• Marilyn Gardner Woods

Grill ready?


Thanksgiving with turkey and gravy and the 4th of July’s star-spangled burgers and dogs celebrations were the hardest as a non-meat-eater.


After twenty-two years as a vegetarian, I have worked my way back to some-time meat-eater.


My first foray back into carnivore land was at a perfectly grilled prime ribeye steak and an even more perfect bottle of Fess Parker’s Pinot Noir in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley. I ate the steak very slowly and drank the wine too fast.


I seldom indulge in steaks now, maybe once every two months. However, being a Texas girl, I indulge in baby back ribs with a spicy barbecue sauce more often.


My favorite guilty meat pleasure is Costco’s beef hot dog from Costco’s (I really miss the Polish Dog) which is advertised as $1.50. In reality the total with tax is $1.62. I can’t say whether it’s the soft-as-Charmin bun, the meat itself, or the endless condiments including deli-style mustard, pickle relish and onions which spew out from a turntable. I must admit there is a great thrill in the cost, which includes a generous drink. (They have the best crushed ice.)




My quest for a delectable meatless burger has been fruitless. Over the past years since going off the vegetarian wagon, I’ve tried so many faux options. Garden burgers, Boca burgers, Meatless burgers, sweet potato, bean, mushroom, split pea and assorted other filler burgers and find them not only tasteless, but the textures are offensive.


The last straw was on a recent Saturday evening. With friends, I ordered the Black Bean Burger. The moment of my first bite, the patty escaped the bun and fell to pieces all over the plate, part on the table, a lot in between my fingers into my lap. I was done with bogus burgers.


Until the next night that is. Dinner with friends in Point Loma overlooking the marina just as the San Diego skyline began to light up.


“I’ll have the Beyond Burger,” David said.

A collective “What’s that?” ensued.


We all followed suit and enjoyed unbelievably delicious plant-based burgers.

I love when something arrives on the scene without my knowledge and suddenly it’s everywhere. (sometimes not so much—current scooter rage). Since going public in May its stock is up over 150%, creating a market sizzle! Beyond Burger is everywhere—Carl’s Jr.’s menu, Amazon, Target, dozens of colleges, hundreds of restaurants and over 5,000 grocery stores nationwide in the meat section I have learned.


Have you tried a Beyond Burger?




The plant-based burger is yummy—tastes meatier, even has an umami flavor. Great texture – close to ground beef. It’s juicy and healthy. I hear its main competitor, Impossible Burger, is appearing in Burger King markets throughout the country. And other fast food giants are following suit: White Castle has the Impossible Slide; McDonalds is trying out Vegan McNuggets in Europe and Taco Bell is also testing vegetarian menu items.


I’m late to the Beyond Burger party but finding reason to celebrate just in time for the 4th of July cookout. Pass the mustard please.


Celebrate!


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