The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Previewing at Borneo Kalimantan
Neighborhood Eating at Cafe Nouveau
Kind of a Burger at Highland Park Brewery
Living in a House of Wings

‘Hamburgers’

A Hunger for Crave Burger

So many things happening here.
So many things happening here.

Highlands Ranch is a crazy distant suburb of Denver, which typically means chain restaurants galore. And that’s pretty much what I found, but I also found a place called Crave Burger that was anything but “chainy.” It felt like the kind of burger place I would open if I were ballsy enough to open a restaurant. The menu was loaded with all sorts of crazy and inventive burgers including toppings like peanut butter, jalapeno poppers and fried white cheddar and eventually I found mine.

Going Bleu at The Red Lion

Blue, like cheese.
Bleu, like cheese.

Vail, Colorado may be a beautiful place, but it is certainly not a place to go if you’re on a budget. Lift tickets are crazy expensive and the food isn’t much cheaper. But there are a couple more reasonable places in town and The Red Lion is one of them. As you might expect, The Red Lion is a British Pub and has your classic pub fare. When it came to my meal, I only really had eyes for the burgers.

What’ll Ya Have at The Varsity?

Can you guess which side is mine?
Can you guess which side is mine?

Every city has its share of iconic places to eat. In Atlanta, one of those places goes by the name of The Varsity and has been around since 1928. They still do the paper hat thing and the people taking orders are famous for asking “What’ll Ya Have?” As far as the food goes, it’s basically what you would expect from 1928: hot dogs, burgers, fries and onion rings.

An Extreme Burger at H.H. Cotton’s

An unassuming burger.
An unassuming burger.

San Clemente is a quaint little town on the California coast that is definitely worth a visit. And if you make it down there, you could do a whole lot worse than a visit to H.H. Cotton’s, a gastropub right in the middle of town. We wound up there completely by accident, but then isn’t that the way many great stories begin?

While the little one was distracted by football, I went ahead and ordered The Longhorn, based on my waitress’s recommendation. The Longhorn, by the way, is a burger topped with bacon, chopped brisket, crispy shallots, cheddar and BBQ sauce. As for my side, I opted for fries.

The Burger at The Malibu Cafe

More like cala-meh-ri
More like cala-meh-ri

The Malibu Cafe might be one of the coolest places to hang out in LA. The sprawling grounds are like an Anthropologie fan’s orgasm, with box lights, upside down umbrellas, giant chess pieces and pillows with words on them. Plus, it’s super family friendly. After winning me over at the Burger Battle in Santa Monica earlier this year, I was eager to find out what the restaurant itself would be like.

Melty Delight at Black Iron Burger

All the stuff.
All the stuff.

When you’re in New York, it’s probably not the best idea to decide where you are eating based on the proximity to your hotel. Yet, when I walked by Black Iron Burger, right around the corner from my hotel in Chelsea I was immediately drawn in. The place claimed to have been voted as one of the best burgers in New York, and I was in no position to disagree.

Grill ‘Em All Gets Restauranted

All the meats.
All the meats.

Once upon a time I was featured on a show called Eat Street to talk about a food truck in LA called Grill ‘Em All. Eventually, like many successful food trucks, Grill ‘Em All opened a real restaurant. For some reason they chose Alhambra, which is better known for its Chinese food than its burgers, but diversity is always a good thing and the restaurant has stood strong for a couple years now. I finally got the chance to try it recently to see how it turned out.

Zenful at Zinburger

Somewhere something is green.
Somewhere something is green.

As a good unvegan, I pretty much refuse to eat at True Food. I say that having paid them a visit before, and knowing nothing good could come of a repeat. Thus, when I found out we had lunch plans at True Food in Scottsdale Quarter I immediately made moves to incite a revolution and head to Zinburger instead. It was successful enough to get a buddy to join me and so it began.

The Cheese Skirt Experience at The Squeeze Inn

More cheese please.
More cheese please.

There are few places in the world (if any) that I have been fixating on visiting for as long as The Squeeze Inn. The trouble is that despite all of my years in California there is rarely a reason for anyone to visit Sacramento. This, by the way, is not meant to be a knock on Sac Town, but the State Capitol isn’t exactly a big draw. Finally, though, some random couple I know got married up there and I convinced them to invite me (solely so I could hit up The Squeeze Inn).

Burgers, Bourbon + Beer 2016

Flaming up good.
Flaming up good.

There was a time when Diners, Drive-ins and Dives was pretty much the best food-related alliteration. Then came Los Angeles Magazine’s Burgers, Bourbon + Beer, laying out some of the best consumable things in the world. The event took place in Santa Monica at The Victorian and showcased a number of bite-sized burgers (no, not sliders), a few bourbons and beers from Golden Road. Oh, and there was ice cream, chocolate and music as well. But you’re at Unvegan.com, which means everything took a back stage to the burgers. Better yet, this was a competition, so instead of just mass-producing burgers, these were all cooked to perfection. Not even I could eat all of them, but I did my damnedest.