Wednesday, March 25, 2015
After hearing so much hype about Beyond Meat’s new “Beast Burger”, I had been stalking the frozen food aisles waiting for it to appear in NYC. I really like Beyond Meat’s fake “chicken” strips, so I was excited to see what their take on a burger would be. Finally, I found the Beast Burgers – just a few blocks from my new apartment in Astoria!
At $5.29 for a pack of 2 patties, this is not the most economical frozen veggie burger patty available – but the patties are much larger than normal! And Beyond Meat boasts that this vegan patty contains more protein and more iron than beef – so that’s pretty impressive, and maybe worth the extra cost. And they’re both gluten-free and soy-free.
Seriously, I can’t emphasize enough how large these patties are – I had to pull out my biggest frying pan to fit two in side by side! I fried them in a little olive oil for about 8 minutes, flipping them a few times throughout. The patties come with “grill marks” on one side. For aesthetic reasons, I guess.
Yup, so large that the patty was too big for my normal-sized hamburger buns! But that’s okay – the patty felt sturdy and at no risk for crumbling over the edges of the bun. You can see how it browned up after it cooked all the way through.
I topped my burger with some lettuce, pickled red onions (my new homemade obsession – so easy, so delicious! Pickled onions will grace all of my burgers from now on!) and horseradish sauce (also a recent obsession, now that I’ve realized you can buy it at the store!).
Biting into it, the first thing I noticed was the texture: It was pretty dense (packed with all that protein and nutrients?), and obviously aiming for a meat-like feel. It’s been well over a decade since I last ate a burger made of beef, but I still don’t think this Beast Burger is an exact replica of that texture, as some reviews I read online have claimed. But it was still a little more dense and chewy than I would have liked. And despite my fears that it would be too oily after being fried in a pan, I thought it was a bit on the dry side as well. Luckily, the toppings I had put on it made up for that.
Flavor-wise, I was surprised that it was kind of, well… bland. It tasted slightly “meaty”, not distinctly of any one flavor or seasoning, just a general protein-y, savory flavor. But I had hoped it would have more seasoning or some kind of kick of spice to it - but then, that’s something that can easily be remedied with toppings. And people who don't like spicy things might prefer this burger. My boyfriend the omnivore was game to try the second patty I had cooked, and he actually ate the whole thing and said it was quite filling and he didn’t feel like he needed to go eat some meat afterwards (like some vegetarian meals make him feel) – but he did say that the taste and texture reminded him of “that one time that I ate a piece of cardboard”. (FYI, he has eaten other veggie burgers that he liked better! But usually the ones that aren’t trying to look and taste like meat).
Ultimately, while I was not blown away by the Beast Burger, and while I may have had expectations that were a bit too high after reading all the hype online, this is still a very solid store-bought burger – definitely one of the best of the faux-meat varieties that are out there today. Not to mention all the health benefits that make it a better alternative to most other frozen veggie burgers in the grocery stores.
I’d like to give these burgers a try on the barbecue grill too, although sadly since moving apartments I no longer have space to keep my own grill – so I’ll have to hope I get invited to a lot of barbecues this summer (hint, hint, NYC friends!). Beyond Meat also makes a smaller “slider” version of this burger, called “Beastly Sliders”. I have a box of those sitting in my freezer as well, so I’ll be giving them a try soon too!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Beyond Meat’s Beast Burger
purchased at: Greenbay Marketplace in Astoria, NY
check Beyond Meat’s website to see where they may be sold near you.
price: $5.29 for 2 patties
YumVeggieBurger review #157