Breakfast: Hojicha Schmocha, Light Caffine?

I’ve just made the unfortunate discovery that this Mighty Leaf organic Hojicha green tea, which I’ve been looking forward to trying with some anticipation, is “light caffine.” Is it even possible to have “light caffine” and “green tea” in the same sentence? If we’re comparing tea to espresso… sure. But in the tea world, green tea generally packs a pretty good punch. On occassion, like mornings I’m out the door to catch an early train on the Long Island Rail Road, I’ll even say I look forward to it. My issue lies in the fact that because “light caffine” I’d so explicitly stated on the packaging, is that advertising that they’ve dumbed this tea down? Therein lies the travesty.

This “pan-fired and slow-roasted” Hojicha business has a lot of work to do. “Rich and nutty brew,” bring it.

Breakfast: Wednesday, May 12, 2009

photoLast of the berries.

Actually that’s hardly true, but since this batch is getting a little soft they’re perfect to smoosh up into a dairy base with a little honey — I have 1% milkfat cottage cheese, but I’m sort of pretending it’s Red Mango frozen yogurt. Hot damn, that would be a good breakfast!

Dinner: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

photo-9If I didn’t feel compelled to eat something so that I could blog about dinner โ€”ย purely so I could say that I have somehow (miraculously) actually accomplished everything I had to do today โ€” I would have skipped dinner and tumbled into bed exhausted. Well, except that there’s a mound of crap on my bed; I’m in the midst of moving.

So instead, whether to avoid the aforementioned pile or to stoke my ego, I’m eating a hot sausage from Papaya Dog (sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and spicy mustard) and nibbling at a few fries 10 minutes until midnight.

Which means I’m not going to bed anytime soon, because food in the stomach is the worst way to fall asleep. I guess I’ll try to get a jump start on tomorrow, which, if anything, is an even more impossible day…