Review: Boca Original Vegan Burger
I’m sure the fine folks at A Hamburger Today are in utter shock right about now. Not only am I reviewing a product that is not a true “hamburger” (aka, it was assembled from some form of BEEF), but I’m training my critical eye on something which isn’t even meat. All of this at perhaps the most inopportune time, as our country proudly celebrates “National Hamburger Month” with copious amounts of good old American ground chuck.
A symbolic act in support for the ever chic “organic, sustainable, and fresh” movement that Cooking Light loves to shove down my face? Not exactly. Truth be told I just let my own curiosity get the better of me on this one, and not wanting to take the time to test the concept of chucking ground beef in the microwave (childish pun completely intended) I figured this would be a suitable alternative. In case you missed it, I already reviewed the Boca Original Vegan ‘Burger’ in this past weekend’s throwdown, and frankly I came out unimpressed with the meatless alternative when comparing it head-to-head to the genuine article. That being said, I usually don’t snack on two grilled burgers at a time, so I’m willing (for now) to grant Boca a temporary reprieve and test their product in a more of snack-friendly environment. Armed with better cooking time information I recently decided to make this a midnight snack choice, taking to the microwave to see whether or not the burger’s flaw came more from my inability to grill it properly or just a generally high degree of crappiness on its part.
The results are in, and I have to say that it wasn’t so bad.
(SHOCK. AWE. MADNESS. KABLAM!)
That’s right I said it was not so bad. I don’t see the walls of Jericho falling all around us, and contrary to the popular belief it is not 476 and the Huns are not knocking at the door. To be 100% honest with you I thought these things bordered on “decent” after some time in the microwave and after being dressed up to my own specifications. Obviously they were no match for the perfectly grilled ground sirloin burger I enjoyed in the “throwdown”, but then again soy doesn’t have much taste to begin with. The key is to dump as much of whatever condiment you like on burger, in my case BBQ sauce, Old Bay, Onion, and mustard. Considering the microwaved burger retained an element of moisture that my grilled version did not have, I have to say this ‘burger’ actually becomes a decent vehicle for various condiment flavors, albeit none of them of actual meat.
As far as I’m concerned the biggest problem with the Boca Original Vegan burger is not taste or texture, but rather price. I can eat anything slathered with BBQ sauce and old bay and still find some pleasure in it, especially when it has a whopping 18 grams of protein. Yet for retailing at about $1.00 per 99 gram ‘burger’ these things ain’t cheap, and I’d probably be better off just eating some funky smelling deli meat in the back of my fridge. Still, Boca’s burgers – if cooked properly – are not completely without merit, which leads me to think I may enjoy one of their other ‘flavored’ varieties a whole lot more.
- Pros: Only 100 calories and 18 grams of protein. Actually has a decent size and resists “shrinkage” on grill or in microwave. Looks like a burger. Technically is edible after being grilled, but better microwaved (retains moisture). Tastes like Old Bay if you put Old Bay on it. Actually, it tastes like whatever you put on it, so make sure you stock up on your favorite condiment.
- Cons: Where’s the beef? Has the tendency to get “crusty” on the grill, and still a bit crunchy on the edges when microwaved. Little actual veggie flavor for regular soy patty, instead relying more on sauces/condiments to give it taste. Ridiculously expensive price for proteinage ratio has just led me to consume potentially bacteria-laden rotting deli meat.
GrubGrade: 6.00/10 (Average)
Price: $3.99 (for four patties)
Nutrition: Boca Burger Original Vegan (99g size)
Calories from Fat: 10
Total Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrates: 8g
Dietary Fiber: 5g