Cheeseburger Week Chronicles: 'Solid' Vegan Cheeseburgers at Real Food Daily

Local eatery offers a wide range of non-meat options for burger lovers

Published : Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 5:41 AM

There are two ways to go here at Real Food Daily. You can trust the judgment of the restaurant itself, or you can build your own burger.

RFD has come upon what they consider a solid burger ensemble. It has stood the test of many a year. They call it simply “The Original RFD Burger” and here’s their winning combo; Ciabatta bread, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, arugula, and chipotle aioli. The patty consists of lentil, mushroom, beet, sunflower, date, and flaxseed and a large hint of cumin.

There are three cheese choices—the Hot Cashew cheese, a creamy, smooth and mellow melted confection that will run into every corner of your burger and into the crevices of the Ciabatta, the Hot Cashew Pepper Jack – essentially the same but with added heat and zing, and the Smoked Gouda – a stretchy, caramelly, nutty, almost buttery cheese that seems impossible for something Vegan.

We tried the original RFD with the Smoked Gouda because the jalapeños were there to add the heat, so pepper jack wasn’t needed. The Gouda pulled and stretched as the burger lifted from the plate. It was spicy, but in the way that warms you up like a familiar jacket. The sweet caramelized onions mingle well with the garlic spread. The chipotle sets off the jalapeños on a more tender path. The patty itself is legume-heavy in flavor with a consistency something similar to soft falafel, but more malleable. I only wished it was a little firmer.

For the “Build Your Own,” we chose Tempeh bacon, shredded lettuce and tomato topped with hot cashew cheese and thousand island dressing on a Brioche bun. The bun was light and airy, but with a bite to the crust. The Tempeh bacon was crunchy yet tender with a full bacon flavor. The burger also features lettuce, shredded old school diner style, a perfect slice of tomato, and absolutely fresh, melt-in-your-mouth creamy avocado, the kind that you catch in that three-second window between too hard and too soft.

There are other buns to try. A pretzel bun could be fun. They also have a gluten-free millet Chia bun and even a Collard Greens wrap.

The best part? No animals harmed. And don’t forget to bring your dog!

Real Food Daily is located at 899 East Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 844-8900.

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