Grill’d Vegan Burger – Veggie Vitality

It might seem weird for a grown man to watch Bonnyrebecca videos, but that’s what I was doing last night. While most people like to binge on alcohol on a Saturday night, I like to binge on YouTube. To be honest, I have a crush on Bonny. She’s a beautiful young vegan girl, so I love to follow (or perve) on her via YouTube.

In her latest video, she is in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the now controversy-marred 2016 Raw Till Four Bike Festival, and for some reason she has decided to try out a raw vegan diet. See the entire video below. During her vlog, she randomly mentions the Grill’d vegan burger at the 2:40 mark of the video.

When I heard from Bonny that Grill’d suddenly had a vegan burger, I was shocked. I did some research on Facebook. Supposedly Grill’d had changed their menu to cater to different “tribes” such as those who want a gluten-free burger. As such, the burgers at Grill’d not only caters to vegans and vegetarians but also to people who are anti-gluten as well as those on a low-carb diet. The new vegan burger is called “veggie vitality.” Not only is this burger vegan but it is also gluten free (not that I am anti-gluten).

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Credit: Candice Nertney

I admit I’m not a fan of the picture above. The veggie patty looks very bright red, which makes it look weird.

Reading further into various Facebook comments, it’s clear that there are many vegans who, even though Grill’d has a vegan burger, do not want to support this business because they cater to meat eaters in addition to vegans, but I believe that Grill’d producing a menu that is 5% vegan is better than a menu that is 0% vegan, so they should be rewarded for this, and if they are rewarded enough, they will likely increase that percentage. The bottom line is that money must flow towards vegan products. Demand creates supply.

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Credit: Candice Nertney

As soon as I’d heard about this burger, I went to the local Grill’d with my father. My father is not a vegan, so he ordered a lamb burger. I told my father than I wanted the vegan burger. The menu stated clearly that the chips are all vegan, so I agreed to share sweet potato chips with him. He went to the counter and ordered the food. However, when the food came, I realized that I didn’t think about the dipping sauce, which I suspect may not be vegan! Vegans are not omniscient. They should try their hardest, but if a mistake is made then learn from your mistake and move on.

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Vegan sweet potato chips served with possibly non-vegan dipping sauce.

When the waiter handed my father his food, he said, “Here’s your lamb burger.” He then handed me the vegan burger and blandly said, “Here’s yours.” There was no announcement that it was a vegan burger. I didn’t know what to make of that, but nevermind. I digress.

What I found interesting about the burger is that it didn’t try to replace the meat with meat-like products such as soy protein or wheat protein. The patty is a true veggie patty made of beetroot, sweet potato, spinach, and quinoa. It tastes quite nice, full of flavour, and the beetroot gives it a very nice bright red colour. On the downside, like most veggie patties, it is not firm but quite soft. However, the softness of the patty is partially compensated for by the firmness of the bun.

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A close-up of the internals of the veggie patty clearly showing the red beetroot.

What really redeems this vegan burger is the avocado, which goes well with everything else in the burger and gives it a nice creamy taste. I’ve been to Grill’d before when they had three vegetarian burgers but no vegan burgers. I veganized a vegetarian burger by ordering a falafel burger (called “Friends of Falafel”) and, following advice from Peta, made it vegan by removing the tzatziki, which is a Greek cream that may have dairy or eggs in it. However, as a result of removing the tzatziki, the falafel burger was very dry, which turned me off Grill’d burger, and I have never been there since. Thankfully, the avocado in the new Grill’d vegan burger not only provides you with healthy fats but also gives the insides of the burger a creamy texture.

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Avocado is spread on the top and bottom, giving the burger a creamy texture.

After the vegan burger, I went to San Churro and ordered a long black. An easy way to be vegan at a cafe is to order either a long black (coffee with water) or a soy latte (coffee with soy milk).

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Long black at San Churro.

Nowadays I try to subtly encourage cafes to use almond milk by always asking them for a “latte with almond milk.” Many cafes are starting to provide almond milk now, but about half the time they tell me that they don’t have almond milk, just soy milk, so I go with soy milk instead, and I act as if I am really dissatisfied. Usually when I go back to the cafe in a month or two, all of a sudden they have almond milk! It’s important to understand that the customer is king, and the vegan customer should use his or her purchasing power to influence businesses so that they provide more and more vegan products. Demand creates supply, as I said. If you make it a habit to pay assassins to kill people, businesses (and contractors) specializing in murder will be created. If you make it a habit to eat meat or other animal products, businesses specialising in the torture and slaughter of animals will be created and will grow in dominance. It’s a battle between good and evil, and the best that vegans can do is to keep ensuring that money flows to vegan products as much as possible. Keep in mind the vegan flow of funds!

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