The Impossible Burger isn't the only "bleeding" veggie burger in the New York City dining scene, after the Beyond Burger hit the menu at an Upper East Side burger joint Monday.
The former made its New York debut last summer, intriguing diners as a meat-free alternative to beef burgers so realistic it seemingly bleeds.
On Monday, a second meatless wonder rolled into town.
Nationwide burger chain BurgerFi's outpost at 1571 Second Ave. is the first city restaurant to serve the Beyond Burger, according to a spokesman for the patty's creator, Beyond Meat.
Like Impossible Foods, its rival on the West Coast startup circuit, Beyond Meat says its product "looks, cooks, and tastes like a fresh beef burger" — a meaty verisimilitude that should appeal to "flexitarians" who eat primarily vegetarian diets but occasionally indulge their carnivorous appetites. Where the competitors differ: While Impossible Foods' burger consists of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and a special ingredient called "heme," the key ingredients in Beyond Meat's are pea protein, canola and coconut oils, yeast extract and beet juice extract, which gives the uncooked patty a reddish color that "bleeds" into the pan and onto the plate.
The Beyond Burger made its debut at a New York City restaurant almost a year after celebrity chef David Chang introduced the Impossible Burger to the menu at his Chelsea restaurant Momofuku Nishi. (Bareburger then added the meatless patty to the menu at its flagship restaurant near NYU's campus in March.)
Like the "Nishi-style" sandwich, BurgerFi's comes with pretty traditional fixings: pickles, diced onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard and ketchup. The standard burger ($8.27) is served with American cheese on a potato bun. For vegans, there's a version without mayo, which can be wrapped in lettuce or plated on a vegan bun ($8.77). BurgerFi had already offered a vegetarian option: a cripsy quinoa and fresh-cut veggie burger.
Monday may be the first time Beyond Meat's burgers hit Manhattan griddles, but the Los Angeles-based startup trotted out its product at Whole Foods stores around the city last October.
Impossible Foods spokeswoman Jessica Appelgren said the company doesn't see Beyond Meat as competition, but as "a partner in advancing our whole country toward betters options for meat."
"Impossible Foods applauds any company that is provding consumers choices to in some way reduce the hazardous effect of animal agriculture," she said.