Northstar Cafe beet and black bean burgers

May 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Root vegetables, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog, Winter recipes)

I’ve never eaten at Northstar Cafe, but when I went looking for a veggie burger recipe I found tons of people raving about their veggie burgers, which are made with beets and black beans.  A number of people have even tried to reconstruct the recipe.  I decided to try the recipe from followed the recipe pretty closely except I started out with cooked, peeled beets, and I think the recipe called for raw beets.  I cooked the beets for much less time, however.

The dough ended up surprisingly acidic.  I guess the lemon juice and vinegar are meant to counteract the sweetness from the beets.  Otherwise the dough tasted fine.  It didn’t seem to hold together great, but the flavor was fine.

I was going to a barbecue but I didn’t think that the beets and black bean burgers would hold together on the grill, so I just cooked them on the stovetop.  Derek and I both thought they needed some fat.  (There’s almost none in the recipe.)  Maybe I should have cooked them in more oil.  I also thought that the sweet and sour flavors were a bit strange for a veggie burger.  The burgers tasted fine on their own but I wasn’t excited about them.  I didn’t try them on bread with all the fixings.

I don’t know if the reproduction attempt isn’t quite spot on, if I screwed something up, or if I just don’t care for the Northstar Cafe burgers.  I’m not particularly motivated to try this recipe again. If I ever go to Columbus, Ohio, I will be sure to stop by the cafe and try the real thing, however.

Rating: B-


  1. Homemade veggie burgers « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] Northstar Cafe beet and black bean burgers:  Base is black beans and beets.  Also contains brown rice, onions, flour, and seasonings. B- […]

  2. Melanie said,

    I haven’t tried this version yet, but I have had the real thing several times since Northstar opened and YUM. If you were getting a sweet, sour, tangy, or acidic taste, then something went wrong somewhere (I’m thinking in the recipe, not your fault). The real Northstar burgers taste like gourmet Whoppers, no kidding. (Also, the beets are not visibly chunky in the Northstar version as in the picture at the link, fyi.) If you get stuck in Columbus for any reason, you should try one. (There’s even a new Northstar location at Easton which is accessible from the airport by shuttle.) Expect to pay about 12 bucks for a veggie burger and side, but you won’t be hungry and you aren’t expected to tip. I was about to try this recipe, but your review saved me, thanks.

    • captious said,

      Hi Melanie,

      It very well might have been me that screwed up the recipe. Let me know if you try the recipe, and how it compares to the original.

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