The Impossible Burger

Bud Kennedy tries the Impossible Burger.
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Bud Kennedy tries the Impossible Burger.
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Eats Beat

Starting a beef over burgers: Can Hopdoddy’s potato-wheat ‘Impossible’ burger win Cowtown’s heart?

By Bud Kennedy

bud@star-telegram.com

August 21, 2017 05:10 PM

FORT WORTH

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.

Insider tip: Upgrade to a bison burger for even better flavor.

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.

Hopdoddy is open for lunch and dinner daily at 2300 W. Seventh St. (at Stayton Street), 817-270-2337, hopdoddy.com.

White Settlement Road becomes a Salsa settlement

The old 1947 chrome Salsa Limón diner that used to stand on University Drive is back in business — but three miles down the road.

The new Salsa Limón “Distrito” location is open at 5012 White Settlement Road in the River District. Owner Milo Ramirez saved the old chrome diner, originally built as Topsy’s Cafe, and moved it to make way for University Drive development.

Salsa Limón is known for tacos, burritos, bowls and breakfasts, plus Micheladas or sangrias.

The popular taqueria also has locations downtown and near TCU, with another under construction on West Magnolia Avenue.

It’s open now for breakfast and lunch, with longer hours soon; salsalimon.com.

Kalen Jane serves Southlake proteins

Chef Kalen Jane Morgenstern’s new Protein Fit Kitchen is open in Park Village in Southlake.

Morgenstern, a former “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant once with Market + Table in Fort Worth and predecessor Tillman’s, was ahead of the trend serving healthy, fresh dishes.

For example, Protein Fit Kitchen’s entire menu is gluten-free. Start the day with steak-and-eggs, a turkey-sausage omelet or banana-oat pancakes, then switch to lunch and a vegetarian Caesar salad or a grilled-peach salad with pecans and goat cheese.

The sandwich and taco menu includes turkey, chicken salad, a black-bean burger and other choices. Dinner entrees include teriyaki sirloin, chipotle-lime chicken or pork loin, with broccolini, succotash, asparagus or an apple-cabbage slaw.

The new restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily near Taverna Rossa in the Park Village shops at 1151 E. Southlake Blvd., No. 390; 817-329-2372, proteinfitkitchen.com.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, @EatsBeat.