For anyone who has suffered through eating a dry veggie burger or a bland plate of tofu, the Impossible Burger is a godsend. The vegan-friendly burger that looks like — and even bleeds like — a beef patty was created by a Silicon Valley startup that launched in 2011 and spent five years and more than $250 million in investment funds trying to answer one question: what makes meat taste like meat?
The answer is an iron-containing molecule called heme. This molecule occurs naturally in animal muscle, but it can also be found in plants. The researchers realized that they could replicate the savory taste of meat by using plant-based heme. Thus, the Impossible Burger was born. Today, it can be found in over a thousand restaurants including fine dining destinations and counter service cafes. Here are five places to try the Impossible Burger in Las Vegas.
Impossible at any hour
Madhouse Coffee is a quirky, 24-hour coffee shop with a wide variety of vegan entrees including potato gnocchi al pesto and a stuffed sweet potato. Recently, the coffee house added the Impossible Burger to its menu. The plant-based burger is served with a choice of yucca fries or quinoa salad.
Madhouse Coffee, 8470 W. Desert Inn Road; 702-360-4232
Named for the so-called “fifth taste” that makes savory food taste so good, Umami Burger has a diverse roster of traditional and unique burger offerings. The Impossible Burger is made with two patties and topped with caramelized onions, American cheese, and miso-mustard. It pairs perfectly with a side order of sweet potato fries or tempura onion rings.
Umami Burger, SLS Las Vegas, 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-761-7614
A creative take
It might seem odd to see the Impossible Burger on a menu alongside Wagyu beef, braised pork belly, and seared foie gras, but the vegan burger makes for a nice meat-free alternative to the steak and seafood heavy options at Andrea’s. The Impossible Burger rounds out the vegetarian and vegan section of the menu in the form of a basil “beef” dish made with Thai basil and serrano chili. It’s a surprisingly sophisticated dish for a humble plant-based beef patty.
Andrea’s, Encore Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-770-5340
A celebrity chef option
If it’s good enough for Gordon Ramsay, it’s got to be good enough for the masses. The famously opinionated chef offers the Impossible Burger as a substitute for any of the burgers on the menu at Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood Resort. Whether it’s topped with arugula and mushrooms a la the Forest Burger or tandoori baste and tabbouleh salad like the Mediterranean Burger, the Impossible Burger dresses up well.
Gordon Ramsay Burger, Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-785-5462
The casual healthy choice
Greens & Proteins has five locations across Las Vegas, making it easy to grab an Impossible Burger downtown, on the west side, on the east side, or anywhere in between. The casual restaurant serves the Impossible Burger with sprouts and a choice of Swiss, cheddar, or vegan cheese.
Greens & Proteins, 9809 W. Flamingo Road; 702-541-6400