Moldova’s restaurant scene hasn’t quite yet realized that vegan burger is the best dish in the world. Challenge accepted, we decided to do the burgers ourselves. What is needed? Buns, patties, sauces and veggies. We went to a massive marketplace to search for the ingredients. It seemed everyone living in Chisinau was shopping there too since it was totally packed.
The marketplace is located in the centre of the city and has also many big halls surrounding it. First one we go in and what do we see? A red and white soya sign behind all the smelly cheeses. Jackpot! I had read that there might be a soya stand somewhere but I couldn’t believe we found it so fast and by accident. The lady was selling veggie sausages and other soya products as well but we went for the dried soya patties, the perfect ingredient for the perfect burgers-to-be.
Then it was time for vegetables, the easy part. There were so many yummy looking ones that we went a bit crazy with the amounts. Paprikas, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers were on the shopping list. Both me and Sandra have fell in love with dill during this trip since it has been mixed to pretty much every dish we have eaten since Krakow. Luckily we found couple of cute grandmas selling bunches and lettuce as well.
We had our hands full so we made a pit stop and left the stuff to our hostel. Off to the supermarket where we found buns, mustard and soya sauce to marinate the patties.
Then the hard part, cooking. I photographed, Sandra did all the work. I did marinate the patties with soya sauce, ginger and some other stuff found in the kitchen cupboards. We fried the patties with onion and paprika, highly recommended! Don’t forget the secret ingredient, tons of sunflower oil.
Then it came time to put the burgers together and I went totally overboard with the hot mustard and emptied practically the whole tube. Through the tears we agreed these were some great burgers. Cost? Together less than a euro and we ate veggies like maniacs the day after too to finish them before continuing to Romania.
Even though we didn’t find burgers in Chisinau, we did find an awesome restaurant, BIOrganic. We spent there practically all the mealtimes when we were not enjoying the DIY burgers or our endless vegetable storage.
BIOrganic is a vegan restaurant but as many vegan labeled restaurants in the Eastern Europe it does use honey. The menu has all the ingredients listed so that was no problem. Berry raw porridges, chocolate and fruit smoothies, avocado sandwiches, veggie wraps, ice cream. We tried it all. The only thing missing from the menu was a burger. Maybe it is on the list next time we visit Chisinau?
Strada Mihai Eminescu 39
BIOrganic’s Facebook page
Burger countdown: 3 countries, 6 burgers.