I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but veggie burgers are all the rage. The Impossible Burger–which uses a proprietary meat substitute that tastes and feels like beef–has taken the world by storm, beginning first at Momofuku’s Nishi restaurant and most recently being offered at White Castle. Other fast food chains–like Burger King–have been dabbling in veggie burger offerings for years. And now Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack is testing out a new vegetarian burger.
It should be noted that Shake Shack has long offered a vegetarian option–one I’ve always loved. Its “shroom burger” wasn’t so much a burger, as it was a delicious lactic explosion. It was essentially a slice of a portobello mushroom covered in cheese, breaded, and then fried. This vegetarian option was one of the most inventive alternatives, precisely because it didn’t fall into the usual shenanigans of being either faux meat or a bean patty.
It seems Shake Shack has decided to trial one of these more common veggie burger routes, and is testing out this newly announced item. The proposed patty is made of black beans, rice, and beets–and will be topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and “vegan mustard mayo.” If you take away the cheese, it will be a bonafide vegan dish–something the shroom burger could never offer.
But will it taste like a regular bland old black bean thingamajig, or like something new and good? Next week, Shake Shack will test out the new burgers in New York–and I will be sure to test one out and let you know.
This new menu item will be available in select New York locations starting 4/19. And–who knows–if it tastes good, maybe it’ll expand nationwide. I’ll know more soon.