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Best cook-at-home veggie burgers? [moved from Boston board]

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[Since the discussion on this thread has been more about what brands of veggie burgers to buy, rather than where in Boston to buy them, we've moved this discussion here to the General Chowhounding Topics board, so hounds from everywhere can chine in with their favorites -- THE CHOWHOUND TEAM ]

I'm interested to find a really good cook-at-home veggie burger. I've had fantastic ones in restaurants - notably last night's delicious one at The Joshua Tree in Allston, which tasted like it was made up of mild mushrooms and seeds like sunflower seeds - really, really good. But every veggie burger I've bought in a store has been variations of terrible - dry, bland, too strongly flavored, etc. There have got to be good veggie burgers available in grocery stores around here - as much as I love dining out, I don't want to be forced to do that every time I want a healthier alternative to a good cholesterol-laden beef burger. So where might I find tasty veggie burgers in Boston?

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  1. not being an official veggie, I don't know if this counts, but gardenburger has a chipotle black bean burger than is really good, and I usually don't eat veggie burgers! Top with some cheese and a nice mustard/mayo combo it's quite the tasty dinner!

    1 Reply
    1. re: SerendipitouslyNG

      Add my vote for the chipotle black bean burger -- very tasty, even for non-vegetarians!

    2. Boca burgers are pretty good..they have tons of varieties.
      Trader Joes used to have a mushroom based one that was fantastic, but I'm not sure if they carry it anymore, as they're big on rotating out all the things I like there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

        I'm a fan of the Boca burgers too, and know of a few small eateries who used these as their veggies burgers on the menu.

      2. Hi,

        I also like the Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers, which I get at Whole Foods sometimes. They aren't as loaded with salt as some of the others, which is good.

        Last week, I tried the Fantastic Foods veggie burger mix. It was quite tasty, and dirt cheap too. Might be worth giving it a try.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mwk

          I find these at Costco for a fraction of the WF price which is perfect for a party. Otherwise, you need to have a very large freezer. And they are really very good grilled.

        2. Based on a tip from another chow, I love gardenburgers, available at Trader Joe's, and maybe WF...They have a tomato/Mozz that's good, but for true burger taste, their vegan griller is darned close!

          Also, and I have this discussion all the time with TC, you MUST cook these in a pan; a cast-iron skillet, at med-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, gives the best results..This goes for all of them...

          1. The Indian flavored ones at Trader Joe's are fine.

            They also sell a tofu corn dog that my daughter loves.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lergnom

              Yeah, TC likes those, too, altho you really have to sear those on the outside to hold them together...And I have to admit to occassionally buying the chickenless nuggets....

              1. re: galleygirl

                I checked on the burgers; they're masala burgers.

                I don't get the appeal of the tofu corn dogs myself but my daughter is very picky and goes through boxes of them.

                1. re: lergnom

                  Personally I could go through tons of meatless corn dogs or chickenless nuggets or patties. It's not really the actual chicken or hot dog that makes those good; it's the outside. ;-) I'm sure there are bad examples of each of those, but anyway, I don't buy them because the real vegetarian in the house doesn't much care for those things. I am not vegetarian but at home stick to things that we will both eat, for the most part.

                  TJ's Masala Burgers are quite good, though. It's a staple in our freezer; we try never to be without them (along with TJ's Meatless Meatballs). Although I'm getting a bit tired of them I've realized recently and might need to branch out to some new varieties. Might try that Gardenburger chipotle black bean, that sounds good.

            2. Sunshine burgers! Someone on another post said the company got sold to a big company. I've e-mailed Sunshine to find out if that's accurate but haven't heard back yet. The website doesn't say anything about the brand being bought out and our local (Fresh Pond Cambridge) WFM had plenty when we went last weekend. http://www.sunshineburger.com/products/

              1 Reply
              1. re: lgss

                That was me. They've definitely closed their location in Ellenville, NY. I don't know to whom they sold out - I keep missing my friend who owns the building they moved out of.

              2. Trader Joe's Masala Burgers are amazing

                1. My favorite are the Morningstar Farms tomato and mozzarella burgers. They are great for a sandwich with pesto and roasted red pepper. Also tasty with some pasta sauce on top.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pickyeater08

                    Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lovers' burgers have lots of good mushroom flavor. I also like their spicy black bean variety.

                  2. I'm an occasional fan of Gardenburger's faux grilled chicken patties, but they're not at all earthy-crunchy.