First of all, it felt weird to put quotes around the word ham (I'm going to actually talk about my favorite veggie burger, being a pseudo-non-meat-eater myself) when hamburgers don't include ham. I just learned, thanks to Wikipedia, something I probably should have already known: they're named after location of origin, not content.
Semantics aside, I have always loved a good burger. For the first 23 years of my life, I was completely non-discriminatory about hamburger quality (Does anyone remember those frozen hamburgers --with bun-- that came in red boxes? Couldn't find anything online) though extremely picky about toppings-- only plain for me, thank you very much. That's right, drive-through person, I want a meat patty, cheese, and that is it. If there are pickles and sauce on there, I'm coming back through so you can spit on my condiment-less replacement.
After becoming a semi-vegetarian (for a while I would break my veggie diet for a good meatball sub or pepperoni roll; today I break it for something interesting like reindeer mac and cheese), my tastes became a bit more refined and also more open. Is that a possible combination? I think so. Anyway, my favorite burger is a bit more exciting than a frozen bun on white bread.
It is...drum roll please...the even better burger at Meadow Mountain Cafe.
Meadow Mountain Cafe is so much more than good food. It is one of only three restaurants in Allenspark, one of my favorite places in the whole world, the home of Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center and the gateway to many awesome hikes in the Rockies.
So, yes, it has a special place in my heart. It is where camp staff hangs out. It is where you can talk to the locals. It is where you can sit on the porch and enjoy the view.
But even if none of that were true, I would still fight my way to get an ever better burger, fries, and a shake at Meadow Mountain. They are amazing. The veggie patty itself is made with sunflower seeds and I think 3 different kids of cheeses. It is then topped with lettuce, tomato, bean sprouts, avocado, and cream cheese. Oh. My. Word.
Okay, so here is the part where people who spend/spent way more time at Meadow Mountain then I can critique and correct my explanation...did I forget something in the toppings? Did I call it the wrong thing (Is that actually the name of the hamburger and the veggie burger is called something else)? I couldn't fact check as there is no website for Meadow Mountain. Let me know, peeps.
For the rest of you...find this place. You won't be sorry. And maybe try hiking Long's Peak while you're there.
What's your favorite burger?