The Rise of Meatless: Beyond Meat And Impossible Food Inc.

Blog, Burgers, Food, Meatless, Vegan

When it comes to food consumption in the United States, it seemed like there was a period of time where it didn’t matter what we put into our bodies. To add to that notion, as humans, we’ve neglected our environment and the creatures living within its beauty. 

With more and more consumers becoming health-conscious, keen on where their food is coming from and continuing to seek food options that don’t harm animals nor our environment, companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods provided us all with the Meatless meat options that changed how food is produced and what we eat. These companies have busted down the doors that were often clogged with ground or angus beef and provide people seeking plant-based substitutes, or Meatless Meat, as a replacement.

Wait, did we say plant-based meats?! Call the cops, meatless is on the horizon! These aren’t your typical old-school veggie burgers, that’s for sure!

Beyond Meat & Impossible Food Inc.

Let’s take a quick look at today’s two biggest competitors, the fast-food chains that have invested in them, companies jumping on the meatless bandwagon and if Meatless Meat is simply a facade or here to stay.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat Burger Patty Plant Based

Founded by Ethan Brown in 2009, Beyond Meat is Los Angeles based and produces plant-based meat substitutes. The product officially became available to consumers in the United States in 2013.

Beyond Meat made waves in 2016 by releasing the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section of common groceries stores, including internationally. 

They develop and manufacture a number of protein-based food products and offer vegan meat substitutes made from mixtures of pea protein isolates, mung bean protein, rice protein, coconut oil, canola oil and a range of vitamins and minerals. Potato starch, apple extract, and pomegranate powder are also found within these mixtures.

What Exactly Are Beyond Meat’s Meatless Burgers Made Of?

Beyond Meat Burger Meatless

Let’s be real. Beyond Burger looks and tastes like beef and even bleeds like one! It’s made without GMOs, soy or gluten. Here’s are the ingredients:

“Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Fruit Powder, Beet Juice Extract (for color).”

Beyond Meat Distribution, Product and International Market

Beyond Meat Kentucky Fried Chicken Nuggets

The company claims have 27,000 different points of distribution throughout the U.S. In July of 2019, Beyond Meat began rolling out products to 50 international markets, partnering with Tim Horton’s and A&W in Canada along with Tesco in the United Kingdom. Dunkin’ Donuts also jumped on board by selling breakfast sandwiches that use Meatless Sausage products in Manhattan, New York with plans for national distribution. 

As of August 2019, KFC in Atlanta tested a version of Beyond Meats creations, Beyond Fried Chicken as a menu option. The product sold out almost immediately, within 5 hours. And, it sold more compared to one week of KFC’s popcorn chicken sales! It was described as a “Kentucky Fried Miracle”. 

Impossible Foods Inc. / Impossible Burger

Impossible Foods Inc. is a company that produces and develops plant-based substitutes for meat products. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, Impossible Foods was founded by Patrick O. Brown in 2011. The company aims to give consumers the nutritional benefits and taste of meat without the negative environmental and health impacts that come with the production associated with livestock products.

Impossible burger meatless meat

They research animal products at a molecular level then selects specific nutrients and proteins from plants. In return, the experience of eating a meat product is created.

The Impossible Burger is Impossible Foods’ signature product. It was released in 2016 and has since received both kosher and hala certifications. Earlier in 2019, Impossible Foods launched the Impossible Burger 2.0. It’s been stated as a tastier, juicer, more nutritious burger. It features 30% less sodium and 40% less saturated fat than their prior recipe. And,  has just as much protein as 80/20 ground beef from cows. The newer product is gluten-free, replacing wheat with soy proteins.

What Is An Impossible Burger Made Of?

Impossible Burger Meatless Meat

According to the Impossible Food Inc. website, Heme is what meat taste like meat. Thus, their scientists have made plant-based heme through fermentation of genetically engineered yeast. Here’s a list of Impossible Burger ingredients: 

“Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.”

Impossible Burger Has Investors and Big Believers

Burger staples throughout the United States including Umami, Hopdoddy, Bareburger and 33 Melt in Florida all jumped on bored in 2017. In April 2018, White Castle expanded to include the Impossible Burger at all 377 of their locations. 

Impossible food inc. bao sandwich meatless plant based

Shortly thereafter, the Impossible Burger made its way into well over 5,000 restaurants across all 50 states as well as in Hong Kong, China.

Recently, Burger King jumped into the meatless meat world by introducing its Impossible Whopper, which has been dubbed the Tesla of food this last summer. Meatless meat is now being flame grilled at the ol’ BK.

Furthermore, Impossible Food Inc. makes plant-based sausage that is currently being tested on pizzas sold by Little Caesars earlier this year. 

Meatless Meat? We Want To Play, Too!

It isn’t a surprise that when new innovations arise in any industry, that corporations, competitors and investors will try to spin their own take on the product. In this case, the meatless meat train. Kellog’s just announced their meatless meat attempt, “IncogMeato,” while restaurants all throughout the country, like Burger King and Carl’s Jr., are jumping in on all the fun. Of course they are! The fast-food industry is doing all they can to keep themselves on market with those dropping off the meat-only menu wagon.

All in all, we don’t see this fade disappearing any time soon. Have you tried a Beyond Burger, an Impossible Burger or Meatless Product? What’s your favorite meatless option right now? Let us know!

food and travel blog spoonderful

Best Burgers in Los Angeles, CA 2019

Blog, Burgers, Food
best burgers in Los Angeles, CA

What Makes a Burger the Best Burger?

It’s an all around classic that brings people together. A creation that’s evolved over time, expanded in popularity and’ll make your taste buds tingle while you salivate over it’s smell during prep. Eating a burger is an experience that should be cherished and never downplayed!

Ultimately, a good burger comes down to one’s preference in flavors, ingredients, preparation and any additional flare. Meat to fat ratio. Bun to meat ratio. Meat type and flavor. Crisp crust. Medium rare. Seasoning and toppings. Tomato and cheese. Indoors. Outdoors. Alone. In a crowd. With peers. Or even with your foe [remember: keep your enemies close!] 

Kidding aside, if you’re not in the mood to slap your own burger together within the means of your humble abode, the options for a solid burger are actually endless – especially if you’re living in Los Angeles, CA! 

Whether you’re prepping it at home, hitting that drive-thru, sitting down at a diner, bar-top, or high-end restaurant – finding a solid go-to burger can take time, effort, and some money! 

(All of which, we’re absolutely willing to risk for.)

Let’s take a look at our favorite / best burger choices in the greater Los Angeles region:

Spoonderful! Best Burgers in Los Angeles, CA 2019

Pie N’ Burger

best burgers in los angeles pie n burger pasadena california

Pasadena, CA
Just off South Lake & California Blvd., Pie N’ Burger first opened its doors in the fall of 1963 and has valiantly held its ground at that location to this very day. Catering to locals, students, and the wandering burger aficionado, Pie N’ Burger is a quaint joint that does the burger true justice.

What to Get: Classic Cheeseburger Combo w/ an Apple Pie for Dessert!
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: They’re the home of America’s top 5 cheeseburger as ranked by the Food Network and use the same preparation methods they’ve used since its inception over 40+ years ago. Biting into a Pie N’ Burger cheeseburger is truly a unique California experience of its own; a quarter-pound of fresh beef, griddle-cooked on a toasted white bun w/ American Cheese, the fixins, and in-house Thousand Island Dressing makes the Pie N’ Burger an instant classic and a must-try.

The Apple Pan

best burgers in los angeles the apple pan westside 2019

West Los Angeles, CA
Opened in and under the same management since 1947, the Apple Pan is locally famous for its hamburgers, apple pies served with vanilla ice cream, and banana cream pie. Their motto is “Quality Forever” and has withstood the ever changing West Los Angeles landscape while adhering to core values.

What to Get? Steakburger
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness? The steakburger is the Apple Pan’s original burger, first structured in 1927. Cooked over a flat-top griddle lightly drenched in grease, the burger patties are made on the griddle in front of you within the Apple Pan’s iconic V-shaped counter. It gives diner’s a glimpse into what the dining experience was like for visitors back in the 40’s, 50’s & early 60’s.

Humble Potato

best burgers in los angeles humble potato

Culver City, CA
A down-to-earth local Culver City neighborhood eatery that serves their interpretation of American comfort food with a Japanese flavor twist. Humble Potato offers a relaxed setting and casual dining experience that is great for enjoying a beautiful day on the Westside while eating an out of this world burger.

What to Get? Battle Royale
What Else to Get? Katsu Kare Sando
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness? There’s something about the Battle Royale’s mixture of caramelized onions, garlic jam, Shichimi Togarashi and HP spicy sauce on a juicy angus patty that fits the ideal blend of flavors needed to create an all-around epic burger.

Father’s Office

best burgers in los angeles fathers office hamburger

Santa Monica, CA
Father’s office was founded in 1953 and was influential in the rise of America’s craft brewing industry and the establishment of smoke-free bars in California. Now home of the much touted Office Burger, Father’s office has become critically acclaimed gastropub by Chef Sang Yoon as of the year 2000. His focus? Pairing the world’s best craft beers with excellent food in an environment that feels close to home.

What to Get: Office Burger
What Else to Get: One (or 2) of their 32 beers on tap
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: The ‘Office Burger’ is a patty of fine dry-aged beef topped with caramelized onions, Gruyere + Maytag cheeses, Applewood-smoked bacon compote and arugula served on a soft role. Infamous for allowing no substitutions or alterations to any food at Father’s office, including no ketchup – makes this place noteworthy of a solid burger.

Monty’s Good Burger

best burgers in los angeles Montys koreatown

Koreatown, CA
Monty’s Good Burger is a plant-based concept that started in 2018. Featuring artisanal burgers made from locally sourced ingredients, Monty’s Good Burger creates a hamburger that virtually anyone can enjoy. They encourage new choices, healthy eating lifestyles, sustainable eating and 100% plant based meals!

What to Get: Monty’s Good Impossible 100% Plant Based Burger
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: It tastes, smells, and cooks exactly like the beef you know and are infatuated with – but it’s made directly from plants! Eating one of Monty’s Impossible Burger’s contributes to a great cause, too.

Cassell’s Hamburger

best burgers in los angeles cassels koreatown

Koreatown, CA
A quick decline over the years had Cassell’s closing up its 70-year old shop having locals believe that the beloved burger joint was gone for good. As of today, thankfully, Cassell’s Burgers is now operating in a retro space within Koreatown Hotel Normandie. And guess what? They’re serving burgers than they ever were prior.

What to Get: Cheeseburger Combo
What Else to Get:  A hand churned milkshake
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: When it comes to a solid burger, simplicity is key. That’s exactly what Cassell’s aims for and succeeds at accomplishing. With a 60’s diner vibe, gracious staff and a deconstructed burger you can add things to yourself, Cassell’s is a landmark for burgers that we hope withstands the ever changing eco-business environment of Koreatown.

The Oinkster

best burgers in los angeles the oinkster

Eagle Rock, CA
What to Get: The Royale Burger
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: It’s the spiritual home to Los Angeles’ annual burger. Heck – flavortown mayor, Guy Fieri, stopped by the Oinkster and gave it his honorable seal-of-approval. Pastrami on a burger should be a sin, but until then, try it before you’re praying for forgiveness.

In N’ Out

best burgers in los angeles in n out

Anywhere in Southern California!
What to Get: Double-Double with Cheese & Grilled Onions
What Else to Get: Animal Style Fries & Milkshake
Why It’s Worthy of Burger Greatness: When you fly in to LAX and drive North on Sepulveda Blvd., it’s likely your nose has sensed the tantalizing smell that exudes itself from a California staple, In N’ Out. It’s a Californian staple, with the classic Thousand Island Dressing, grilled onions, melted cheese and the company grinds and patties their own meat from whole beef chucks, ensuring great taste and authentic Californian burger experience.

Best Burger in Los Angeles, CA Honorable Mentions

The Morrison Pub Atwater Village, CA
Golden State Burger  – Los Angeles, CA
Hawkins House of Burgers – Los Angeles, CA
Hache LA – Silver Lake, CA
HiHo Cheeseburger Santa Monica, CA
Pono Burger – Santa Monica, CA

A Useful Tip for at Home Burger Cooking

Most chefs highly advise to those who want to dabble in the art of burger crafting – use a heavy cast-iron skillet. A hot skillet is absolutely the way to go! Why? The point is to allow any rendering beef fat to gather around the patties as they cook. The beef fat collected in a hot skillet then acts both as a cooking and flavor agent. Grease, in itself, is a great condiment that is natural – just like the beef you’re cooking!