Black Bean Vegan Burger – Pizzazz Tuscan Grille, Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD

Black Bean Vegan Burger, Pizzazz Tuscan Grille

The Inner Harbor’s Pizzazz Tuscan Grille advertises itself as the only restaurant of its kind in the Baltimore area; Upscale casual Italian cuisine with no preservatives, pink Himalayan sea salts, no white sugars, only agave or organic raw sugar, cold pressed olive oils.  Vegan and gluten free options on a traditional menu nestled within the tourist trap of crab cakes and sno-cones.  Such an audacious boast left me searching through the Grille’s options, unsure of what to select.  The phrase “Black Bean Vegan Burger” left visions of a Red Robin monstrosity ketchup and salt-soaked in my brain.  Thankfully, my food-server informed me that the dish was not a burger, but a sandwich, similar to a patty melt.  For a moment I thought to wax on the nature of burgers to sandwiches, but I refrained.

Removing “ham” from “burger” opens up so many possibilities.  What I received (extremely late, explaining the partially-eaten nature of the photo, although this was to be expected in the Harbor) was true to the patty melt promise — a crispy black bean vegetable patty smothered with Daiya cheese, topped with tomato, onions, mixed greens and spicy mustard on whole grain bread.  As a vegan who spent twenty years as a Southern American omnivore, Daiya is a blessing.  It recreates the texture and nature of cheese while exhibiting a taste all its own; were I to return to meat and dairy at any point in my life, Daiya would remain a substitute for cheese – its superior.

While hardly a burger, Pizzazz’s vegan manna proved a grand reprieve from the barbecue and cocktail stench of Baltimore’s watery tourists.  The eatery’s philosophy of “food is medicine” could not be more accurate … without the Black Bean Vegan Burger, I would have been sick.

1 thought on “Black Bean Vegan Burger – Pizzazz Tuscan Grille, Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD

  1. Daiya was used on that vegan sandwich I had in Los Angeles, but I wasn’t sold. An acquired taste, or perhaps my bias against real cheese sullied me. In any event, a crispy black bean patty sounds mighty tasty, and I’m glad to hear you found a fine sandwich in a morass of mediocrity.

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