Culver City’s Herbie Burger Serves California-Inspired Plant-Based Dishes
One of the first things diners will notice at Herbie Burger is that the vegan take-out joint’s quaint burgers are made with mushrooms and black beans, a special recipe from founder Peter Williams.
“My wife [Erin Harnisch] and noticed that the vegan menu items tended towards factory-made meat alternatives and away from homemade items,” Williams said of the inspiration to open her concept in a ghost kitchen in Culver City. .
“While we have nothing against products like Impossible and Beyond, and consume them from time to time, we have found ourselves craving veggie burgers and plant-based ‘chicken’ products with less fat. ‘processed ingredients.’
Williams’ kitchen mini-space sits at the very end of Selmaraine Drive, where an endless rotation of Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash drivers head for the window to pick up their deliveries. Customers can also order at the window from a tablet, and Williams has seen its walk-in orders go from one when it opened on August 1 to 10 orders in recent days.
Herbie Burgers’ menu also includes tofu-based chicken tenderloins, crispy oyster mushroom fried chicken sandwiches and wings, and vegan mac and cheese. Vegetarian side dishes include vegan elote and charred broccoli, with more additions to come.
The menu is modeled after the dishes Williams and Harnisch craved the most: burgers, fried chicken tenders, wings and sandwiches. The couple experimented and tested their menu with vegans and non-vegans for about two years before launching their business.
Williams’ place at the CloudKitchens food hall is temporary until they find a brick-and-mortar space. In the meantime, Williams and Harnisch, who are both producers by trade, have never been busier in their lives, but they’re also “so excited and grateful to see something we’ve wanted to do for so long finally come to life. “.
“We wanted to open quickly and test our concept and refine our menu,” said Williams, who lives in Venice and scours the Westside for potential spots.
“So far the response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive and the kitchen is starting to see many repeat customers. We have been told many times that our food is unique and highly valued.
According to the Happy Cow website, there are more than 200 vegan and vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, and the city has been labeled the unofficial “Vegan City.” Despite a decent number of vegan burger restaurants in the Westside, Williams thinks Herbie Burger offers something unique and tasty among a sea of fairly similar menus.
Williams didn’t become a vegan overnight; it happened gradually over a decade.
“As my wife and I began to learn more about the unethical treatment of animals in factory farms, the devastating impact of animal consumption on our climate and environment, and the harmful effects of animal products. animal origin on our health, it became increasingly difficult to ignore what was an inconvenient truth,” he said.
“We switched to a pescatarian, then a vegetarian diet, but we still couldn’t feel good about contributing to the suffering of animals, even if we didn’t directly consume their flesh. Becoming vegan seemed like a very difficult thing to do, and it’s certainly not without challenges and setbacks, but if we had known how easy and delicious a vegan diet could be, we wouldn’t have waited so long to do the jump. We hope our food will inspire others to take the same leap or at least replace some animal-based meals.
Another plus at Herbie Burger is that the food is not only good, but also pleasing to the eye.
“The way our food looks reflects the care we put into preparing it,” Williams said. “Flavor comes first, but we also want our food to look good. We hope to be able to open a space where we can actually see and interact with our customers as soon as possible, but for now we are focused on getting as many people as possible to try the food and let us know their thoughts. feedback so that we can continue to improve our product.
5660 Selmaraine Drive, Culver City