Two burgers, both alike in dignity, in fair Denver, where we lay our scene, duke it out to see who will be crowned The Vegan Burger To Rule Them All. Will it be the Beyond Burger – available in both grocery stores and restaurants near you? Or will the Impossible Burger, only available at restaurants, be victorious?
I haven’t had a meat burger in about 15 years. As such, I thought the judging of this should be done not only by me, but by My Meat-Eating Pal. We used condiments only after taking first bites to see how the patties stood on their own. Here’s our honest opinions on which vegan burger is worth going out for.
Beyond Burger Sweet baby Moses, the things I do for a vegan burger – like go to Twin Peaks. Yep, the breastaurant sports bar where (very kind) servers wear itty-bitty lumberjack outfits and ask you questions like, “Would you like that man-sized or girl-sized?” in reference to large or small pints. It was close to My Meat-Eating Pal’s house, OK? Geez.
My vegan opinion“I get why folks like Beyond Burgers. When you bite into it, there’s a smidge of pink and it looks like an actual beef patty. It’s tasty, but it doesn’t taste particularly beefy to me.
Also, to be for-reals, I’ve had two Beyond Burgers before this one, one at home and one at a restaurant. This is my third Beyond Burger and the only one that hasn’t had a vague, almost chemical aftertaste. I think it was cooked for exactly the right amount of time. Slathered in ketchup this scratches the burger itch.” [Takes giant bite]
My Meat-Eating Pal’s opinion“Smoky is the first note. [chews] I can definitely tell that this is not meat. I don’t second guess that. About midway through, I get the taste of, I wanna say kelp or something really green. Not meat.
When you bite into it there’s a little bit of red and it looks fibrous and like it could be ground beef . . . It’s a substitute meat with its own unique taste. It reminds me of lamb. The texture is really good.”
Impossible BurgerDenver’s Hopdoddy Burger Bar specializes in trendy burgers from seriously fresh ingredients. They have an in-house bakery and butchery, meaning they can create all manner of small batch burgers. Both carnivores and veg-heads can tuck into a booth and get flavornated.
The Impossible Burger comes vegetarian, unless you ask for it veganized – which then comes with Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda and Veganaise.
My Meat-Eating Pal’s opinion“Immediate sensations are almost identical to a meat burger. [chews] The texture is almost the exact same but a little softer. Meat will have juices, this has more texture, less juice.
I would be curious as to what meat this was, looking at it, if I didn’t know it was a veggie burger. It actually looks like crumbly ground beef. The patty itself tastes a little nutty. If you had BBQ sauce or ketchup on this I would be too distracted to notice, until a few bites in, that it wasn’t an animal burger.
Most veggie burgers are kinda heavier because they rely on beans; this one is actually kind of light in comparison. I don’t feel like I’m eating a potato cake.”
My vegan opinion“I f*cking love this burger. Full disclosure, this is the second Impossible Burger I’ve ever had. I had one a few months ago in a NYC diner and that was good, too. Two eats and two wins.
It looks almost a little greasy after you’ve bitten into it. That’s not a bad thing. It soaks in the flavor of the grill, crumbles a bit, and [chews] yeah, hot damn, I like this burger.
People say that it bleeds. This one isn’t but I don’t care. That’s kinda weird. I’m good with it just being moist and savory. It super tastes like a burger-burger to me, not a veggie burger.”
Who is Burger Emperor of Tasty Town? Most of us have a limited burger bucks. Here goes which vegan burger should win your night-on-the-town money.
My vegan opinion“I think I’m fairly obvious here. I loved the shit outta the Impossible Burger. That thing might even fool my carnivore dad as being a ‘real’ burger – especially if you threw on some caramelized onions or something.
Both are flavorful, but the Beyond Burger didn’t hit me as any better than say, a Gardein vegan burger from the frozen aisle. The Impossible Burger felt like an umami treat I’d seek out again in a restaurant.”
My Meat-Eating Pal’s opinion“I don’t necessarily think one is tastier than the other. If I was trying to avoid meat but felt like meat, I guess I would order the Impossible Burger, but the Beyond Burger has its own merits.
I think I may like the Beyond’s texture more than the Impossible because the Impossible almost melts a little, but if I had to go out for burgers again, I’d choose the Impossible Burger. The way it partnered with the rest of the burger was more similar to the way a beef patty partners with the rest of a burger.”