The search for the perfect NYC veggie burger started, strangely enough, in another city entirely. I was visiting some friends in the City of Brotherly Love and they took me to a place called National Mechanics in Old City where I was introduced to the Greatest Veggie Burger in the Known Universe. Now, being a non-native New Yorker, I tend to take issue with anyone saying that the Greatest Anything in the Known Universe exists outside of these fine five boroughs, but at the time I was giddy and excited to be with my friends, so I happily ordered the burger.
There was only one problem. As far as I know, they were right. It was the Greatest Veggie Burger in the Known Universe, at least in my known universe. On a subsequent trip to Philadelphia with my mother, I dragged her to National Mechanics, as well, and tried it a second time, expecting (hoping?) to be disappointed. But alas, it was still the delicious, juicy without being soggy combination of julienned vegetables, mushrooms, and some kind of grain (bulgur? quinoa?) held together with a single, perfectly elastic slice of cheddar.
I’ve avoided veggie burgers ever since, like I did ice cream for 4 years after I went to Italy— because nothing could compare, right? But the thing is, I don’t go to Philly enough that I can satisfy that lingering and ever-present desire for a fantastic veggie burger by just waiting until the next time I hop a Bolt Bus. It’s time to take matters into my hands, to face potential disappointment and heart break, and find a veggie burger in NYC that will match, nay, RIVAL the deliciousness of the National Mechanics veggie burger.
I will document the journey here with pictures and descriptions and stories, so that you may know, as I know, once and for all, where to procure the greatest veggie burger in the greatest city in the world.
But if you’re ever in Philadelphia, do stop by National Mechanics and have theirs. Even if I do find one better, I’ll always love theirs for starting me on this journey.