Dogs or cats? Barack Obama or Sarah Palin? Veggie burgers or beef patties? Some pairings just beg you to pick a side. But the black bean burger bridges the gulf between protein-hungry carnivores and animal-friendly vegetarians. Because the ones made fresh are hard to find, here are two you should know about.
The menu warns the black cactus black bean patty ($8.95) is a little spicy, but the sweet mango salsa, creamy avocado and Swiss cheese offset the heat. Instead of tossing the mix of ground black beans, black-eyed peas, corn and red bell peppers on a grill, the tree-hugging crew throws it in a convection oven. Baking gives the outside of the burger a pseudo-charred texture while the inside remains a soft blend of beans. 1330 W. Bagley Road, Berea, 440-342-4901
Buckeye Beer Engine
The spicy black bean burger ($6.75) gets its kick from chipotle seasoning mixed in with the beans, breadcrumbs and a little egg. It’s a simple combination that’s complicated, in a good way, by the wucumber (wasabi and cucumber) sauce. The same black bean patty can also be subbed for beef in any of the restaurant’s 20 burger varieties. 15315 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-2337, buckeyebeerengine.com