Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to taste a very original menu item that piqued my interest. When most people think of a veggie burger, they think of a somewhat flavorless frozen patty that is offered to stand in as a replacement for beef, for those non-carnivores of the world. At the Glenville Stops in Allston, Chef Juan Pedrosa set out to change the stereotype of this menu item and offer something that would be heralded as equally delicious to his "Stops Burger". Everything on the menu is extremely well thought out and lovingly cooked by Chef Juan and his team, and the sandwich offerings don't disappoint.
He currently offers the house made veggie patty with an array of accouterments that elevate this to sublime sandwich status. He was gracious enough to chat about the procedure of making them before cooking one for me. On the menu, he lists the veggie burger as the "Masa Burger", and for good reason. Aside from a cornocopia of diced fresh vegetables such as bell pepper, poblano peppers, carrot, celery, red onion and chickpeas, the burger boasts a staple South American ingredient that holds everything together: Masa Harina. You may know this ingredient if you have every made fresh corn tortillas or tamales. The masa helps all the ingredients form a perfect patty, that is later pan fried, adorned with house made pickled carrot and fennel, fresh arugula, and a flavorful chimichurri aioli. The whole thing is nestled into a lightly toasted Piantadosi potato bun, and served alongside some of the best hand-cut fries Ive had in a very long time.
So next time you find yourself hungry in Allston, be sure to give this neighborhood newcomer a try. You will find the cozy spot on Glenville Ave has something for everyone in your party, even the pickiest vegetarians. The Masa Burger may be fully capable of converting you into a vegetarian yourself.