Vegetarian burger with bean patty

Day 4 of the Vegetarian Experiment: Eating Out

So The Plumber called and said “Lunch?” So, I met them at Denny’s. Eating out while trying to maintain a vegetarian eating

It wasn’t planned, but we had both picked the same day to start a trial run of vegetarianism. Going to Denny’s would be a cool experiment – how hard was it to go out to eat and have something that tasted good as a vegetarian meal?

Burger King, Hardees’s, and McDonalds all have meat substitute burgers or just veggie burgers to work from. I’ve tried both Impossible and Beyond before, and honestly neither of them are bad, but see my observation from the previous day about most of the meat replacements I’ve experienced, and the issue with what your brain expects -vs- what you put in your mouth.

Denny’s doesn’t offer either one of those – they have some bean based burger. Now, it costs and extra $2 for one of these pattys, and Denny’s burgers (at least here) are relatively good. So, I was expecting something akin to a Beyond burger – which is weird, because Denny’s used to carry the Beyond burger until earlier this year (2023). Go fig. Instead, their is a Dr. Preager California Burger, but I have no idea why they quit offering the Beyond (I assume it’s not price, since they charge a $2 premium for that California Burger)

I’m not going to say it sucks. It’s just not as good as the other options, which is sad. They could have done much, much better. It’s got an off-putting texture, and well, it doesn’t taste anything like a Denny’s burger. If you want to go have a faux burger that tastes like a burger, I can’t recommend Denny’s at all.

OH, and added bit about that Dr. Preager burger: if you’re not eating meat, it takes a bit to figure out what the hell to eat to get the right amount of protein (there’s some variations for how much if you’re working out, active, trying to lose weight, etc.) A real hamburger has about 19 grams of protein. A Beyond burger has 20, and an Impossible burger has 19 – so, they track pretty well with what you need, eating wise (though, higher in sodium). A Dr Preager California Burger has 5 grams of protein, so you’ll probably want to supplement it with something on the side.

Reading the menu wasn’t particularly encouraging: they don’t really have much that’s Vegetarian friendly, but I think with a little experimenting I can get something that tastes better than their burger and sticks with the eating plan.

Fortunately, I don’t eat out much, so overall this isn’t a huge issue. 🙂

Update: One of the advantages of publishing all of this a week delayed is I managed to give Denny’s a second attempt today. And, like I had thought, if you go in wanting something akin to meat, you’ll be disappointed, but go have veggies, you’ll be less disappointed. I had a vegetarian omelet with some salsa and sour cream on top. MUCH better than the Dr. Preager burger 🙂

But, I can tell you this: the cooks give no shits about cleaning the grill before cooking up something like the veggies for a vegetarian omelet: about the 3rd bite in there was a small bit of seasoned meat in it. Not large, but it was there. That is SUPER problematic.

I’m eating vegetarian by choice – if I end up with a piece of meat in my mouth, it’s no biggie. But, I know two people who’ve had the tick bite that results in an allergy to beef , and one person who can’t eat it ’cause it totally fucks with their digestive tract. At the time, I didn’t think much of the piece of meat in there, but when I sat down and was writing it update, I realized I should have complained, and reminded them about cross-contamination. However, it’s a Denny’s, and Denny’s cooks these days aren’t known for giving a shit about things like that.

Diary:

Workout: 8 minutes of cardio and aggravation 😉

Morning weigh-in: 229. What?

Good: celery and peanut butter for breakfast, the usual assortment of snacks, meatless “crispy tenders” with homemade fried pickles for supper. Had a meat substitute burger and fries for lunch.

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