Cook it at medium heat, and the Impossible Burger is disturbingly pink and seared-meat-like at the center for a patty that’s meatless. Press it between a puffy potato bun, and it carries the weight of beef. But bite into it and it erupts with a smoky, perfectly charred flavor with — yes — that safe texture of a soy patty.
Except, it’s not simply a soy patty. The Impossible Burger is crafted with all-natural ingredients including wheat, coconut oil, soy protein isolate, potato protein, and heme (genetically engineered). Impossible Foods describes heme as the ingredient that “makes meat smell, sizzle, bleed, and taste gloriously meaty.”
So, they stuck it into this herbivore-friendly patty package that’s also touted as environmentally friendly, using up 95 percent less land than cows, using 74 percent less water, and bringing on 87 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to the creation of a burger made of cow meat.
Cook it at medium heat and the Impossible Burger does not bleed. Thank god. It does taste like a sizzle of heaven (thank god), particularly smothered in a melting square of cheese and a select few, delicately sliced rings of red onion doused in the drippings of bright tomato slices.
Debuted in 2016 and picking up speed in 2018, with more than 600 restaurant locations in America, The Impossible Burger can’t be found in grocery stores or online.
It’s not super easy to find in North Carolina, nor is it super cheap.
At Bites and Pints in Greensboro, it’s $6 to substitute, per patty. But it sure sounds glorious added to the $8.25 Southeast Burger with chili, pimento cheese, onion, slaw, and yellow mustard.
At the Spotted Dog in Carrboro, where the burger was just added to the menu in the past few months, it costs $13.50. But owner and longtime vegetarian Ed Corbell thinks it’s worth it. He had tried the Beyond Burger (meant to bleed, thanks to beet juice) and wasn’t a fan.
“They were too close to meat taste, and it made me uncomfortable to eat it,” he said, adding that the Impossible Burgers were a better compromise, with the meat taste but without the aim to precisely replicate meat.
Corbell said to go for the Spotted Dog’s Carolina Burger and sub in the Impossible Burger patty — it offers an impressive setup with barbecue sauce, coleslaw and fried onion strings.
Meanwhile, at The Remedy Diner in Raleigh, which introduced the Impossible Burger this year, patrons can consume it in burger form (complete with tomato, onions, lettuce, pickles, Veganaise, and mustard on a potato bun for $13.50) or in lasagna form (with Impossible Burger crumbles layered with vegan cheese and served with ciabatta bread and a side salad for $15).
As for alcohol pairings? A Remedy Diner staff member said to pick whatever one would order with a hamburger. A heavy pour of red wine? A gentle iced tea? It’s personal.
So is the quest to find it.
According to the Impossible Foods website, hungry herbivores can find the Impossible Burger at the following 17 locations in North Carolina: Glory Days Grill in Apex, Mojo Kitchen & Lounge in Asheville, Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar on Carolina Beach, The Spotted Dog in Carrboro, Trolly Stop Hot Dogs in Chapel Hill, Duckworth’s Kitchen & Taphouse in Charlotte, Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, Unscripted Hotel in Durham, Bites and Pints Gastropub in Greensboro, Sticks & Stones Clay Oven in Greensboro, OBX Bites in Harbinger, Root & Vine in Morganton, Hibernian Pub in Raleigh, Kings Dining & Entertainment in Raleigh, The Remedy Diner in Raleigh, Winnie’s Tavern in Wilmington, and Wrightsville Beach Brewery in Wilmington,
Bonus: This list should already be expanding with the addition of Wahlburgers locations to the state. Hungry?
• Impossible Foods [Official]
• Bites and Pints [Official]
• Spotted Dog [Official]
• Beyond Burger [Official]
• The Remedy Diner [Official]
• Wahlburgers Brings Impossible Burger and More to Raleigh [ECHS]