KVUE reviews: Does Hopdoddy's 'bleeding' veggie burger taste like the real thing?

AUSTIN - A vegetarian cheeseburger that actually tastes like the real thing? Impossible!

That’s what many of us in the KVUE newsroom thought when we caught wind of the aptly named “Impossible Burger” coming to Hopdoddy Burger Bars across Texas. So, we sent our in-house vegetarian and social media specialist Drew Knight to put it to the test.

The Impossible Burger, offered as a take on Hopdoddy’s “Classic Burger,” includes a patty from Impossible Foods, Tillamook cheddar, green leaf lettuce, white onion, tomatoes and its signature “Sassy Sauce” on a brioche bun -- all for $14.

The patty itself comes from a partnership with Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods, which touts it as the world’s only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cattle. However, it is made entirely from plants -- including coconut oil, wheat and potatoes -- and they said it has a much smaller environmental footprint than obtaining meat from animals.

Chef Steven Banbury and Brand Manager Erin Fohn opened the doors to the Hopdoddy on North Lamar Boulevard for an exclusive Facebook Live broadcast where they explained what exactly the Impossible Burger is and how it’s made. Check it out below:

After giving the burger two thumbs up, Knight said what reminded him most of his days of eating real beef was the way it seemed to “bleed” like a typical medium-rare burger.

Chef Banbury said he gives that credit to the burger's “magic ingredient,” heme.

According to Impossible Foods, heme is a basic building block of life on Earth that can be found in both plant matter and in meats. Though uniquely abundant in meats -- hence the smell, sizzle, bleed and that meaty taste that most carnivores crave -- it can also be harvested from plants.

So, rest assured. Despite its juicy red appearance and sizzling smell, the Impossible Burger is 100 percent vegetarian and has certainly defied the impossible to create a cheeseburger that Hopdoddy said tastes and looks like the real thing. And Knight agrees.

“It looks and tastes so meaty,” he said. “I had to fight the urge to spit it out it tasted so real. But I didn't, because it was that good.”

While Hopdoddy’s Impossible Burger is in fact vegetarian, it isn't 100 percent vegan due to factors like the cheese and Sassy Sauce.

But how healthy is it you may ask? The Impossible Foods website said the burger itself delivers bioavailable protein and iron comparable to conventional beef, though it has no cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics. It says an 85-gram serving includes 220 calories and 13 grams of fat.

Based in Redwood City, California, Impossible Foods makes nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants. The privately held company was founded in 2011 by Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry Patrick O. Brown. Impossible Foods investors include Bill Gates, Google Ventures and more.

Hoppoddy Burger Bar is a nationally-recognized, Austin-born burger and beer joint. They currently have 18 locations across Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California. Their newest location will be opening up in College Station, Texas, next month.

The Impossible Burger debuts at Hopdoddy on June 23. But if you’re not an Austin resident, don’t have a cow! (Literally.) The veggie burger in all its juicy glory will be available initially at 11 Hopdoddy locations across Texas in Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio.

Known for its high-quality burgers and craft brews, Hopdoddy will be pairing the Impossible Burger with Texas beers at each participating location.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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