The Cheesecake Factory - Veggie Burger $10.50
St. Louis Galleria Location
Everything seems to be large at The Cheesecake Factory. The size of the restaurant, the size of the portions, the volume of noise – all large and pretty overwhelming, at least to someone who likes small-ish local joints. When we were told that TCF had a vegan burger, I’m not gonna lie, I was really hoping it was a mistake and they bound it with eggs or used cheese in the mixture. Sadly they do not and we trekked. To. The. Mall.
First Bite Word: It’s red.
After making sure…really, really sure that this was a vegan burger via phone, our server must have been tipped off that “a vegan” was coming in and to make sure that our needs were met. In the vastness of this place, I was surprised there was some accurate communication being had. My very red burger arrived wrapped in lettuce (the server told me I was not allowed to have the bun as it contains eggs) and was quite sizable – a good start. Thank goodness they wrapped it several times in this lettuce because it fell apart pretty easily, though the texture was really pretty good. It was a little grainy (good in my book) and I felt like I was getting an assorted amount of ingredients.
As for said ingredients: brown rice, black beans, fresh beets and onion – this made for an interesting flavor. The beets obviously own the exaggerated color, but I could not taste them – so really what good is that? The burger has good flavor, though a little too mild. I was hoping for a flavor punch as much as a visual punch. Now that I look back, I’m glad there was no egg free buns available because I really think the flavor would be lost. The lettuce allowed for more flavors to come through and unless you are visually wanting Sloppy Joe’s, wrap this thing in the greens.
First Bite Word: Crunchy
Where to start? Not as easy a question as one might think. Took half an hour to find it buried on page 17 of the 30 page menu…
The presentation was flat, if not plain boring. Burger and fries on the plate. That’s it. Nuthin else. Kind of a plain looking bun with no visual appeal. The fries reminded me of Burger King’s fries, though that isn’t necessarily a criticism. The patty itself was square. I thought only Wendy’s did that.
Dark brown to red in color, it almost had a breaded appearance to it. Visually, it was was actually reminiscent of an overcooked chicken patty from my grade school cafeteria. Consistent with the Cheesecake Factory’s standard modus operandi, the burger was sizeable. Too big for many folk.
Texture and consistency were lacking. It was kind of “crumbly” and “grainy”. The wife also informed me that the red hue was likely from beets. I don’t do beets. Traumatic childhood experience induced by my grandmother. Putting the foregoing aside, the flavor was actually very good (despite the incognito beets). I wouldn’t say it tastes like real meat, but it was very well spiced. Fries we good, too. Hot and crisp. On the whole, I’d give it a 7, with several of the points coming from portion.