I’ve been cutting down on my consumption of meat and dairy recently and went on the hunt for some vegan protein sources to accommodate my new diet. My hunting grounds of choice: Wegmans. The variety of vegan meat alternatives I found there were impressive!
I’ve heard great things about the Beyond Burger and its close relative, the Impossible Burger, so I was really stoked when I came across the Awesome Burger. Far from the mock meats of old, it comes packaged just like raw beef patties and the patties even have a red, meaty appearance.
Though not gluten free, with 26g of protein per patty, the protein content of the Awesome Burger trumps that of the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger. It even surpasses the protein content of beef. But what about the taste? All the protein in the world couldn’t make me buy it again if it tasted like it smelt.
When I first opened the package, I was taken aback a little bit but decided not to let the smell of the patties dissuade me from giving them a chance. To be completely honest, the smell of the Awesome Burger in its raw state was reminiscent of canned cat food! In an effort to mooch, my chihuahua put on his best Puss-in-Boots impression.
There is a happiness I get from not having to handle raw meat though, so I pre-heated a stainless steel frying pan, coated it with avocado oil, and slapped those Awesome Burgers patties in to cook for 4 minutes on each side. The longer it cooked, the more the cat food smell dissipated. My husband came into the kitchen when the burgers were done and commented that somehow the burgers went from smelling absolutely disgusting to smelling like bacon.
I took a little taste before dressing it up with spring mix, ketchup, mustard, and a ciabatta roll. I wouldn’t eat it again without the toppings. The taste was somewhat cereal-like, like grain free cereal or bean-based cereal (Power-O’s ftw!). I’d be lying if I said it tasted anything like beef, though the texture was pretty spot on!
My overall opinion is that the Awesome Burger isn’t that awesome. However, you don’t notice its lack of awesome-ness as much when you top it with all the usual burger toppings. That being said, it is packed with protein, which can sometimes be difficult to get on a vegan diet. I could see eating it again every so often. The texture is great for a plant based burger and when you top it, the flavor isn’t strong enough to be off-putting.
I do like it better than some of the soy-based veggie burgers I’ve had in the past. Unfortunately I can’t compare it to the Beyond Burger due to allergies…and well, I would never eat the Impossible Burger so I’m not sure how it compares to that either (though I have heard great things).
Some of my fave plant based burgers so far have been Qrunch, Amy’s Sonoma Burger, and Hilary’s. I also love home-made bean burgers. Everyone has their own tastes though, so give the Awesome Burger a try and let me know what you think!
Next up I’ll be reviewing Upton’s Naturals Ground Seitan. It’ll be my first time trying seitan so I’m not sure if I should be scared or excited, haha.