Hillstone – the perfect place for Mad Men (and vegetarians)

image courtesy of City Search

Last night, following a trip to Bloomingdales to make a slight change in a wonderful 1st year anniversary gift from The Vegetarian, we decided to try Hillstone for dinner. I had read a New York Times article a few months ago during a Food Journalism class about veggie burgers in New York. The article’s main premise is that typically veggie burgers are awful, though that appears to be changing. The main picture for the article is the enormous and juicy veggie burger that is available at Hillstone.

As a quick sidebar, Hillstone is a large restaurant group that is behind a large number of restaurants, including Houston’s and of course the restaurant of the same name, Hillstone. I have actually been to Houston’s in Bethesda, MD many times, though it has since changed names. Last night, when eating at Hillstone, I actually compared it to Houston’s without knowing they were of the same owner.

Ok, we’re back. The vegetarian noted that the restaurant looked like a place you would see Don Draper and Pete Campbell Roger Sterling throwing back a few old fashions and ordering something fancy. At Hillstone, in addition to the selection of burgers and salads, they offer an array of freshly made sushi. That is something I could see Don ordering back in the 60’s, something that was uncommon and ungodly expensive. In honor of my love of Mad Men, I ordered an old fashioned (though I do love that drink) and it was actually one of the best I have ever had.

The food. I mentioned that Hillstone is supposed to have a fantastic veggie burger and those tales were true. The vegetarian and I split grilled artichokes to start, something that I typically do not like, but could not stop eating. I opted for a California burger, which was topped with jack cheese, avocado and arugula. The burger was massive and served with cole slaw that was crispy and fresh and not drenched in liquid. And now the veggie burger. Like the meat burger, the veggie burger was served on an enormous house made egg bun and topped with mayo, mustard and your typical fixings (minus the pickle of course). The burger was made of black beans, rice and other fillings. The burger may not have been better than mine, but as far as veggie burgers go, it was the best I had ever tasted and might satisfy my craving for a burger on the right day.

So, in short, if you happen to be in midtown-east, in search of a truly mouthwatering burger and veggie burger, this is your place. The prices are midtown-east prices, that being a bit expensive, but you do get large portions and pretty delicious food for your coin.


About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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