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Vegan burger adds to vegetarian options

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How would you like your vegan burger? Bloody?

It's possible at Marcus' — their Beyond Burger is a plant-based patty which mimics the texture of beef; beet juice gives it that medium-rare ooze.

Priced at $26, it comes with all the fixings: vegan cheese, tomato, lettuce and dill pickles. With fries on the side, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's the real deal.

Danai Hongwanishkul, the Hamilton Princess restaurant's executive chef, put it on the menu after hotel owner Andrew Green tried a similar product in New York.

“There is a market for vegetarianism in Bermuda,” he said, adding that tourists are more likely to request vegetarian options.

“Three per cent of Americans are vegetarian and one per cent are vegan.”

The restaurant has a dedicated deep fat fryer and burner for vegetable dishes; the entire burger is vegan, from the bun to the fries to the sauce.

“We call it the Hamilton Princess Secret Sauce,” Mr Hongwanishkul said. “It's a vegan version of a Big Mac sauce.

“The bun is vegan. There's no dairy, no egg wash — it's yeast, flour, sugar, salt, water, sesame seeds — that's it.”

For the burger-lover, it ticks all the boxes: the soft sesame bun, the piquant and relish-y pink sauce, the crisp lettuce and melted “cheese”. The texture is slightly smoother than a beef patty — similar to that of a hot dog.

“There's a smoke element in the burger, so when you fry it it smells like a hot dog too,” Mr Hongwanishkul said.

Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based company founded in 2009. The meat substitute became available at Whole Foods Market in 2013 and is sold alongside beef burgers in the meat case.

It's made from plant-based ingredients and pea protein. Coconut oil and potato starch provide juiciness and bite. Soy-free, with no antibiotics or hormones, the burger boasts more iron and protein than a regular beef patty with zero cholesterol and half the saturated fat.

Investors include Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams and the Humane Society of the United States.

Mr Hongwanishkul added: “We are pleased to be able to offer another delicious option for vegan diners at Marcus' and the Beyond Meat burger is an exciting new dish for us in the kitchen.

“We are dedicated to creating gourmet options for all of our guests, whatever their dietary requirements.”

Ready to eat: Marcus' Beyond Burger with fries (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
New option: Marcus' chef Eric De Rama prepares a Beyond Burger, a vegan burger that has been added to the restaurant's menu (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Ready to eat: Marcus' Beyond Burger with side salad
Ready to eat: Marcus' Beyond Burger with side salad
Ready to eat: Marcus' Beyond Burger with fries (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 19, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 18, 2018 at 11:10 pm)

Vegan burger adds to vegetarian options

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