Meatless doesn’t mean tasteless: Reviewing local "Impossible" Burgers
Mar 02, 2020 02:02PM
By Justin Adams
Hires Veggie H, made with a delicious house-made veggie patty, can be topped with grilled onions, jalapenos and mushrooms. (Alison Brimley/City Journals)
By Alison Brimley | [email protected]
If one of your goals in 2020 is to eat less meat, you’re in luck. 2019 saw the widespread introduction of meatless meal options, even in fast food restaurants like Del Taco and Burger King. Of course, many people go meat-free for the sake of animals. But eliminating animal products is also one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Even just cutting down on meat can have an impact.
You might say meatless burgers are having a moment. Meat-free patties come in two basic categories: those designed to imitate meat and those that embrace their veggie essence. Of the meat imitators, the Impossible Burger (made largely of soy protein) and Beyond Burger (made of pea protein) reign supreme. They’re very similar to real meat in taste, texture and even macronutrient content. Veggie patties are usually made from a blend of vegetables, grains and seeds, and their macronutrient content reflects that. Overall — especially when prepared with all the fixin’s — meatless options aren’t necessarily healthier than their animal-based counterparts. But we’re just talking taste here.
If you venture downtown, plant-based eateries and meatless options are easier to find. But restaurants in the south Salt Lake Valley have some tempting offerings as well. Here’s a roundup of the best meatless burgers.
- Ice Haüs’s Kein Fleisch Burger (Murray)
Ice Haüs, a bar and restaurant, offers one of the more extensive vegan menus you’re likely to find at a place for omnivores. Their Kein Fleisch (German for “no meat”) burger does not disappoint. Ice Haüs uses Beyond patties, but they certainly put their own spin on the burger, which is topped with vegan kielbasa and cheese, beer-caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, sauerkraut, and spicy mustard. It’s heavy, flavorful and satisfying. If you’re looking for a big, juicy meatless burger you probably won’t notice it’s meatless, this is the one to try.
2. Hires Veggie H (Midvale)
Unlike many burger joints that source their meatless patties from outside companies, the patty at the center of Hires Veggie H is house-made. The patty is a blend of carrots, broccoli, onions, green peppers, celery, mushrooms, rice, wheat, rye, oats, barley, seeds and spices that tastes a lot better than it sounds. It’s also topped with a soft bun, cheese and fry sauce. It’s not meant to imitate meat—the veggie patty is its own thing—but it might be as close to the greasy deliciousness of a classic Hires Burger as you can get without involving a cow. Plus, almost any of the burgers on Hires’ menu can be made with a veggie patty instead of beef patty, so there are plenty of options for meat-free eaters.
3. Dog Haus’s Impossible Burger (Sandy)Dog Haus is known for their hot dogs and sausages, but they do have a fair selection of plant-based options. Their Impossible Burger isn’t large, but it does have everything Utahns love in a cheeseburger: pickles, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and fry sauce. The sweet King’s Hawaiian roll that serves a bun completes the sandwich. I dare you to tell the difference between this and a beef burger.
4. Crown Burger’s Garden Hamburger (Sandy) Crown Burger doesn’t make its meatless option easy to spot on a menu. But the Garden Hamburger is, in fact, vegetarian. There’s not much to it except for a tasty bun, fry sauce, fresh toppings and a Gardenburger patty (made from mushrooms, oats, cheese and spices). And while it’s not meant to fool you into thinking it’s made of meat, it is a pretty delicious sandwich.
5. Fueled Kitchen’s Black Bean Veggie Burger (Draper)
Fueled Kitchen offers one of the most popular meat alternatives: a black bean burger. Their black bean burger has a subtle spiciness, accentuated by the tomatillo spread that tops the patty. The whole wheat bun is soft and the sandwich feels substantial, but it lacks the greasiness many crave in a burger.