Illustration: Sam Woolley/GMG, photo: Shutterstock.

More often than is smart, I find myself at a bar and desperately in need of sustenance with dwindling options. Maybe you’re an idiot like me, or maybe you work nights at a bar or restaurant and need to eat something satisfying that won’t knock you on your ass mid-shift. And when you ask a server if they’ll make you a vegetarian burger with bacon and cheese on it, they won’t call you a “sick fuck” or a “hypocrite.” They’ll say, “Oh, I have them make that for me all the time.”

The veggie burger with bacon is the perfect solution to this self-created problem, and a world-historically great bar or diner order. Craving roughage, or just something that won’t kill you? Chances are the place you’re at does not make a very good or particularly healthy salad. Want something savory and filling? Good luck staying awake for another half hour after housing an enormous beef burger and fries.

It might seem ethically fraught to mix a “veggie” burger with meat. But is it bizarre to put bacon on a tomato and lettuce sandwich? This order isn’t about splitting the baby morally—it’s about the genuinely delicious combination of crispy bacon and a light patty. It’ll usually be bean but tempeh, tofu, or even mushroom all work well here.

Many establishments don’t know how to make a black bean patty that doesn’t fall apart on immediate contact, but the good news is that the bacon and cheese help the burger maintain structural integrity. And at places that make a really good bean patty? It’s just about the best sandwich order in the world, at a certain time of night.