The beeflike burger has come to Cowtown.
Austin-based Hopdoddy’s first Fort Worth location is open near the West Seventh Street bridge, serving a full menu of premium-beef burgers but also a limited choice of the meat-look-alike Impossible Burger.
The Impossible Burger looks, feels and tastes like a gourmet burger. Yet it’s made from potatoes and wheat.
A special soybean-root enzyme gives it the texture and drippy quality of a good burger, but without beef.
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Depending which side of the food fence you’re on, this is either a miraculous invention that will save the planet from less energy-efficient cattle ranching and cows’ ongoing emissions of methane gas, or a bane to society that will ruin cattle ranching and put beef out of business.
Eldon J. White, chief executive of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, said in a statement that ranchers welcome Hopdoddy and “they have a great regular burger.”
“But I doubt the version made with fake beef will find a warm reception among Texas ranchers and a lot of others here in a town steeped with so much ranching heritage,” he wrote.
The New York Times reported this month that the Food and Drug Administration has not established whether the soy enzyme is safe. The maker’s California-based company says the burgers met safety assessments, and defends the burgers as being from natural sources, although the soy enzyme is genetically engineered with a yeast strain.
“I think most consumers prefer to know that their beef comes from cattle raised by hard-working, responsible farmers and ranchers, not a laboratory,” White said. “Anything made in a laboratory is just no substitute for delicious, healthy, naturally produced beef.”
It’s not really a diet burger. Figure it at 13 grams of fat, 220 calories and 430 milligrams of sodium, plus your cheese and toppings.
Here’s the bottom line: The Impossible Burger looks and tastes like beef, but not like fresh-ground prime. The added coconut oil gives the burger the flavor of an old school-lunch “Western” burger, but larger and with better toppings.
It looks like a burger. And it tastes — well, you’re going to pile on toppings anyway.
Hopdoddy serves it with white cheddar, tomato, lettuce, onion and special sauce. But you can try any Hopdoddy combo, although I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it.
By the way: It’s $14.
Otherwise, Hopdoddy’s menu includes both familiar burgers from other DFW locations such as the Goodnight cheeseburger with barbecue sauce and jalapeños ($8.25, or $5 weekdays at happy hour this month) or the Llano Poblano bacon-poblano cheeseburger.
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The Fort Worth location also offers the company’s first fried chicken sandwiches — they’re huge, bigger than the burgers — and salads.
Burgers, fries and cocktails sell for $5 weekdays at happy hour, 3-6:30 p.m.