If you’re like most vegetarians, you have a long-term committed relationship with condiments. You know that ranch dressing, ketchup and a healthy dose of Thousand Island can make any sort of fake meat taste like the nectar of the gods. When you cook up your veggie burgers and tofu you are an expert at smothering them in teriyaki or barbecue or chipotle sauce. So that’s where I was coming from when I cooked up my first Beast Burger. That’s right, the name is kick ass. Plus, how can any respectable tofu eater just stand there in the aisle, staring at this wonderfully artistic work of synthetic animal.

I had to buy it.

First, you should make a quick run to 7 Eleven to pick up a couple of ice-cream sandwiches to eat while your burger is cooking up. That’s what I did, anyway. I hopped in my car and made a quick trip to the local Sleven while my 4 oz. patty was sizzling away in the toaster oven. On the box, they recommend grilling it, but I’m a toaster oven guy myself. You can actually hear those juices sizzling away as it cooks. This is your first clue.

Second. Here’s the thing about the Beast Burger. It’s the best damn veggie burger I’ve ever tasted. And believe me, I’ve tried them all: Boca Burger, Gardenburger, Sunshine Burger (re: Sunshine Burger–excuse me while I hurl the contents of my stomach into the nearest trash can), you name it. A lot of them are tasty, don’t get me wrong. But the Beast Burger comes out on top in a taste test conducted at the university of me.

Texture

It’s chewy and solid, coming the closest in texture to the real thing. A couple of times I had to peek inside the bun because I swear I heard it mooing.

Taste

I don’t know what they’re doing here, or what the secret formula is, but they’ve nailed it. Yes, you’re going to need ketchup, but hey, you would put ketchup on a real burger too, wouldn’t you?

Price

5 bucks will get you two of these patties, which are really wide, by the way. Make sure you stop by your local health food store and pick up a bag of really big buns. I hope you like big buns. I do.