EAT OF THE WEEK: Ugly Vegan “Cheese” “Burger” at Rosetta’s


Ugly but Lovable Vegan “Cheese” “Burger” from Rosetta’s Kitchen

I’ve been eating a lot of burgers lately. Like, a LOT of burgers. I’m doing a “survey” of sorts, just for my own personal information, of all the basic cheeseburgers in downtown. So far — and this is all in just about two or three weeks — I’ve had cheeseburgers from Bhramari Brewhouse, Montford Pullup, Chestnut, Twisted Laurel, Carmels, Early Girl, Rise Above Deli, The LAB, Modesto, Capella on 9, Barley’s, The Med, and The WALK in West Asheville. Atsalotta burgers! I’ll keep eating more, believe you me, but one day last week, I found myself at the bottom of Broadway and decided to to take a break from the beef… though not from the burger!

Veggie Burger at Rosetta’s Kitchen. The bun was pretty. – photo by Stu Helm

Maaaaan, I hadn’t been to Rosetta’s Kitchen in a long time. Too long! It used to be one of my main jams back in the day. Rosetta’s fit right the fuck in with the predominant hippy-vibe of downtown, and was already old school before I even got here 12 years ago! A healthy haven in a land of pork belly and fried chicken sandwiches, Rosetta’s menu is full of nothing but vegan and vegetarian items, including their signature house-made veggie burger, which is well known by the good folks in the WNC Vegetarian community, but is of course, completely fucking ignored by almost everyone else. Well, it shouldn’t be! Because…


Like I said, I found myself wanting to take a break from the ground-up-cow-patty overload that I was starting to feel from my research into the various cheeseburgers of downtown, and hoping to get away from the whole burger format, so I popped into Rosetta’s. As I was contemplating Buddha Bowls and Tempalo Wings, however, the veggie burger caught my eye, and I decided to add it to my burgerly research. Why not? The truth is, I had actually never had one of Rosetta’s famous veggie burgers, and there seemed like no better time nor excuse than to try one now. It comes served on a house-made, whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, and (hold the) red onion. I added Vegenaise, which — just in case you really suck at figuring out portmanteaus — is vegan mayonnaise, and then I got courageous and blurted out, “I’d like to add some of your vegan cheese as well, please!” #immediateregrets

Nahhht winning any beauty contests soon, but tasty AF none the less – photo by Stu Helm

Well, hold on a minute, Hashtag! Although that vegan cheese looks like a pile of partially melted rubber vomit, it was actually really fucking good! It had a pleasant texture, was warm, and savory, had a tiny bit of cheezy zing to it, and was more-or-less tasty as fuck. The burger itself was likewise tasty AF, and so was the bun.  The lettuce and tomato were fresh and snappy, and — sue me — I like Vegenaise. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, and although I certainly ate mayonnaise during that time, I also ate the shit out of some Vegenaise. Oh, C’mon! Don’t make a wrinkle-nose face until you try it! What are you, a child? Try new things!

Try. New. Things.

You set those feet to walkin’ and march your meat-eaty little butt straight down to Rosetta’s Kitchen right now, and try this dang Veggie Burger with vegan cheese and Vegenaise. No, it’s not beef. Gahd. Try not to compare everything to beef, you knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, and just enjoy it for what it is: A tasty treat, made out of really good stuff by actual hippies who fucking care, so that for once in your hateful life, no fucking cows had to die in order for you to feed your bottomless meat-hole-face for lunch today. Stu. Plus, maybe you won’t have as many heart attacks when you’re old? Win/win!  And, too, also… I ate the fuck outta those french fries, you better fucking believe it, Man. They were gooood. Cut right in the kitchen, from actual potatoes, then cooked and seasoned jehhhst right. In my world, a really tasty veggie burger with kick-ass French fries is the perfect plate of hippie food meets stoner food, and that’s why this oddball entry in my downtown burger study is also my…


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Rosetta’s Kitchen and Buchi Bar
“Cozy stop with a casual vibe for vegetarian & vegan comfort foods, with gluten-free options”
Address: 116 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Sunday Closed
Monday 11AM–11PM
Tuesday 11AM–11PM
Wednesday 11AM–11PM
Thursday 11AM–11PM
Friday 11AM–11PM
Saturday 11AM–11PM
Phone: (828) 232-0738


From left: Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table; Chef William Dissen, The Market Place; Chef Steven Goff, Standard Foods; Chef Katie Button, Curate; Chef Joe Scully, Chestnut and Corner Kitchen; Stu Helm; Chef John Fleer, Rhubarb; Chef Karen Donatelli, Donatelli Bakery; Chef Peter Pollay, Posana Cafe; and Chef Matt Dawes, Bull & Beggar./ Photo by STEWART O’SHIELDS for ASHVEGAS.COM

Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.


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1 Comment

BMacAVL December 12, 2017 - 10:25 am

131 Main used to have a beet burger that is absolutely incredible! They switch things up seasonally so I’m hoping when NC farmers start harvesting beets in 2018 they bring that bad boy back!

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