Thursday, March 10, 2022

Bite into Santa Barbara Burger Week


I wrote one of the burger profiles for this week's Indy, about the delicious vegan bunless croquette they're doing. Here is my write-up:

Petit Valentien, semi-secreted off State Street in charming La Arcada, lives a delicious double life. On weekdays and weekend evenings, it’s French, thanks to co-owner Rob Dixon. But for weekend brunch, you get to enjoy Ethiopian fare, thanks to co-owner Serkaddis Alemu. And now, for Burger Week, you get to relish both cuisines on one plate with the French/Ethiopian Vegetable Croquette. 

Presented bunless, this three-bean veggie patty always mixes lentils, chickpeas, and black beans with onions, carrots, and beets. The rest, said Dixon, depends upon whatever else is freshest, from potato to eggplant. And you really get to sense the vegetables, pleasantly cubed up in the bean mix that remains relatively soft, except for the dusting of panko breadcrumbs that crisp up during the burger’s light fry. (That means the croquette is vegan but not gluten-free.) 

 What truly sets the dish off are the zippy Ethiopian spices worked in the mix that get a bit of a heat accelerant from a spicy avocado puree underneath. This is not a dish for heat-wimps: You will feel a definite slow-burn as you consume the croquette. The simple greens, tomato, and red onion salad, in its classic vinaigrette, makes for a good foil.

Care to read about the other 14 burgers that I did not write about, you can so that on the Independent's site. And go eat a lot of burgers and tell them the Indy sent you.

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