In honor of Meatless Monday, the ultimate in veggie junk food comes from Burgers and Shakes in North Beach.
If you want a meat-free transition from your grilled burgers over the holiday weekend, go for the veggie alternative. If you're thinking a veggie burger has to be a dry, cardboard-like puck, think again.
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The thick, gooey veggie burger ($6.75) has no traditional patty but rather is composed of grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, baby arugula, tomatoes, melted mozzarella, and a smear of pesto on the bun. It is a gorgeous array of colors, textures, and flavors that leaves you feeling full. You won't even notice the absence of meat. However, if you can't go without meat for a meal, you can add a beef patty for a dollar more.
When it comes to fries, Burgers and Shakes has French fries, sweet-potato fries, onion rings, chili fries, and fried pickles, all fried in pure peanut oil. The sweet-potato fries ($3.45) arrive a dark orange, sometimes even black. At first they might appear burnt, but a sweet-potato fry that's extra-well-done is extra-awesome. They are sweeter and their flavor intensity reaches new depths, yet they remain squishable between your fingers. The over-the-top factor: These delectable fries come with honey packets for your sweet dipping pleasure. They could be dessert.
To wash everything down, try a milkshake ($4) in one of the classic trifecta of flavors: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.
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Don't let the absence of meat stop your meal from being indulgent, flavorful, and filling.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst