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Monday, March 15, 2010

Meatless Monday: Terry’s Turf Club burger is no laughing matter

I am a recovering vegetarian. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the four-years I restrained from meat or that I am unnecessarily self-righteous about it, either. It just means that when it comes to ordering vegetarian food at a restaurant, I know a thing or two about how to do it right.

It also means that I’ve heard every vegetarian joke under the sun. I’m still slapping my knee over the ever sarcastic, “Hey, I think there was bacon in that soup you just ate!” variety. In fact, I’ve heard so many of these quips, I’m completely immune to their underlying maliciousness. To the clever jokesters, to the “I just ate a vegetarian” bumper sticker collectors and to the rest of the haters, this one’s for you.

Terry's Turf Club shitake burger photos taken by Courtney Tsitouris.

It’s the Terry’s Turf Club shitake burger – a non-meat selection that tastes as good as any meat-centered burger you ever ate. Call for whatever toppings you like and have it capped off with a big, fat wallop of roasted red pepper and goat cheese sauce. I tried to count the layers in it – I think it came to about seven – but the idea is that it’s enormous. It’s the kind of no-nonsense, no-rules attached, go-get-some sweatpants, you’re gonna’ feel it tomorrow sort of burger that will have you clutching your heart for sweet mercy.

And when you get the first creamy, hearty, savory bite in your mouth, you won’t be able to stop until it’s gone. The blend of goat cheese and roasted red pepper in the sauce is genius and the way it slides so effortlessly down the side of the burger is wicked. If you have any wits about you, you'll have the guys in the back grill your onions so that they become caramelized and sweet. I’m so in love with this thing that the thought of someone talking bad about it sends me into a protective fit – as if my own mother were being insulted.

The concept of Meatless Monday is to skip meat for just one day a week. Will you be able to go to Terry’s and pass up the ground beef burger option in favor of the shitake one? Maybe. Maybe not. The answer to this question relies on a lot of things – your experiences and your feelings about meat in the context of our political, environmental and social climate. Ultimately, whatever you decide is fine – it’s your choice and you should own it. Just don’t say it’s a lack of delicious options that blocked your way.

Say what you will about vegetarians, just don’t say anything bad about this towering, dripping, flavor-packed stack of burger heaven. Cause nobody talks smack about my momma’.

'Meatless Mondays' is an ongoing series on UrbanCincy that explores one of the recommendations of Cincinnati's Climate Protection Action Plan (aka Green Cincinnati Plan) - try to go meatless one day a week. UrbanCincy's 'Meatless Mondays' series is written and photographed by Courtney Tsitouris who is a cook, designer and author of, a blog about dining in and dining out in Cincinnati.

Terry's Turf Club on Urbanspoon


The Urbanophile said...

Those pictures are making me really hungry.

5chw4r7z said...

The best line eva is still Ari Gold; "listen honey, even broccoli screams when you rip it from the ground!"

Leiflet said...

Actually the best line has something to do with "It takes 40 pounds of broccoli to feed one pound of beef." To some, it's about ethics. To others, using resources wisely and efficiently IS an ethical practice.

I'm all about red pepper and goat cheese, btw.

Jeremy said...

I know here and at epi-ventures you get a lot of compliments on the food photos, Courtney, but I thought this was also a really, really enjoyable read, too. A few lines almost move me to remove my strict "Won't Eat Fungus" ban and give this burger a whirl. Almost.

Unknown said...

Hey thanks, Jeremy. I have to say, I'm a complete photography wannabe. I just aim the thing and take rapid fire pictures until something turns out. Oh, and I bet if you closed your eyes and did a blind taste test, you'd reconsider the fungus ban :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...that looks AMAZING. Great photos.

BB said...

I'm a vegan who can't stand mushrooms so this one isn't for me. Love this column however.

Randy Simes said...

This looks pretty good, and I too am not a big fan of mushrooms. I'll definitely give it a try.

5chw4r7z, I'm a big fan of Ari Gould, but I think that Leiflet is more on top of it than Ari in this instance. I'm still obsessed with the scene where Ari comes in with the paintball gun and starts firing it at everyone he was getting rid of at his newly acquired firm. Classic.

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