Fast Food

A Veggie Round at Energy Kitchen

Look at that forlorn veggie burger.

After a weekend plus of double dinners, today seems to have warranted a meatless Monday. Inspired by a commenter who sent me a note about Energy Kitchen's burger as "a bitter disappointment," I ran over for a late lunch to try the vegetarian options.

I second guessed my visit as I held the hockey puck that vibrates and dances in blue light when an order is ready, circa Cheesecake Factory 2003.  If it works for Starbucks, I'll go out on a limb to point out that call and response works just fine.

The wait with my hockey puck was jarring, as the customer in line before me was yelling at the staff, having sat for 20 minutes waiting for an order that turned out wrong. "I'm just hungry!" he shouted as he stomped his feet. It was a full blown tantrum.

If only my meal were as lively as that scene. Read on about Energy Kitchen after the jump.

The veggie burger

Shaped in a patty made of soy, onions, carrots, zucchini, corn, and

peppers and served with tomato and lettuce, the veggie rendition tasted less flavorful

than a store bought Boca burger. Salt would have helped, though I

appreciated that I could actually identify which vegetables were which

when I halved the burger. The bun is Wonder Bread-spongy. On the whole, it didn't make a difference if I ate this or left it on the tray. Then again, I'm coming off a weekend of 38,000 calories

from pork fat.

318 calories for $5.99

The asparagus salad

Also undersalted, a handful of asparagus spears spiked a mini-tub dotted

with sauteed onions and halved grape tomatoes. This side is the

feel-good food of the meal.

59 calories for $2.99

A Vaccinator smoothie

Under the weather, I opted for the orange juice, bananas,

strawberries, non-fat yogurt, and vitamin C.  It was sweet. I could do without yogurt. It's a less fatty dessert than a brownie.

305 calories for $4.99

Next round, the bison burger, with a few weeks' time for Energy Kitchen to get it together.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart