I remember when international healthy food crusader Jamie Oliver introduced his Revolution Burger at Patra’s Charbroiled Burgers in Glassell Park earlier this year. Its grass-fed beef and wheat bun caused a bit of a brouhaha in the food world, angering some people in a “where-does-this-Brit-get-off-telling-us-Americans-how-to-eat-a-burger” kind of way.
Just check out the comments on a Serious Eats post on the subject if you don’t believe me. Faced with the prospect of Oliver’s burger makeover, one commenter remarked: “Burgers = unhealthy and American. There’s somethings [sic] sacred about that to me. If it’s not those two things, it ain’t really a burger.”
Luckily, my sense of patriotism is not so inflamed by foreigners tinkering with American dietary staples, and I’m not so set on the burger-as-belly-bomb edict. As a result, the Revolution Burger has actually become part of my repertoire, and I appreciate it as a healthier option when fast food is in order but I still want a little, you know … nutrition.
In addition to 100% grass-fed Angus beef, The Revolution Burger is done up with mixed greens (although this seems to have changed to shredded lettuce), a creamy dressing, smashed beans and potato spread. Admittedly, the fiber-adding beans and potatoes are a little weird, but the combination is strangely satisfying. Oliver’s burger doesn’t quite reach “Friday night burger” status (think the Cheddar Burger from The York for that category), but it’s perfect for, say, a Tuesday. As are the other Revolution menu features, which include burritos, a veggie burger, a torta, a salad (again with beans) and yogurt shakes.
Having grown accustomed to having these options at my disposal, I’m grateful for Oliver’s push to bring some healthier choices into my area. Wholesome food is hard to come by around here, even in the local supermarkets, which brim with processed food and aisles and aisles of soda. There are a few exceptions, namely the spectacular Super King in Glassell Park and Cinnamon Vegetarian in Highland Park. But by and large, Glassell Park and its surrounding neighborhoods constitute a nutritional desert.
I wish there was less resistance to healthier fast food. Of course, it’s your god-given right to eat a big, juicy, sloppy, artery-clogging Burger—it’s a freedom that I exercise all the time—but lean meat and wheat buns aren’t exactly what I call oppression.