Before my celiac disease diagnosis, I probably ate 1-2 vegan Boca Burgers a week. I liked Boca best because they tasted rather meaty, held together well, and their texture was somewhat like what I remember of meat burgers back in 1992 when I still ate them. Bocas are essentially just wheat gluten, so clearly they have been off-limits for the last 6 years. I've tried numerous other gluten-free veggie burger brands and even tried to make my own, but usually the taste or texture was just wrong. I especially hate that most of them are so mushy. One bite through a (usually dense) gluten-free bun and a typical GF veggie burger oozes out the sides like the ice cream in a Chipwich on a warm summer day.
I'd seen the Beast Burger in the frozen case at Martindale's Natural Foods. They are more expensive -- somewhere around $6 for a two-pack. All of the gluten-free veggie burgers look good and claim to be delicious on the packaging, so I had worked my way through the less expensive ones and not found my new favorite. The Beast Burger does look pretty meaty, sturdy, burgery and flavorful on the box, so recently when I had a few extra bucks, I picked some up.
Total home run. These dudes are da bomb. Big, good texture, delicious flame-broiled tastiness. I ate them on a chunk of a Taffets* bagette with lettuce, tomato and mustard (mocked up for this photo, since I ate the burgers withouth taking a pic). Really awesome.
Preparation: No microwaving. Sad. I did mine in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, 3-ish minutes a side and standing right over it so I didn't burn it. Perfect.
Obligatory nutrition facts: First I have to say that I haven't paid much attention to calories and fat in a regular hamburger for a long time, and Beast Burgers are very comparable. They make a huge deal about the 23 grams of protein on the package. As a (mostly) vegan, I appreciate a load of protein. That's kinda where the nutrition bonuses stop for me, since I'm not a skinny person training for a marathon. 260 calories from the patty alone. Add that to any readily available gluten-free bun with toppings, and you are looking at upwards of 500 calories and 21 grams of fat. I may have to start training for a marathon so that I can eat these more often.
Bottom line: Delicious. Sturdy. Burger-like. Vegan. Gluten-free. My quest is over.
* Taffets is a 100% gluten-free bread bakery in Philadelphia and their stuff is really splurge-worthy. They ship to any location where FedEx says they can get it to you within 48 hours. I can personally vouch for the challah, bagettes, and various sandwich breads. Fortunately, Martindales carries a supply from them too, so I can stay in Springfield and get the best bread without trying to find parking in the Italian Market.