No-beef burgers: Whole World Natural Bakery & Restaurant

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The restaurant: There's a happy hippie mural in Whole World - the painting's been there, like, forever - that depicts anthropomorphized comic-bookish animals frolicking around during the changing of the seasons. Well, they're about the only thing that's been exposed to change at this original, '70s-style vegetarian stalwart.

The burger: Like the merry mural, the famous Whole World Broccoli Burger ($6.50) has probably been around since the times when flower children walked the earth. If you haven't had one in awhile, it's a ricey patty (brown rice, of course) with plenty of good and authentic broccoli flavor.

Adding oomph to the medium-sized disc are herbs, melted cheese and mayo, which lends this healthy, classic piece of the peace-sign era an easy-to-like, go-with-the-flow, broccoli-casserole-tasting mellow richness.

The bun: The health keeps rolling along with Whole World's unbuttered toasted whole wheat bun. It's a big and hearty, slightly sweet, comforting to eat and slightly dark roll that asks the rhetorical question: "Fiber, anyone?"

Toppings, sides and extras: Other than the mayo, there's fresh leaf lettuce, onion and tomato. Whole World's broccoli burger is quaintly served with a wedge of sliced orange - what, were you expecting a grease-pool-generating tower of fries?

You can "make it a platter" by adding blue corn chips and a pickle for $2, but I think your dough would be better spent investing in a bowl of one of Whole World's generally excellent, meatless, stick-to-your-ribs homemade soups.