Before leaving for a small weekend trip to New York City, I made a list of things I would absolutely need to do and try while there. While NYC-bound trips are usually packed with touristic plans, mine revolved around visiting friends and of course trying some of the food the city had to offer. I knew that the city was home to the By Chloe chain (review coming soon!) and MooShoes, the latter of which was unfortunately closed for renovations. However, when I arrived, I realized that Momofuku Nishi was nearby, which recently added the notorious Impossible Burger to its menu, praised by chef David Chang himself!
My almost-local friends checked out the directions for the restaurant, and we scheduled it for my last day on Sunday. We checked Momofuku Nishi's Facebook page to confirm it was available, and even though it was, there were many warnings to come early since the famed burger was on a "first come, first serve" basis. We planned to get there around lunch and arrived to a packed but welcoming casual restaurant, with a short 15 minute wait. It was then that I saw this sign in all of its glory, confirming what I already knew:
A soon as we were seated, I couldn't help but eavesdrop, and quickly realized the surrounding tables were all ordering, planning on ordering, or eating the Impossible Burger. I had heard that the way the burger was served was not vegan, but could not clearly see why from the quick glimpses I took of the surrounding tables with the burger in such plain view. After the menu arrived, I saw that only a few components of the 'Nishi style' way it was prepared made the burger unsuitable for vegans, but that there were ways to keep it vegan, directly noted on the menu:
So for $13, I ordered the Impossible Burger sans American cheese on a vegan bun. The waitress let me know they were out of vegan buns (I almost gasped thinking she meant the burger itself) but that they could put it on rye bread instead. I happily agreed and waited in anticipation, telling my lunch dates everything I knew about the burger in the meantime.
It arrived shortly after, and the rye bread was perfectly toasted and the burger was topped with tomatoes, pickles and a few sauces, and came with a side of standard fries. I realized everyone around me at my table had already begun eating, but still held off on temptation to take a photo of the burger:
I took a bite and immediately noted the juiciness of the patty. The flavors and toppings all worked together, but the burger really did stand out for its texture, flavor, and overall juiciness/moisture. While veggie burgers are one of my favorite meals--regardless whether they are made with vegetables, beans, lentils or mushrooms, this burger was definitely not like any other I had ever tried, probably because it did really remind me of beef-based burgers. My friend said it was the "best non-meat meat" she ever tried with my vegetarian friend saying it was almost too similar to beef for him.
Although I did enjoy it as a whole, the patty itself was quite thin (as opposed to how it appears to be in the header photo), so I also made sure to separate a piece of the burger by itself to try on its own. The texture really was incredible, and I felt that on top of appealing to vegans and vegetarians, the Impossible Burger will definitely be a hit amongst those on the fence, flexitarians, as well as meat-eaters in general. I think many people would not be able to guess that this burger is actually plant-based, and can see it being a very popular choice at barbecues as well!
I finished every bite, including the fries, and although the patty was thin, it ended up being a very filling meal, and well worth the impressive price of $13. I hope that the Impossible Burger will soon make its way over to Canada and that I can introduce many others to this incredible plant-based option. As David Chang states, it looks like the future is vegan!
Header Photo Credit: http://www.techinsider.io