The Unvegan

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A Cheeseless Burger at Kitchen18

Kosher can be pretty.

Kosher restaurants are a conundrum for me. I want to embrace them because of my Jewish heritage, but I also really want to mix dairy and meat, or throw in some bacon. But, Kosher restaurants have figured out a way to make the food palatable and I went to Kitchen18 in Scottsdale to find out just how palatable they could be.

It didn’t take much time for me to settle upon the Pastrami Burger.. Although I must say that the massive Chinese menu was intriguing (Jews and the Chinese have a long, rich history). The burger was topped with the aforementioned pastrami and “friend” onion. The fried (yes, friend was a typo) onion wasn’t like onion rings or anything, so I passed on them. I had a choice of two sides, and opted for Cajun curly fries and steak fries because that’s how I roll.

The burger was a thing of beauty. Just look at that burger up above. It was massive, it was sexy, and it was still somehow not topped with cheese or bacon. Interestingly, the burger had been seasoned with a number of ingredients, including lemon. This was only a bad thing when I found a seed, but otherwise the various flavors were fantastic. The pastrami, however, could have been a little better. It was kind of dry and kind of tough, but undoubtedly the best topping a Kosher restaurant could have produced for a burger. The fries were great companions to the burger, although I am always partial to curly fries and these delivered.

Kitchen18 definitely did what it had to do and likely produced one of the most beautiful burgers I have ever photographed. But it was also a $19 burger, which is kind of a crazy price to pay for a burger when you don’t keep Kosher. So, I’ll keep Kitchen18 in mind for next time I need to please the lord almighty, but until then I will continue to seek out places that will happily melt some cheese on top of my beef.