The Conscientious Burger: Chef’s veggie burger at Squatters Pub, SLC

Apologies for not snapping a pic before my first couple bites! Photo by J for The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Although most of the posts in the Conscientious Burger series will focus on my adopted hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, occasionally I’ll feature burgers that I encounter while on the road. In part, this is to encourage you, dear reader, to keep your eyes open for conscientious burgers in your hometown and during your own travel adventures.

J and I recently traveled to the southwest to be in a wedding (congrats once again, V & E!), and our trip took us through SLC, as the airport of Salt Lake City, Utah is known. We woke long before dawn and arrived in Salt Lake very ready for lunch after our second of three flights. Our arrival gate in Concourse C happened be directly across from Squatters Airport Pub, and after perusing the menu, we decided to give it a try.

Like Sarah at the Vegansaurus blog, we were very pleasantly surprised by how many veggie and vegan options were not only available but also clearly marked on the menu [see PDF here]. Offerings included a hummus-and-veggie wrap, a tabbouleh salad made with organic quinoa, and a tofu scrambler from the “breakfast anytime” menu. J was feeling carnivorous and went with the Niman Ranch pastrami Reuben, while I tried the veggie burger. Here’s the 411:

  • Menu description: “CHEF’S VEGGIE BURGER: Roasted veggies, garbanzo beans, rice and oats, grilled and topped with hummus.” Also, all burgers are “served on Squatters-ale–infused spent-grain bun (substitute a gluten-free Udi’s bun upon request).” Recommended beer: Chasing Tail Golden Ale
  • Included sides: Served with Kettle Chips® or carrot and celery sticks, or substitute chips & salsa or a side salad for $1.50. Also served with classic burger sides of leaf lettuce (shredded, in this case), tomato slices, and some sliced red onion.
  • Price: $9.99
  • Website: For more about Squatters Pubs & Beers, including hours and menus, head here

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Along with my upgrade to a lovely side salad (with their very tasty cilantro-lime vinaigrette, which was served on the side), this burger made for one darn good airport meal. Given the description above, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that it was very much falafel in burger form, minus the tzaziki. It’s such a good idea for a veggie burger that I’m surprised I haven’t encountered it elsewhere. Hummus on falafel may seem like overkill at first — are two versions of chickpeas really necessary on one sandwich? But, as with the falafel wrap at The Great Dane in Madison, it ends up being an appealing combination. The tangy, galicky zip of creamy hummus nicely contrasts with the crunchy, hearty falafel (or, in this case, falafel-like patty). Although it might have been my imagination, I swear that I could detect sweet brew-house notes in the bun from the spent grain. While it didn’t top the absolutely amazing Shelly’s Vegan Wrap from Elephants Deli at PDX, this really was a surprisingly good airport meal.

The only disappointment was my Black and Tan, which was a very literal rendering of the menu description. It turned out to indeed be a “blend of Organic Amber and Captain Bastard’s” Oatmeal Stout — the bartender simply filled the glass with ale and then topped off the imperial pint with stout, with zero effort to keep the two in separate layers as is customary. In fact, it was almost like he intentionally mixed them as he poured the pint, yielding more of a uniform “muddy brown” than a black and tan.

Nevertheless, if you find yourself in need of a meal in SLC, I very much recommend giving Squatters a try.

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