So let me just start off by saying, like most people, I love burgers. It is the one item on this planet that is constantly being recreated with different ingredients and proteins. My father is a grill/burger master and always has been. Since I was a little girl, burgers have been a go-to. And any kind of burger. Beef Burgers, Chicken Burgers, Turkey Burgers, Salmon Burgers, Shrimp Burgers, and more. When I started giving up meat, I tried the Boca Burger, which was the only thing that we really had at the time, (This was way back in 2010, when tofu was the only other vegan option) and it was okay. Fast forward to 6 months ago when I finally had the chance to try the Beyond Burger for the First time. It was at Bare Burger and I had it with Violife Cheese, French Fries, and a Cococado Milkshake. I was finally in a moment when I could say that I have finally had a vegan, soy-free burger that is just like a real cheeseburger and you don’t have to miss a thing. Now I love Bareburger, but my burger, fries and milkshake was a little more than I anticipated and all the way up in Dupont Circle, which is a great location, but not close to everyone. I thought that my only option to get a good burger with fries was either in my own kitchen (which I mean I can cook for myself, but I don’t necessarily always want to) or Bareburger, which again, far away and a little much. But that was before Bubbie’s Plant Based Burgers made their first announcement.
Now for those that keep up with my blog, you would know that I love Pow Pow, Sticky Rice, and an all Plant-Based Sushi Pop-Up called Noridojo. Chef Margaux Riccio, the same genius who has a hand and foot in these amazing vegan menus, is also behind Bubbies. And when she announced that it would be starting this as a pop-up, I was elated, because I haven’t had a meal of hers that I did not like. I mean, I order from Pow Pow way more times than what I post. I found out that Bubbies was being hosted at the Rock and Roll Hotel, a few doors down from Pow Pow, but I originally had no idea that this place existed. I had gotten off of a long day at 9:30 pm on a Saturday, and I was speed walking down H Street so that I could catch them, because I knew that the kitchen closed at 10:00. I walk into the venue after a confusing couple of minutes at the door where I had to explain that I was just trying to get some food and knew nothing about a show, and proceeded to sit myself at one of the bars. I ask about the vegan food menu and the bartender tells me how good it is and how she counts down the days for her to be able to work there again, just for the food. As soon as I placed my order, one of the security guards tells the bartender that the kitchen is closed. And I was so hurt. Somehow my sad face worked and the bartender asked if they accept just one more order, to which he came back and said they would take my order and then nothing else. I was saved by the bell.
I proceeded to order the Monkey Wrench, A burger with house made cashew cheddar, pork belly bacon, pickled jalapenos, a fried onion ring and BBQ sauce, with Fries and Chicken Fingers. The chicken fingers mainly because once you know a place has good chicken fingers or a decent chicken sandwich, it will always be your go to. Now all I had to do was wait. In the meantime, an accident happened, the paramedics came, left, and I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: The Dark World since they were on at the same time on different tvs and channels, was asked if I wanted drinks a time or two, and all of this before my food came out. I wasn’t sure what the hold up was, but it was honestly worth the wait, as in you can’t rush perfection, which is exactly what my meal was. The burger was perfect. The BBQ sauce was what did it for me outside of the cheese and bacon. It reminded me of the Rodeo Burger from Burger King, except more fulfilling and not made of dead animals. It got a little messy, but in all honesty, is your burger even good if its not messy? Nope! The burger was a nice texture and everything that came on it was the perfect compliment. When I dived into the Chicken Fingers, I was thrown back. I noticed the inside looks exactly like real chicken, and the taste was on point. I tried both of the dipping sauces that it came with, which was a vegan ranch as well as an agave mustard dipping sauce, which was spot on and goes toe to toe with Chick-Fil-A’s honey mustard recipe. And of course it goes without saying, the fries just topped it all off.
So I figured I was going to go back the next week, and make sure I have an entire evening available, and go back to order the big menu items. I even made sure I drank a big green lemon ginger kale smoothie before I arrived. So when I got to Rock and Roll Hotel the other day, they turned me away for a private event. Because I was so hungry, I just ended up walking over to Pow Pow to grab something small until I figured out what I was going to eat. I ordered the Sweet and Sour Fingers, which is something I actually haven’t tried before. Again, because Chef Margaux had a brilliant hand in it. In that time, Magic happened, and I was able to get the food that I was looking for. The second time I was saved by the bell.
In the meantime, I got into those Sweet and Sour Tenders and the texture, the sweet and sour sauce, and the even the dipping sauce was amazing. I brought my friend who is no where close to being a vegan, and she loved it. Soon enough, my Bubbies Burgers arrived. I ordered the Big Bubb, The Fried Chicken Sandwich, The No Diggity, and of course, French Fries. Now of course I did not eat all of this at once. But I did taste each item (since the sweet and sour tenders were pretty filling). The Big Bubb reminded me of 5 guys burgers. The way that the burger is shaped, the way the cheese is perfectly melted, and all of the toppings that were added onto it, took me back to middle school when I would get 5 guys on the way home. The burger was more of an experience than anything. Next I tried the Fried Chicken sandwich. Now, because I already had the tenders, I knew the chicken sandwich wouldn’t be too far off taste and texture wise. My sandwich was topped with pickles, tomatoes, and spicy mustard. And in all honesty, I can’t remember a fried chicken sandwich that was not vegan, that was that good and fulfilling. It was crispy and perfectly flavored. It definitely left a mark on me. I now know that when I’m there and I don’t have a taste for anything else, I can always fall back on that. Then I tried the No Diggity, which is a carrot dog that has been marinated and dressed up. Now yes it is a carrot dog, and yes you can kind of taste the carrot in the first couple of bites, but once you get into it, and I mean dig into the shredded cheese, scallions, ketchup, and mustard, it becomes less like just a carrot that’s dressed up like a hot dog and more like a healthy street dog. I personally like it as a Vegan alternative to hot dogs that is not based with a meat replacer. And lastly, the fries were amazing. They were served with spicy mayo and ketchup. And I was LOVING the spicy mayo. Overall, all of the menu items that I got, were not just good for vegan alternatives, but good in general.
Personally speaking, I love the magic that is the H Street Vegan Revolution. For the time being, Bubbies Plant Based Burgers & Fizz is a pop up, and the full restaurant will be open next year. Stop by Rock and Roll Hotel when you have the chance to give it a try and watch Bubbie‘s Plant Based Burgers & Fizz grow to its full potential and past that. This would be the first 100% Plant-Based Burger Joint in this area. And as someone who grew up in the area and has seen how things have changed over the years, I definitely think that a vegan burger spot would do us a little good. I think Pow Pow has done us some good by offering amazing menu options, and not everyone can tell that it’s vegan! On the other hand, Chef Margaux does the work of 20 million strong women to make DC one of the top best places to be a vegan in which is more than commendable. She and her team work hard to consistently put out food that feeds the soul for vegans and non-vegans alike. If you have the chance to stop by Rock and Roll Hotel during the weekend, I highly recommend taking a chance at Bubbie’s Plant Based Burgers And Fizz. You won’t regret it. And if you can’t make your way, Chef Margaux will keep us updated on Online Orders being available soon!