A few years ago Tucker Curtin got fed up with the veggie burgers he was offering his customers at his restaurants.
“I used to run those Boca Burgers,” said Curtin, whose company runs Dug’s Dive on the Buffalo waterfront as well as the Lake Effect Diner and the Steer in University Heights. “They come in frozen and taste like cardboard.”
He wanted to work on a veggie burger of his own, and developed the grain-legume-vegetable patty that’s now on his menus.
Made in the Curtin central kitchen on Clinton Street, it contains carrots, celery, white navy beans, fresh roasted garlic, whole oats, fresh parsley, thyme and basil, roasted garlic, and salt and pepper. There’s also banana peppers, with varying amounts of pepper seeds added to equalize the heat level.
The burgers ($6-$8) are browned on a griddle and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber for extra crunch. It’s cooked three minutes a side and flipped once. “Don’t mess with it or they’ll fall apart,” Curtin said.
It might be a bit shaggy, but it delivers a heaping helping of flavor, its fans say. When you’re looking for fresh food, a little crumbly means unprocessed, which means a lot.
Jazz & Pasta
Live jazz and hot pasta to benefit the Lewiston Jazz Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. April 21 at 115 S. Water St., Lewiston. Tickets are $25, through LewistonJazz.com or call 754-9200.