Short List Runner-Up

Blueberry Hill

6504 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.727.4444

Now that we've piqued your palate with three delectable meat-free burgers, it's time to announce the one that certainly left this writer with a "happy plate" (What, didn't your parents brainwash you at the dinner table?) even if it only slightly amused the taste buds. Blueberry Hill's veggie burger gets an "A" for effort when it comes to the compilation of ingredients in its patties. Instead of leaning on soy for texture, this legendary Loop eatery uses bulgur wheat, brown rice, rolled oats and egg whites. And for those shy on their daily servings of vegetables, the mushrooms, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, chiles and carrots will help you make the food pyramid proud. But at the end of the meal, I was left wanting ... something. I had adorned mine with cheese (you can choose from blue, cheddar, Swiss, American, goat, Provel or pepper), as well as the standard accompaniments (lettuce, pickles, tomato), but still the flavor stayed at par — maybe even baby birdie (my dad is somewhere shaking his head in shame right now). Perhaps the addition of a special sauce would take it to the next level or maybe some spices in addition to the standard salt and pepper. Despite this sub-par performance in the flavor department, however, Blueberry Hill is miles ahead of many of the establishments in our fair city when it comes to veggie varieties of the classic burger — and I can't think of another item on the menu I'd rather be noshing on while perusing Pee-Wee's Playhouse.