Tag Archives: vegetarian

Impossible Burger

Have you read about the Impossible Burger?

I have, and I was terribly curious about it: a California company using high-tech to create a vegetarian burger that looks, feels, and tastes like the real thing. Sound familiar? Yes, because we covered in 2015 we talked about the Beast Burger. This is different. They somehow made plants produce tons of heme which is abundant in meat and allegedly is what gives the hamburger it’s taste.

The only problem is that the list of places that carry it is very short. Recently, popular local burger joint Hopdoddy was added to that list.

When my grandmother and aunt came to Austin for an unrelated event, I took them to try it (they only eat kosher meat, and this is meatless).

But they were sold out.

Not one to be easily discouraged, I tried again by myself. This time they had it. This is what it looks like:

Impossible burger at Hopdoddy's
Good looking burger. No meat.
The time of truth.
The inside.

Visually, it’s striking. It looks like a real hamburger. They make it red and stringy like a real hamburger. According to them, the secret is adding plant-mad heme which is abundant in blood thus meat – except this heme is somehow produced from plants.

Taste-wise: it’s pretty good. You can tell it’s not a real hamburger, but when mixed together with the bun / cheese / lettuce / tomato / etc. then it doesn’t really matter that much.


  • Does it look like the real thing?
  • Is it tastier than the real thing?
    No, but it’s close.
  • Is this healthier than the real thing?
  • Is this cheaper than the real thing?
    The one I had was just as overpriced as every other hamburger sold there.
  • Is it better for the environment?
    Definitely. Beef is terrible for the environment.
  • Will this make hippies who think “all natural automatically means healthy” happy?
    No, they use genetic engineering to get plants to make lots of heme. But if you believe that genetic engineering = “bad” then get out of my blog and go read some horoscopes.



Beast Burger

I read an article about the Beast Burger a few months ago. This is a vegetarian hamburger made by California based company Beyond Meat.

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.

Beast Burger packaging. That photo looks amazing, doesn’t it?

So for the taste test I invited three participants.

  1. Eli: Lifelong vegetarian, hasn’t eaten a hamburger ever.
  2. Nira: vegetarian since 2000, hasn’t had a hamburger in five years.
  3. 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:

Beast Burger on the grill


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:

The best hamburger Eli has never had.


This is what they had to say:

  1. Eli: I have no idea if this is what a hamburger should taste like, but it’s good.
  2. Nira: It’s good.
  3. 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.

But really:

  • 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”:

Mine is the “Big Ass”, Shlomit’s is a “Half Ass”. After my morning training for the Cap 10K I had the hunger of a beast. It’s been 23 hours, I’ve been to the potty three times, and I’m still full.