Commentary: Meatless Burger Exceeds Expectations

TGI Fridays Beyond Meat Burger
( TGI Fridays )

The opinion stated below is that of the writer and is not reflective of Farm Journal Media.

TGI Fridays recently announced it would expand its Beyond Meat Burger, a vegetarian option, nationwide to all 469 restaurants.

Being of curious nature, when I finally visited the restaurant I decided it was time to give this vegetarian-friendly burger a taste. After all, Beyond Meat started at my Alma matter (Mizzou), so how bad could it be?

Disclaimer: while I enjoy vegetarian cuisine I am by no means vegetarian, anti-meat or anti-meat production. I just can’t turn down a good black bean burger—or whatever this Beyond Meat burger is made from.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was TGI Fridays is clearly excited about the burger—so much so they plastered the front of the restaurant with ads and photos to entice customers. The 6-oz. patty can be substituted in any existing burger, but I stuck with the original with lettuce, cheese, red onion, tomato, cheddar and Fridays sauce.

My first and only negative comment: the burger was a little too perfect looking. Beef or pork burgers are never a perfect circle like this—nor do they have perfect grill marks like the Beyond Meat Burger. Upon first bite it revealed a reddish interior, I assume to mimic a medium-cooked beef burger.

Once you move beyond appearances the burger itself is actually really good. Is it beef, no, but if you’re not feeling like meat for the night it’s a good alternative. However, if you’re looking to cut calories skip this burger—it adds 70 calories you won’t find in beef—try their turkey burger instead to shave 160 calories.

Pro tip: Ask for extra sauce.

Beyond Meat Burger