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.

The Real Deal

The Real Deal

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.

Note: No actual cooking skills required...

Note: No actual cooking skills required...

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.

Yea, so that's not gonna be nearly enough sauce and mustard...

Yea, so that's not gonna be nearly enough sauce and mustard...

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.
An Imposter. Yet at least an edible one this time around.

An Imposter. Yet at least an edible one this time around.

GrubGrade:  6.00/10 (Average)

Price:  $3.99 (for four patties)

BocaBurger.com

Nutrition: Boca Burger Original Vegan (99g size)

Calories: 100

Calories from Fat: 10

Total Fat: 1g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium 390mg

Total Carbohydrates: 8g

Dietary Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 18g

15 comments on “Review: Boca Original Vegan Burger

  1. Haha, well if you smoother you foods in sauces/condiments of course it’ll taste good..at least as good as the sauce. That’s how I eat most of my foods anyways…load ’em with hot sauce!

    I must say my favorite thing in the whole review is the link to Kablams! wiki…that show was awesome 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt1QXo4lDHQ

  2. rob says:

    I used to nuke these and have them as snacks, they aren’t bad. Going to pick some up on the way home today.

  3. Adam says:

    I dont know how much hot sauce would help you here. Then it would just be hot in addition to mostly tasteless. Best to go with the balanced approach. That’s why I went with the mustard, bbq sauce, and red onion look, with some of those fine roma tomatos on the bottom. I guess it gives new meaning to “build a better burger.”

    And you know me Bear. Who the heck would I be not to include a ’90s cartoon reference in a review?

  4. Ryan says:

    The only Boca product I’ve had is the Spicy Chik’n Patties and they were great considering it’s soy…the breading was seasoned well and had a decent amount of heat…not overwhelming. I should definitely get some more…although I have a pack of veggie dogs that I bought and never opened. I wonder what I was thinking with that? I guess it all depends on how well you can dress it up so that it’s appetizing.

  5. Adam says:

    A veggie dog? What an interesting concept. Some of their products look good, but I just find most veggie burgers from any company waaay to expensive given their overall averageness.

  6. Whole Foods has this weird like “super protein soy” stuff that is awesome….it’s kinda like chicken…not sure really what it is 🙂

    …and Adam…you know me, I love those references!

  7. My girlfriend is a vegetarian and all of the food is really expensive.

  8. ratbuddy says:

    Holy crap. What did that poor burger in the ‘real deal’ photo ever do to you??

  9. Raiders757 says:

    I used to have to make a few of those vile things at family cookouts, as I ran the grill. The best way to grill them, is in tinfoil. Throw some onions in for good measure, as well as some hot sauce.

    Really, couldn’t you have at least reviewed a Bubba Burger instead? At least they’re made of meat.

  10. Ryan says:

    Check out the Frozen Food Master’s review of a new Morningstar product…Hickory BBQ Riblets…4.5/5 stars over at FreezerBurns.

    http://www.freezerburns.com/wordpress/2009/05/18/episode-99-morningstar-farms-hickory-bbq-riblets/

  11. Jenn says:

    I never had the original vegan burger because it didn’t look very good… but the flame grilled is actually pretty good (if microwaved like you said.. it’s too crusty when grilled). Where are you going shopping? Because they are only 2.23 at Walmart for four patties…

  12. Teri says:

    I have tried Morning Star Farms burgers at home and at Burger King.
    Boca original Vegan burger beats that hands down!!
    It’s awesome.
    Especially for the Vegan. Morning Start Farms has egg whites!
    Burger King should make the switch to Boca!
    They have a flame broiled taste that fits perfect with the flame broiled
    advertising of Burger King!
    You can’t go wrong. I ate it with only ketchup and mustard and was blown away. I didn’t pile it high with a bunch of other things and it still was so awesome!! Im sold! Im trying to go Vegan and this is going to be my burger!

  13. Bill English says:

    Couldn’t take the statins (cholesterol medicine), so I am trying to stay on a non-cholesterol diet as a healthy alternative. We don’t have a lot of variety in veggie foods in the East Texas stores, but I have tried the Morning Star and Boca Vegan patties and, to my taste buds, the Boca Vegan patties win hands down. I also like the Morning Star veggie sausage patties as well. I am now searching for stores that carry a wider selection of the Boca hamburger patties.

  14. rh says:

    cook it in olive oil on a covered skillet. much better, trust me

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