Going plant-based is becoming a whole lot easier. At bars, restaurants and burger chains across the nation, more meatless options are available. Granted, many restaurants have had black bean and veggie options for burgers for decades, but new plant-based proteins allow vegans, vegetarians and those curious about a plant-based diet to enjoy burgers without missing the fun of eating beef.
You’ve likely heard of many burger chains adding the Impossible Burger, a plant-based product designed to mimic the look, taste and texture of ground beef, to their menus. Burger King, Red Robin and Dave & Busters are among the many chains to introduce some variation of the Impossible Burger to their menu. Restaurants like Qdoba and Blue Goose are using the Impossible concoction to make tacos and burritos.
Another meatless beef imitator, Beyond Meat, is also sweeping the nation. Yesterday, McDonald’s announced they will begin serving a P.L.T. (plant, lettuce and tomato) burger, which has Beyond Meat, beginning this fall.
As meatless options enter the market, many consumers have questions.
Which one is healthier?
In terms of calories, fat and protein, both Impossible's and Beyond's substitutes are not far off from real beef patties. Impossible Food's product is composed of water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil and potato protein. Beyond Meat is made with mixtures of pea protein isolates, rice protein, mung bean protein and sometimes beet juice to give it a “bleeding” appearance to resemble a meat patty. Beyond Meat doesn’t contain soy or genetically modified organisms. Impossible's product uses genetic engineering techniques to create soy protein and heme, a protein that lets the Impossible Burger mimic the taste of meat.
Which one tastes better?
It depends what you mean by “better.” If you’re looking for something that tastes exactly like a burger, your best bet is probably the Impossible Burger. Most restaurants that offer the Impossible Burger are able to replicate the taste of their house burger. If you enjoy the taste of vegetables, perhaps you will find the Beyond burger more satisfying.
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Where can I get one in Dallas?
As if the options for good burgers in Dallas weren’t already endless, many local favorites have added plant-based options to their menus. Naming them all would be damn near impossible (pun totally intended).
Some of our favorite Impossible Burgers come from Rodeo Goat, where many of their burger options, like the chaca Oaxaca, can be ordered with the Impossible patty. Equally good are those of Slater’s 50/50 and Village Burger Bar ($8.95). Many plant-based burger options will cost you a pretty dollar, but the best Impossible deal would probably be from Hunky’s, an old-fashioned diner and burger joint with two locations in Dallas. For just under $10, Hunky’s will give you an Impossible Burger, along with your choice of fries or a small side of fruit. Many restaurants will charge extra for sides.
In Dallas, you’ll be more hard-pressed to find Beyond's substitute served in a restaurant. Bars like The Libertine in Lower Greenville offer a great Beyond Burger ($13). Twin Peaks also offers the Beyond Burger ($12) that tastes not too far off from a regular burger. It also contains about 1,200 calories, so if you’re going plant-based for nutritional purposes, as opposed to ethical reasons, eating their Beyond Burger won’t make too much of a difference. If you’re willing to make the trek north of LBJ Freeway, Shark Club in Plano also offers a delicious Beyond option.