More protein than beef. More omegas than salmon. Tons of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin B.
Most importantly, it’s supposed to look, taste – and the hard one – have the texture of a real hamburger. So is it true? The MKX® set out to find out.
Unsurprisingly, Whole Foods was the only place where I found it. It comes in a box in the frozen section. Two patties for $6, which seems pretty expensive to me, but what do I know.
While there, I also bought the only hamburger buns they had. They were whole wheat, organic, small, dry, overpriced, and nasty. This means that the Beast Burger would be at a disadvantage in the taste tests. I wasn’t about to go to HEB for normal hamburger buns though. To round it out, I got overpriced organic tomatoes and lettuce, both looked great.
So for the taste test I invited three participants.
- Eli: Lifelong vegetarian, hasn’t eaten a hamburger ever.
- Nira: vegetarian since 2000, hasn’t had a hamburger in five years.
- Shlomit: vegetarian since that morning, hadn’t had a hamburger in five days.
While the instructions on the box say you can do this on a pan, I had to do it right and fired off the grill for the first time since last year.
This is what it looked like:
The weird looking things in the back are portobello mushrooms, in case the experiment is a failure. I was not brave enough to face hungry blood-lusting vegetarians.
You can see the four patties. The one on the left still has ice on it – you are supposed to put them on the grill still frozen. They do look like convincing hamburgers and for this they get a point. Notice those beautiful grill lines on them. I take no credit for them: that’s how it came out of the box. To me that’s cheating and for all I know they use dye to paint them.
After a few minutes on the grill I served the hamburgers. Here’s Eli and Shlomit enjoying them:
This is what they had to say:
- Eli: I have no idea if this is what a hamburger should taste like, but it’s good.
- Nira: It’s good.
- Shlomit: I want a real hamburger.
It was so good that I still have four frozen patties in my freezer and no plans to eat them anytime soon.
- The texture was pretty convincing.
- The taste was a little bit bland, needed more spices and maybe salt.
- It was a pretty small burger.
- Better buns would have helped.
I think that if you aren’t vegetarian, you shouldn’t approach this as “will taste like a hamburger” or you will be disappointed. You should think of it it the way I think about Tex-Mex (don’t expect Mexican), or soy milk (don’t expect milk), or transvestites (no further comment). If you do this, I think the Beast Burger is a pretty decent non-meat meal and my cholesterol thanks me for it.
That said, any man with instinct for self-preservation knows that when hungry nursing woman says, “I want a real hamburger,” you must deliver.
So here’s the real beast of a burger: Roaring Fork’s famous and also overpriced $14 1 pound of real cow “Big Ass Burger”: