Lori Brown · Jun 28, 2017 · 5 min read
Let's get St Petersburg on the map by supporting our local contestant!
St Pete is all about local so let's show our support for The Cider Press Cafe in this contest. They are up against 400 other burgers nationally. They are the only St Petersburg contestant and the ONLY burger not made with some sort of meat. Currently they are 11th in the contest, which is astounding as the only vegetarian/vegan burger, but they need our help to at least get to 5th place (they are about 10,000 votes behind 5th place). The top 5 burgers based on votes, earns the Chef a trip to NYC to represent St. Petersburg and to showcase the burger at the James Beard House. This would be a HUGE thing for our community! Kevin and I recently had this delicious burger and I must say, I will definitely eat it again! You can vote every 24 hours and they need your help to get into the top five by July 31st. We can do this St Pete!! Keep reading for more pictures and great information...
**PLEASE NOTE: The vote button, for some reason will not work when you use a mobile phone or tablet when you are within Facebook. You can copy and paste the link to your browser on your phone or tablet and vote that way or you can vote within Facebook from your laptop or desktop computer.
What is this Blended Burger contest all about?
The James Beard House invited past and new Blended Burger Project™ participants to the challenge of striving to make healthier burgers better by blending ground meat (or in The Cider Press's case Vegan meat) with 25% chopped mushrooms. The goal is to create an incredibly delicious burger that is not only healthier, but more sustainable for the planet.
The five chefs who receive the most online votes between Memorial day and July 31, 2017 will win a trip to New York City to prepare their winning Blended Burger at the James Beard House.
How did Cider Press prepare their burger?
The James Beard Burger at Cider Press has chopped mushrooms (25%), onions, garlic, salt and pepper combined with a Beyond Meat burger. It is served on fresh arugula and then topped with a dairy free, vegan smoked Gouda slice, house made tomato, bacon, onion jam and crispy, caramelized onions.
How did it taste?
I wouldn't say that the patty had quite the consistency of a regular burger, if you like it cooked medium to medium well. It was more the consistency of a burger cooked medium rare, which is how we order ours anyway, and as you can see, it looks like a burger cooked medium rare. Chef Nate says that beet juice (which you don't taste any beet flavor) gives it that coloring. The flavor was terrific! All of the ingredients together definitely give the flavor of eating a burger with the normal trimmings. Kevin said, "It is the best non-meat burger I have ever had. But seriously, I love it and would order it again!" I very much enjoyed it too! According to Chef Nate, the burger is selling like crazy. People are coming back again and again for it, so the plan is to keep it on the menu even after the contest is over. Ours was served with a side of their addictive version of a Greek Salad. I love it! It is made with a balsamic dressing which is what gives it the dark coloring. True Greek Salad is not made with lettuce or Potato Salad, so this is probably the closest you can find to real around here.
The future of The Cider Press Cafe...
While we were there, we also got to chat with owner, Johan Everstijn about the future of The Cider Press Cafe. In the fall the kitchen is getting all new equipment. A complete overhaul is in the works to give Chef Nate the proper space and equipment to work with. The plan is for all new ovens, fryers, stoves, etc. Says Everstijn, "What people don't understand is that currently when the kitchen gets slammed, food can take a while to come out of the kitchen and it's not the kitchen staff's fault. They are currently cooking things on portable grills. So we are converting all of that stuff to make us a lot more efficient and increase the speed of service."
In talking about the menu he continues, "We are planning to keep evolving our menu. It's just funny to see how places in general are changing. They are going more casual and our mistake is that we had a vegan product to begin with that a lot of people didn't understand. So you make a menu that's too esoteric and then nobody gets it. It might be the best thing in the world, but people are still going to be scared of it. So we are backing off a bit. We will still have a lot the same stuff (he points to the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites on our table) because some of the raw Vegan items are our best sellers."
We also got to try some summer refreshments. The Granita was YUMMY!!
And the Blueberry Rosewater Ice Cream that is made with cashews, coconut meat, frozen blueberries and rosewater and then they whip it up with a Paco Jet which makes it soft serve. So delicious! I am craving it right now!
They now also carry and serve Mother Kombucha. I had the Blue Rose and Kevin ordered the Turmeric Ginger Lemonade. Both were quite tasty but both Kevin and I really loved the Turmeric Ginger Lemonade! Tangy and refreshing and good for the body!!
Please remember to:
Let's join together and put St Petersburg's local Vegan burger on the map!!!
The Cider Press Café offers a fine dining experience in a casual setting. Featuring a Florida inspired, plant based, modernist cuisine, our menu is entirely raw vegan but all you need to be is a fanatic of great food.