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May 11, 2002 11:39 PM

the full burger experience without the beef

  • s

I don't eat beef, but I'm totally into the burger experience. Maybe it's an American thing, I don't know, but there is something so satisfying about eating a really excellent, really enormous, two-fisted big old burger -- one that is too big to fit into your mouth. Does anyone have recommendations for major, serious non-beef burgers? I've had a bunch of insipid garden burgers, and they'll keep me from getting too strung out, but truth be told they don't really cut it. The best thing I know, and it's okay, is the chicken burger at the Daily Grill. But the Daily Grill is a chain and therefore the devil. Surely there exists a burger-eater's burger made with something besides beef at a chow-approved locale. Chowhounds really came through for me when I needed a high-quality non-dairy pizza experience (answer: Z Pizza), so any guidance would be much appreciated!

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  1. Check out Mo' Better Meaty Meat Burgers. Great two-fisted veggie burger, dressed to kill with all sorts of condiments, including corn. Rich, fancy ice cream shakes, too.

    Corner of Pico and Fairfax.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Oopsie Daisy

      Astro Burger (locations on Melrose in Hollywood, and Santa Monica Blvd. in WeHo) have an extensive menu of veggie burgers, including veggie patty melts.

      1. re: Oopsie Daisy

        I can't believe more people didn't write in about Mo Better Meaty Meat Burgers at Fairfax and Pico. Their veggie burger is absolutely, positively, without a doubt THE BEST VEGGIE BURGER HANDS DOWN NO QUESTIONS ASKED, I SWEAR ON MY FIRST-BORN CHILD, NO JOKE, THE HONEST TO GOD TRUTH, ETC, ETC.
        Really, it's EXCELLENT and the thick, pepper-dusted fries that come with are great too. Even the catsup dispensers are great there. Easy squeeze for those who like to use a lot of catsup.
        Service is slow so my best advice is to come when a Lakers game is on and just watch it there while you wait/eat. The shakes are pretty good too.

        1. re: The Chief

          You guys are making me hungry. Does Mo Better just have the one location, or are there others?

          Of course... with such rave reviews of their veggie burger, I gotta wonder if it's really vegetarian. ;)

          Anyone ever see that episode of Drew Carey where his friends trick his vegetarian girlfriend (Ileana Douglas) into eating "veggie" burgers that were really beef?

        2. re: Oopsie Daisy

          Yes, Astro-burgers make a good veggie, especially their burger with melted jack and jalepenos. But Mo' Better Meaty Meaty Burgers are truly the cock of the LA veggie burger walk. It took me a LONG time before I would even eat there - as a vegetarian, I was totally deterred by the name of the place. But don't be fooled, the veggie burgers are flavorful and moist (maybe from keeping company on the grill with real meaty meat burgers?), they come with corn which sounds funny but is really good. Adding cheese is also good - they have American, jack, cheddar etc. And don't forget to order some fries. They are also delicious.

          1. re: Cattus

            PS to Cattus:

            Funny about your having been deterred by the name. I heard that mo'better meaty meat burgers was actually started by a couple of vegetarians. No joke.

        3. There is no such thing. Any veggie burger cannot compare to THAT experience. So, go ahead...we won't tell...

          1. Oh Stan. First the pizza thing, now this burger thing.

            I have to disagree with the chain = evil equation. I think it depends on the chain. After all Z Pizza is a mini-chain. And as I did first recommend it to you, I think the proof is in the pudding - or the pizza in that case. And did you ever sign up on their mailing list? I know you'd mentioned the price and I did just receive a 25 percent off coupon via email.

            Now back to the burger thing. What about Fatburger's turkey burger? Charbroiled with everything - pretty complete burger experience. You can even get a double. With cheese of course.

            And I believe further evidence that not all chains are created equal - nor evil.

            Here's a link to their menu.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Louisa Chu

              All chains are created EVIL. It is only on the LA board where chains are even considered food. Imagine that.

              1. re: Amanda Weiss

                Being on the cutting edge (or bleeding edge O.J.) of a lot of things, L.A. 'hounds are very adaptable, and that adaptability and willingness to try anything serves them well, together with the innate 'hound trait of sniffing out deliciousness, *where ever* a 'hound may find it. I think you will find a general consensus on the L.A. board that many of the chain experiences, are in fact a manifestation of evil incarnate, but every once in a while that evil seems to be tempered by the forces of good food, and that is the challenge, to find the gem of an experience amid the scree of rubble.

                1. re: Amanda Weiss

                  I'm sorry you think all chains are evil. I guess that just means one less person in line in front of me at In N' Out....

              2. Since you mention chicken burgers, I assume you're not a vegetarian. Nothing aside from beef will really equal the "True Burger Experience", but for turkey burgers I haven't tasted one yet that compares with the one they make at Mustard Seed Cafe on Hillhurst in Hollywood. Awfully nice people run the place too.

                However, years ago, when I was a pretty hard-core veg., I grooved on the non-meat burgers at Orean Express, which used to be in Hollywood but is now located on Lake in Pasadena.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dukkha Joe

                  Thanks! Here's the stats I've found online for the Mustard Seed Cafe: 1948 Hillhurst Ave, 323-660-0670, Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                2. r
                  Rich Gould-Saltman

                  I'd put in my vote for both the vege and turkey (particularly the Double-King) at Mo' Bettah Meatty Meat Burgers at Fairfax and Pico, and the Gobbler at Natural Cafe in Santa Barbara (where my wife makes me stop wherever we go up the coast, and where my and chowe-pup's standing gag is "Yeah, it tastes so good because they use those SPECIAL turkeys, the four-legged ones....Moo!")