Ticking all the boxes | Just Burger

Vegetarian options at fast food joints are few and far between and are usually reserved for meat-haters only. Just Burger has developed a few vegetarian options (and even one vegan) that even meat lovers will enjoy. RACHEL AGIUS puts them to the test

They say the first step to solving a problem is to admit you have one. So here it goes. I have a problem with vegetarian food. 

Before you raise your eyebrows and question my integrity as a food writer, allow me to explain. I love vegetables and often eat fantastic meat-free dishes with gusto. But calling something vegetarian sometimes feels like you’re reminding me that there is no meat involved in the dish and why is there no meat involved? Now I feel like something with meat in it.

So when I was tasked with trying out Just Burger’s vegetarian and vegan options, I knew I had to change my semantically sensitive ways.  Luckily, the job at hand was hardly difficult. 

After settling into our seats, my companion and I were presented with a formidable row of four burgers to share. I had my game face on and a hungry growl in my stomach. Let’s do this. 

I learnt many things that day. First, that I could eat two burgers in a row. Second, the word vegetarian need not necessarily imply that something is missing. We tried pumpkin, chickpea and halloumi burgers as well as the delightfully nutty vegan burger with a basket of fries and dipping sauces to share. My initial verdict for Just Burgers stands – they do a mighty fine burger. This time however, I was pushed slightly outside my comfort zone into a world of satisfying fast food that didn’t make me feel like anything was amiss. 

The pumpkin patty was matched with a zing of spicy salsa, a great accompaniment to the coolness of the fresh lettuce and tomato the burger was stacked with. The chickpea patty had that sort of moreish, comforting flavour, reminiscent of a good hummus that’s undergone a fantastic makeover. The vegan patty, held together with chia seeds instead of egg, had this satisfying crunch, which made me rethink the limitations of vegan food. And I will admit that there was some arguing over the halloumi burger, made of thick, squeaky slices of that delicious Greek cheese. It was a favourite with both of us. 

In all, Just Burger offers a range of vegetarian options that is broader than most. Having a vegan option is only now just becoming a possibility in some restaurants, while Just Burger seems to have already mastered one dish, hopefully with more to follow. This little haven in Paceville really has become accessible to everyone, which is a good thing. This is a meal no one wants to miss out on.