The Farmhouse Tap & Grill's Veggie Burger

A good veggie burger is hard to find. It's all about texture (the perfect balance of heft, chew and bind), and enough flavor enough to distract you from the fact that you're not eating meat. We found one such veggie burger at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, in Burlington, Vermont.

We expect nothing less than innovative local and artisanal food from Vermont, and The Farmhouse Tap & Grill does not disappoint — it's a "farm-to-table gastropub" whose menu highlights Vermont ingredients. They have a selection of award-winning burgers, but the Farmhouse Veggie Burger caught our eye with its mention of kimchi and jalapeños. This is a veggie burger packed with flavor of the spicy kind.

Before we get to the toppings, a veggie burger patty is a bit more complex than your typical meat patty, and definitely one worth exploring. Chef Phillip makes it with a mixture of five sophisticated legumes: caramelized fennel and onions, kale, carrots and Puy lentils, plus a soy sausage patty made by local vegetarian company FolkFoods to hold everything together. Coriander, cayenne pepper and a splash of sherry add the finishing touch.

As for the toppings, the kimchi is made locally at Laughing Lotus Farm. Owner Iris Kim Brodrick ferments cabbage in clay pots buried on the property as per her mother's recipe. The kimchi is balanced with arugula and pickled jalapeños, making for a hot, peppery and sweet flavor blast with plenty of crunch. Vermont cheddar cheese unsurprisingly works its way into this ménage à trois, because, after all, we are in Vermont.

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