It's Alive!: Live Burger at Balewa's Vegan Gourmet

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If I'm at Sean's Cafe, I'm getting the outstanding falafel sandwich. I can't remember ordering anything else there — though I've long been intrigued by the Live Burger offered by the Balewa's Vegan Gourmet side of the business.

So, I ordered one and wasn't sorry one bit.

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Pam Denney met me there for lunch. She ordered the swordfish sandwich ($6.65), which she said was excellent.

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As for the Live Burger ... I haven't had anything like it and I'm not sure I can adequately describe it. The raw, vegan patty is savory and has a tart bite. Topped with onion, tomato, and lettuce and served on a Ezekiel bun, it was very hearty — something that's often lacking in vegetarian and vegan offerings. It comes with a side salad and blue tortilla chips. With a drink, the total was $8.95.

I will say that I don't think the Live Burger is for everyone, but I found it very satisfying.

Pam asked Chef Balewa if the burger could be cooked. He said that doing that would kill all the good-for-you live enzymes. Besides, he said, "That would hurt my feelings."

Sean's Cafe/Balewa's Vegan Gourmet, 1651 Union (274-6315)

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