Welcome to part 3 of the Burger Review. Just for the newbies, this is a series based on a top 10 list of burgers published in Toronto Life.
Good Friday 2017 held great promise – a day off, the Fate of the Furious and a chance to go check out a burger on the top 10 list. As fate and history would have it, good Friday did not end well. I guess it was only fitting, given the nature of the day.
Vegan Mac Daddy – Two soy patties, lettuce, pickles, onions, “cheese” and secret sauce – $16
Just a reminder, the control burger in this experiment is the Skyline burger (that is the middle of the pack) with the upper range being Casino El Camino’s Amarillo burger from Austin, Texas.
The vegan Mac Daddy is obviously a vegan take on the Big Mac, a burger that is often synonymous with “classic American burger”. To Doomie’s credit, from an aesthetic perspective, it most definitely looks like a Big Mac. The bun is recreated to with sesame seeds sprinkled on top and there is of course, an additional slice of bread in the middle.
However, with one bite, it became pretty apparent that vegan burgers just don’t hold up to a real life burger. While the appearance looked rather alike, the actual taste differed, kinda like this:
It’s kind of weird, since last time, when we reviewed Antler’s Game burger, I complained that the burger was made of three different animals. This time, the burger was made of no animal, and it was equally displeasing.
I’ve had a few vegan burgers in my life, but for me, this one did not work out. The vegan burger, while salted properly, was a bit too dry to ensure a smooth bite. There’s a fine line in moisture in a patty – too much and you will have a greasy bun experience, too little, you just don’t get that additional flavor. I mean, I don’t know how they would have pulled it off with a soy burger, since there’s no animal fat melting away from the soy, but for me, it definitely detracted from the taste of the burger.
Much like the other restaurants, the bun was nice and soft. I feel like this will always be good.
Handfeel – My initial thought was that the burger was too thick. When I see a burger, I want to be able to take it all in all the layers with one bite, and this burger was stacked pretty high and I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I was able to do it, but only after compressing the burger, which kind of detracted from the airiness of the bun. The middle bread fell apart quickly during the eating process, becoming rather soggy from absorbing the special sauce and the “cheese”. By the end, I had to just remove it.
Complements – The burger came with the same stuff as a Big Mac. Now I haven’t had a Big Mac in a long time, but I was disappointed with the decision to put diced onions in the burger, it made for a messy experience as obviously, the onions slowly fell out as the burger disintegrated and me being a cheap bastard, wanted to eat the onions so I would pick up the little pieces and put it back in. That’s too much work.
The “cheese” tasted like a gooey concoction of god knows what, and while it had flavor, regular cheese probably would have been better. But that would break the whole vegan thing, so I guess it was what it was.
The fries were tasty, I know I’ve said this for all three places, but you know, fries are good.
I was excited to have tried the Vegan Mac Daddy. It was an interesting take on an old classic and I was really hoping that it would taste well just because there’s a stigma that vegan food doesn’t quite taste all that interesting and that’s why they always try to mimic real classics. Sadly, this burger did not help with that stigma. It was a bit too dry, the burger just lacked that umami punch that is animal fat and as such, I have to rank it lower then all the other burgers I have had.
Here was fellow burger enthusiast Sarah’s take on it:
“It’s the type of burger where once I put it down, I don’t need to pick it back up.”
This was the third burger in our journey and thus far it has been disappointing. I was starting to lose hope, but having watched The Fate of the Furious this weekend, I was also reminded of the Fast and Furious franchise.
The third film of FnF was Tokyo Drift, and much like this vegan burger, was totally different then the rest, and totally failed. I mean, it starred this guy:
Who the fuck is that guy? Anyways, people were losing faith in the FnF franchise after that dud, but look at it now! It’s a massive success. This is hopefully the same path we take as we try to find the best burger in the city.
Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$
Game Burger, Antler – 18$
Vegan Mac Daddy, Doomies – 16$
Just in case you are wondering, I really like the vegan cheese burger at Arlo’s, in Texas.