Whenever I order a veggie burger at a restaurant, I ask if the patty is grilled with the regular burgers. More often than not, they are. For a vegetarian, this defeats the purpose of a veggie patty. Hell, it defeats the purpose for a health nut because they’re still getting the grease from the burgers on theirs. Last I checked, Chilis and Denny’s were both perpetrators but one that isn’t: Cheeseburger in Paradise.
I never would have gone to Cheeseburger in Paradise if it hadn’t been for Judy, a pesco-vegetarian*. Still, before I ordered my veggie burger, I checked with the waiter. “Are the veggie burgers cooked with the regular burgers?” I asked. His answer surprised me. “Everything has a separate grill. One grill for the beef burgers, one for the turkey burgers, one for the grilled chicken, and one for the veggie burgers.” I cannot describe how ecstatic I was to hear this. Why didn’t other restaurants do this as well? Pushing aside space issues, this is really a great idea. What if someone had a severe allergy to, say, chicken but their beef burger was cooked right next to a chicken patty? Or on the same space a chicken patty had just been and the grill wasn’t cleaned between the two? Why risk contamination and a possible lawsuit? More restaurants should take a page from Cheeseburger in Paradise’s book. Not only are they safe for vegetarians and those plagued with allergies, but they have a little something for every taste.
*Pesco-vegetarians eat fish but not meat.