Review: Grill’d’s meat-free burger

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Beyond Simply Grill'd Burger

Ordered: Beyond Simply Grill’d ($13.5)

Added: Tasty Cheese (+$1.5)

Loved: how satisfied I was after eating the burger.

Disappointed: in the price jump. A Simply Grill’d costs $10.50, and a Beyond Simply Grill’d costs $13.50. From a student’s perspective, it’s certainly more tempting to take the cheaper option.

The Beyond Simply Grill’d burger proves to be just as satisfying as it looks.

On Monday April 15, Grill’d ditched meat for 24 hours. A shock to some, a godsend to others, but Grill’d made a point of letting Australia know they think “even carnivores deserve a day off”.

The backlash the 15-year-old burger chain received thrust it into national headlines. Cattle Council of Australia chief executive Margo Andrae told The Weekly Times the move “might have backfired because clearly traditional beef burgers still have a very loyal customer base”.

But I was keen to see if Grill’d’s Beyond Burger could sway me.

How does it taste?

The Beyond Simply Grill’d is exactly what the original is famous for: a delightfully simple burger. The ingredients work harmoniously together. A couple of tomato slices, a few red onion rings and a bed of lettuce, with generous smears of relish and herbed mayo.

The meatless patty does nothing to detract (or distract) from those flavours. It actually almost gets lost among the other ingredients. As a whole burger, it’s really enjoyable to eat.

The patty on its own tastes a little nutty – evocative of raw, unsalted cashews. It’s a flavour that explodes briefly in the first few chews, but then dissipates to almost nothing.

It doesn’t taste like it has any kind of obvious seasoning on it, which unfortunately makes it a little bland and explains why it’s so easily lost in the rest of the burger.

Does the Beyond Burger live up to its claims?

Take a look at what the Beyond Meat website states:

  1. “The Beyond Burger® is the world’s only burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef, but is made entirely from plants, without GMOs, soy, or gluten.”

This is fairly accurate. You can see the grill marks on the outside of the patty, and the inside looks remarkably similar to a typical ground-beef burger. It’s just a filling as a beef burger, however it did leave something to be desired in taste.

2. “Beets provide the meaty red hue, peas provide the protein, and coconut oil and potato      starch ensure mouth-watering juiciness and chew.”

The inside of the patty looks startlingly similar to a ground-beef burger.

The burger did have a beautiful pinkish hue on the inside, and was fall-apart-chewy like a classic beef patty. One thing I will say, the patty wasn’t dripping with juiciness – although it’s possible mine had just been a little overcooked.

Can it really compete with meat?

That’s going to depend on you. It’s certainly a great meat alternative, especially if you’re a fledgling vego or vegan looking to satisfy a craving. For the avid carnivores among us, the switch mightn’t prove so appetising.

It has the texture of meat (tick), it has the look of meat (tick), but the taste of meat …  arguably lacking. The meatiest taste comes from the crunchy grilled edges of the patty. It’s a charred flavour that’s reminiscent of eating a burnt barbecue sausage. Despite this, the texture of the patty makes it easy to forget you’re not eating a beef burger.

For a meat-eater, it’s a little disappointing compared to its meat counterpart, but the Beyond Simply Grill’d is still an impressive burger. It makes it easy to choose an environmentally conscious meal when eating out.

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