I love eating meat. There's nothing better than the sound of a steak sizzling on a cast iron pan, the smell of a well worn smoker imparting flavor into a brisket, or the satisfaction of finishing a tomahawk rib eye. I can't imagine a scenario (short of a health issue) that would make me quit eating meat.
But too much meat probably isn't good for our health, and definitely isn't good for the environment.
Early attempts to make meat replacements using tofu or other fillers have fallen short. Honestly, if you're going to eat vegetables, why not eat them in their best possible form instead of trying to mimic the flavor, texture and smell of another food?
Recently, Beyond Meat has hit the market, a plant-based burger that claims to look, cook and taste like ground beef. The venture, backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, took seven years to develop the plant-based burger.
So where can you taste the much-hyped burger? The Burger Patch, a one day pop up restaurant on Saturday, May 13, will serve the 100 percent vegan burger.
Phillip and Danea Horn are launching this endeavor, and Phlilip agreed to a Q and A with Cowtown Eats.
Q: Can you tell me about the concept of the Burger Patch?
The Burger Patch is a quick-serve take-out concept serving up 100% plant-based burgers, fries and shakes! These aren't your typical veggie burgers. We're talking thick, juicy patties featuring the new Beyond Meat Beyond Burger. Draped with all the fixins, our special Patch Sauce, melted cheddar and bacon if you please - all plant-based. Our menu is simple with less than 10 items including gluten free options.
Q: Why launch a vegan burger restaurant?
We LOVE Burgers. The rub is that we removed meat from our diet almost a decade ago. Like many consumers we've become much more conscious about what we put in our body. As we learned more about the lifestyle we realized how challenging it was to eat on-the-go in the way that we still craved. We have plenty of greens and grains in our diet but we have the most fun when we can replicate the nostalgic tastes we grew up with using 100% plant-based ingredients. At home Danea dominates the kitchen and creates incredible plant-based replications of meat-based classics on a nightly basis. It's really extraordinary to see what she creates and how most people can't even tell the difference. There are some really incredible plant-based dishes at restaurants in Sacramento, but just not enough of them. Most often those replications of traditional flavors and textures we crave don't exist in plant-based dining or are an after thought. We wanted something a little indulgent, delicious, satisfying and familiar - a big juicy burger. And if it does exist it's usually not convenient - particularly when you only have 15 minutes to grab a bite. So it was our goal to solve this dilemma. We will deliver what we call Convenient Consciousness by serving up fast plant-based burgers, fries and shakes in accessible locations using modern ingredients with a nostalgic taste. This is not your traditional green & granola restaurant. Our menu is a great treat for almost any hungry customer.
Q: Do you have any restaurant experience?
We've brought in an executive chef team of Scott Ostrander and Paul DiPierro to take our menu to the next level. These fellas have decades of wide ranging experience at some of Sacramento's top restaurants and brought the expertise of traditional burger mastery to our plant-based creations to ensure that we've developed flavors for the broad public that are traditional and nostalgic.
[Ed Note: Ostrander is probably best known for being the exec chef at Paragary's Midtown, and DiPierro followed Ostrander as the exec chef after Ostrander's departure in late 2015.)
Q: When can people try this burger?
We're popping up on Saturday, May 13 for a 1-day special fundraiser with 100% of our profits going to the Food Literacy Center. We'll open at noon and go until we sellout. We hope it's busy - there's all kinds of great events happening in Midtown including the Farmers' Market, Dress Up and Wine Down and much more - so plan ahead! We'll be serving to the sidewalk out of the restaurant space at 1801 L Street in Midtown - in between Ginger Elizabeth and The Rind. We're excited to give Sacramento a sneak taste of our delicious menu before we open a brick and mortar in the coming months.
Q: For those who hare skeptical about eating a plant-based burger, what would you say to them?
We were too. Even as we've experimented over the last 10 years it wasn't until recently with the innovations of products like the Beyond Burger that we tasted something that dropped our jaw. Something that sizzles when it grills, something with a real bite that doesn't fall apart. We used to eat the real thing - a lot of them - there was a specific taste that we've been looking to replicate in our plant-based creations and it's taken us years to find it. These burgers are the real deal. Plant-based products are being introduced at an annual growth rate of 100% in recent years - so many great new flavors and textures have hit the market that it's getting really hard to tell the difference between the tastes you're familiar with when the ingredients are put together in just the right way. We think we've done that with our menu. Everything has been carefully crafted even down to the bun - which we've had custom made for us by the Truckee Sourdough Company. The proof will be in the taste. We don't think you'll be disappointed, but you'll have to try it for yourself.
Q: After the 1 day pop up on May 13, what's next for The Burger Patch?
We're excited to be a part of the changing landscape of Sacramento. We've been actively working on several location options near downtown and hope that we can open our doors for good in the coming months - Danea is finishing her first year as a Phd student in Agriculture and Resource Economics at UC Davis - with her summer approaching her focus on opening the first location will ramp into high gear. What's happening right now in our city is inspiring. We're so passionate about the progressive story of our community and what it's becoming. We hope that The Burger Patch is one more paragraph in that story, giving people another reason to love where they live and for others to want to visit.