Guest Blogger Laura S. reviews TerraBurger below. To learn more about Laura, feel free to read the intro for her first guest blogging appearance back in January, when she told us about her attempt at making gnocchi from scratch.
I’d never heard of the Austin-owned TerraBurger before today,
and I had no idea one just opened up on the Drag.
My friend Megan suggested we check it out because of their organic, eco-friendly approach. I was all for it – like Jodi, I’ll gladly give my lunch money to a restaurant with a global conscience.
Two weeks into business, TerraBurger was in full swing. We had to share a table with a guy still wearing a biker’s helmet who was eating alone, and there were people waiting for tables to open up. Our food came quickly, which was a good start to the meal. But overall, I was disappointed with the offerings.
Megan and I were torn between trying their salads or a burger, so we decided to split one of each and try an order of their sweet potato fries. The veggie burger was standard – nothing to write home about – and the sweet potato fries were forgettable, too. The salad came with blue corn tortilla chips, jicama, corn and black beans. I thought the salad was on the smaller side for the $6 they charge – it was about the size of a Wendy’s salad, and reminded me of one. To top things off, the jicama in the salad was frozen. Call me high maintenance, but I don’t like my food straight out of the freezer and onto a plate.
On our way out, they were giving away samples of their frozen yogurt. We shared the plain (ick) and the coffee (better). The best thing about them were the few blueberries on top, which were thankfully thawed out.
I offered to blog about TerraBurger because, as of today, I’m not sure Jodi should waste her time trying it. I hope they start thawing their salad toppings and can learn how to make a meaner sweet potato fry. And I know you have to be willing to pay more for quality ingredients, but I thought $9.90 for a veggie burger and small fries was kind of on the pricey side (I didn’t even get a drink).
It would be nice to see a lunch spot with such a great business approach do well in this town. Terra Burger does offer three kinds of trash disposal (plastic, paper and other), converts their cooking oil into biofuel, and even rounds down to the nearest nickel because pennies now cost more to make than they’re worth. These are all measures worth applauding, and I wish more restaurants would get on board. But for now, if I want a good quality burger – veggie or otherwise – I’ll stick with P. Terry’s
This is Jodi again and I feel like a jerk saying this but while TerraBurger is on it’s way to doing the right thing for the environment by only providing organic food, I believe there is a bit of greenwashing* going on here.
For example, their organic beef comes from a Wisconsin supplier — that’s a long way to drive and lots of fossil fuel being burned for that meat to make the journey. Also, a report from Science News (thanks @bittman) argues that beef produces 19 kilograms of CO2 for every kilogram served; that grass-fed beef is worse — yes, worse — for global warming than feed-lot beef.
While I limit my intake of meat, I am by no means a vegetarian or the model of how someone can live the most sustainable and earth-friendly life. However, I’m not trying to present myself that way. If a company is going to hang their hat on being “sustainable,” or “green,” — they need to be prepared to back that claim up.
*For more on reenwashing, check out Austin company EnviroMedia’s Greenwashing Index.
, laura s.