Veggie Guy: Back Yard Burgers

In the spirit of Halloween, I'm going to share a horrifying confession with you guys.

A little over a decade ago, I was a regular at the Whataburger on Main St. in Lewisville.

I'd hit that drive-thru five days a week for a double-meat, double-cheese Whataburger with ketchup, mustard, and extra pickles, a large order of French fries, large onion rings, two sides of country gravy, and a large Dr. Pepper.

For breakfast.

Pretty frightening, huh?

Yeah, I was a big guy back then, weighing over 300 pounds (more than double my current weight), and on the verge of death. Not sure what possessed me to eat like that--I never went to therapy to find out (though, I have my suspicions)--but I'm so glad I was able to stop that nonsense before giving myself a heart attack!

But you know, I sometimes still crave a good fast-food burger with all the same fixin's. Veggie now, of course.

So imagine my excitement when my friend Mark tipped me off to a drive-thru burger joint called Back Yard Burger that serves a vegan burger loaded with all my favorite stuff.

STOKED, I tell ya'!

As I pulled up to the place, though, memories of those miserable days took over. I could almost smell that stale Whataburger scent that was once the fragrance of my Pontiac, and even thought about turning around to steam some veggies at home. However, I felt the need to check this place out.

Play along, ok?

"Do you guys serve veggie burgers?" I asked the cashier.

"We do. It's our Garden Veggie Sandwich made with a regular Gardenburger and served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mustard, and pickles," she answered politely.

"Cool. Do you know if the bun contains any animal products?" I questioned further.

"I don't think it does. My best friend, who's a vay-gun, eats it all the time."

"All right. What about the fries? Are they fried separately from meats?"

"Yes, we cook the fries in their own fryer with vegetable oil," she said.

Still, I wasn't convinced about the bun, so I asked if I could inspect the package. Yeah, yeah...I was THAT guy. But c'mon, did you really expect anything less from me?

The package was a dead-end. All I got from it was that the buns came from Mrs. Baird's. So I crossed my fingers, hoping Mark did his research, and ordered the Garden Veggie Sandwich with a side of waffle fries. The sandwich itself was nothing special. Like the cashier said, it was a regular Gardenburger with your standard toppings, and the waffle fries were decent at best. I munched on only a few ketchup-drenched cuts before calling it quits.

As soon as I got home, I checked out Mrs. Baird's website to get the scoop on the buns. The verdict? Not vegan. The buns contain milk, albeit less than 2%...but still enough to have some vegans screaming bloody murder.

Ok, fine--I screwed up. I'm a tainted vegan. Call the vegan police if you must. Although, I'm sure we've all eaten worse things accidentally. And it should be noted that Back Yard Burger's Garden Veggie Sandwich is still a step up from Burger King's egg-filled BK Veggie, which some vegans insist is fair game.

Now, I can't say--even if they did replace those buns for vegan ones--that I would return to Back Yard Burger. They'd have to do a complete revamp of their veggie burger, slap on some vegan cheese, and maybe even pile on some tempeh "bacon" for a second look.

I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Back Yard Burgers
10930 N. Central Expy.

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Eddie Garza