Burger Patch (2301 K St.), a small, vegan restaurant that has generated big business, opened on May 4. The restaurant was very nice and a lot of fun to eat at, but as a meat-eater, I found the food lacking in taste.
Burger Patch has attracted customers searching for a healthier meal, refugees from traditional burger restaurants such as In-N-Out who have gone vegan or people like me — deathly allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts.
Suffering from food allergies my whole life has impacted my diet quite a bit. I can’t eat things such as cheese pizza, ice cream and cheeseburgers.
But because of vegan cheese and even non-dairy ranch dressing, I was able to try a cheeseburger for the first time.
The restaurant gives off a modern vibe with its wood facade and black metal trim around the doors and windows. The vibe continues when you walk in with the menu on a TV embedded in the wall and the faux wood and steel countertops. It has an open-kitchen concept for customers to watch the cooks work.
Walking up to the restaurant, I had high expectations. I was hoping I would be able to eat everything that was offered.
The music was quite loud, which was especially problematic when ordering. I had to lean closer and closer to hear what the clerk was saying, and the inside was cramped.
Outside, however, was much quieter, and the available seating was nearly triple. With three large tables, complete with benches on both sides, a sitting area and a standing countertop, it is much easier to find a seat and enjoy a meal, especially with a larger party.
One of the best aspects of Burger Patch was the amazing customer service. The employees are very welcoming and helpful. The whole staff gives first-time customers a big cheer.
The menu takes after the size of the restaurant, with only four burgers available: the signature Patch Burger, Double Patch Burger, BBQ Burger and Ranch burger. Each features a 100% plant-based patty, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
The Patch and Double Patch burgers also contain the special Patch sauce (think vegan Thousand Island sauce with chili).
The BBQ Burger contains everything plus homemade barbecue sauce, while the Ranch is made with vegan grilled chicken and homemade vegan ranch sauce.
Because of my allergies, seeing realistic creamy sauce and melted cheese in the burgers was so nerve-wracking that I thought I was going to die. Thankfully, however, I didn’t. Instead, I was met with melt-in-your-mouth cheese, crispy lettuce and delicious sauce.
Surprisingly, my least favorite part of the burger was the patty. Because I’m a meat eater, tasting a completely plant-based patty in lieu of beef was strange. The patty had a distinctly fake beef texture, but it was overshadowed by the taste of the condiments.
The BBQ Burger was my favorite because the sauce added a nice tang, making me forget about the underwhelming patty.
Along with the burgers, the restaurant offers vegan chicken nuggets, fries and chocolate and vanilla soy, almond and cashew milkshakes.
The fries were kind of bland and tasted much better with condiments.
The milkshakes, apparently, were a different story. Due to my allergies, my dad tried both milkshakes — which were very thick — and was pleasantly surprised at the taste.
According to my dad, the chocolate had a strong, creamy, semi-sweet flavor, whereas the vanilla flavor was more subdued.
The best flavor was a combination of the two.
One of the biggest drawbacks — besides the minimal indoor seating — is the cost. We bought two burgers, a small fries, and two milkshakes for close to $35. We could get the same meal at In-N-Out for half the price, albeit with lower-quality ingredients.
I would recommend Burger Patch to anyone who wants a good vegan meal. However, it can’t replace the experience of eating a real burger for me.