Hot on the heels of a New York Times piece on upgraded meatless burgers, Greensquare Tavern (5 West 21st Street) has opened touting its vegetarian burger. Greensquare, which was originally named Greenmarket Tavern, but had to re-brand because it infringed on the Greenmarket farmers’ markets, has branded itself a hyper-local, market-driven eatery. Sounds like just the sort of place that might have a decent veggie burger, right?
The burger — not only vegetarian, but vegan — arrives on a plate with mesclun greens. The patty is bright orange, packed with minced vegetables, carrot and onion being the most detectable. It’s tasty enough naked, but better with a schmear of creamy red chili vegetable aioli that comes in a little cup on the side. As with so many burgers, this one’s downfall is the bread. The seven-grain bun is huge. And, like most multigrain breads, hearty. Great if you’re having it with a good, salty butter. Not so much if it’s meant to act as a pillow for a hearty vegetable patty. The patty gets lost under the covers.
Omnivores that we are, we also tasted the beef burger, which comes on a nice, smooshy, not-too-big brioche. We’d have liked to try the vegetable patty on those buns. Speaking of the meat burger, we couldn’t help but notice it comes with salad and french fries. Hmm. Should opting out of meat automatically mean opting out of deep-fried carbs, too? We’d have liked the option of the extra calories. But then, we always like that option.
More:Vegetarian and Vegan