Buy It & Try It: veggie burgers

(Columbia) June 9, 2003 - Major fast food restaurants are now adding veggie burgers to their menus, and sales are way up for frozen veggie burgers to cook at home.

Regina Ciardiello is one of millions of Americans who doesn't eat red meat, but now that Burger King offers a veggie burger she decided to give fast food another try, "I'd like a veggie burger with lettuce and tomato."

The BK Veggie Burgers have far less fat, 10g, than Burger King's quarter pound burger, which has 21g. The Veggie Burger also has only 1.5g of saturated fat, while the quarter pounder has 8g.

Consumer Reports also evaluated eight top-selling frozen veggie burgers. Some of them are made primarily of soy protein, while others are mostly made of grains and vegetables.

The one with the least amount of fat, Veggie Burgers' Veggies and Grain, had just one gram per patty, but the flavor was disappointing, "They were mushy and starchy, and they had a strong taste of cumin and dehydrated dill."

Several, however, proved very good. Some of the best included Morningstar Farms' Grillers, which taste quite a bit like meat. Amy's California Burger has a toasted nutty whole-grain flavor with mild seasonings. And, Gardenburger Original is a grain patty with garlic and mushroom flavors.

Another veggie burger that earned a very good rating and tastes a lot like grilled beef is Boca Burger's Chef Max's All American Classic, which is actually flame grilled and may be sold as the All American Flame Grilled.

Testers say the BK Veggie Burger doesn't have as much flavor as the best frozen ones, but it's still pretty good.

posted 11:14am by Chris Rees

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright @ 2003 Consumers Union of U. S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED