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La Vida Vegan: Rec Yerself

Finding a good vegan burger is like capturing a yeti. Thankfully, there’s Park & Rec.


The Dish
Black Bean and Quinoa Burger

The Spot
Royale with Cheese (inside Park & Rec)
412 Park Boulevard

We’re vegan, not dead. Fact is, many of us on a plant-based diet still crave a good burger. Most of us grew up on them. Finding a good vegan burger at a restaurant, however, is like stumbling upon a unicorn. Most serve store-bought, frozen pucks. We could make our own from scratch, but without eggs it’s hard to find the right binding agent (flaxseed? chia seed? Elmer’s glue?). 

That’s why, when I found the vegan burger at Park & Rec—served by on-site mobile food vendor Royale with Cheese—I felt I hit the jackpot. It’s a homemade black bean and quinoa patty inside a whole wheat Bread & Cie bun, dressed with tomato, red onion, avocado, dressed arugula, adobo vegannaise, and cilantro pepita pesto. The arugula gives it a freshness, crunch, and peppery bite (as does the onion) that offsets the soft bun. All those real, quality ingredients—for only $8. 

So nice to find a unicorn. Also nice that you can order a delicious cocktail (the bar menu was designed by Revelry Cocktail Co., one of the city’s best) and play some table tennis on the patio. Do yourself a favor and order a side of the Magical Mystery Tots.  

TIP: Park & Rec doesn’t have a kitchen. It’s basically a patio party with a window for Royale with Cheese (a food truck) to serve through. They usually get to slinging the vegan burger around 5 p.m. 

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