A really great veggie burger is a hard thing to come by. Only one that I’ve ever eaten has made me not think about how I’d rather be eating a juicy cheeseburger instead – the $6 Superiority Burger in New York City. Even the much-hyped Impossible Burger was a huge let down. I’m always wary of trying any new veggie burgers because I’m doubtful that they’ll compare to Superiority in NYC and worry that I’ll be left wishing I’d ordered something else.
I’d heard about Freddy & Hicks for some time now. They’ve popped up at several others bars and venues across Glasgow and now seemed to have found a more permanent home at Platform. I won’t go into too much detail on Platform itself. You can read all about Glasgow’s new indoor street food market in my previous review. Instead, let’s get straight down to the business of the burger itself.
Freddy & Hicks specialise in vegetarian and vegan fare. There’s a halloumi burger and a vegan burger for strictly plant-based customers. There’s also a BBQ version if you fancy something different. Since this was my first visit, I decided to go for the classic. It consists of a vegan burger patty topped with your typical classic burger toppings – Onions, tomato, lettuce relish, mayo, cheese. Thankfully, the patty isn’t just some ultra-processed faux meat rubbish – the guys at Freddy & Hicks use homemade seitan patties. Seitan; for those who don’t know, is made from hydrated wheat gluten which results in a chewy, meaty texture. I know it doesn’t sound all that great, but it’s definitely one of the better meat alternatives out there. I mean, it isn’t going to make anyone think they’re eating a beef burger but it’s substantial, has a good texture, can be flavoured and seasoned well and is fairly high in protein. It’s a versatile ingredient and is better when homemade. The stuff you’d find in shops is generally packed with additives and other nasty things that you should avoid.
This particular seitan patty has also been made with mushrooms, barley, miso, onions and fresh herbs. It almost looks like it’s been made from beans at first glance, but it has a much more complex and substantial texture to it. It’s quite a thin patty, which really works in its favour and helps enhance that classic burger feel. The burger came wrapped in brown paper, opened at one end for easy, mess-free eating. Platform was fairly busy when I visited and I had to find a free spot to stand and eat the burger, so this was a very welcome addition. The patty had a great flavour with a good bit of onion coming through, without being overpowering. The texture was really great too. Forget the rubbery frozen veggie burgers you may have eaten in the past – the ones that could double as a hockey puck. This is the kind of veggie burger patty that you want, if you’re tired of bean burgers. I’ve eaten seitan burgers before that have been like eating rubber, but this was very good.
The vegan ‘cheese’ (and I use that loosely) is the only thing that took away from an otherwise excellent burger. I would have preferred more relish or some kind of burger sauce instead. I’d actually rather not refer to vegan cheese as ‘cheese’, but I guess it sounds better than processed modified starch slices or something to that effect. It had an odd, gelatinous texture and tasted like play-doh. Pretty much like all vegan (not)cheese. In a burger that screams homemade and good quality, this felt out of place. Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of it and it was sat at the bottom of the bun. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but it helped. The other toppings and nice flavours from the patty meant that I didn’t taste it all that much. I’d actually love to try this burger again with some real cheese – maybe some of that halloumi from the other Freddy & Hicks burger – because I can imagine it would be fantastic and possibly even top that wondrous veggie burger from New York City that I still think about.
THE JUICY BITS
+ Great flavour.
+ Really good texture.
+ Homemade patties.
+ Good value.
– The vegan ‘cheese’ alternative is not good. Even if you’re vegan, ask for it without.
Talk to James on Twitter and Instagram and tell us what you thought of this burger! You can also leave your own review and comments below. We want to hear from you! You can also leave a message or join in on the burger chat on our Facebook page.
Freddy & Hicks at Platform, Glasgow
253 Argyle Street
LEGAL / COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: ALL Photography Copyright James vs. Burger. All Rights Reserved.