Veggie burger

Veggie burgers from North Peak Brewing Co. in Traverse City, Mich., are made with black beans and portobello mushrooms. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / January 10, 2012)

Dear SOS: My family and I just got back from a trip to Traverse City, Mich., where I had the absolute best veggie burger I've ever had. Is there any way you could coax North Peak Brewery Co. to give up its recipe for its Black Bean and Portobello Mushroom Burger?

Stephanie Schultz

Playa del Rey

Dear Stephanie: This burger even had some non-vegetarians going for it. The restaurant also sometimes serves it with provolone cheese and sliced avocado along with a dab of basil pesto aioli on toasted ciabatta rolls.

Total time: 1½ hours, plus cooling time

Servings: 8

Note: Adapted from North Peak Brewing Co. in Traverse City, Mich.

Pico de gallo

3/4 cup finely diced tomatoes, from about 2 tomatoes

1/4 cup finely diced onion

2 packed tablespoons (from 1/8 bunch) roughly chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons finely chopped canned jalapenos with juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Juice of ½ lime

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco, or other vinegar-based hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, lime juice, vegetable oil and Tabasco. Stir in one-fourth teaspoon salt. Taste, and adjust seasonings and flavorings as desired. This makes 1 generous cup of pico de gallo.

Veggie burgers and assembly

4 cups cooked black beans, from about 2½ (15-ounce) cans (drained)