It is a great time to be a vegan/vegetarian in Canada right now. When it comes to plant-based alternatives, it seems there is just no stopping Canadian brands in giving the people what they want. In just the past few weeks, there has been the introduction of plant-based cheeses in local supermarkets, vegetarian-friendly sausage in breakfast wraps, completely dairy-free ice-cream and they’re even the trialling of no-chicken-required eggs in Tim Hortons! For fast-food loving vegetarians like me- what a time to be alive!
Of course, before now vegetarians didn’t really have enough choices to be able to be picky in fast-food joints. Most of the time it was fries or fries, with a side of...fries. And, unless you’re bringing your own milk (which obviously nobody does), you can absolutely forget about having a coffee. However, times are changing, and vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians have more options than we’ve ever had!
After years of only eating fries, or miserably peeling the patty from a beef burger, frankly, it's overwhelming! But vegans and veggies of the world - rejoice! I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. I tried both the Tim Hortons and the A&W 'Beyond Burgers' (for the first time!) to definitively conclude which is the best. Further, for absolute clarity, I brought along my meat-eating boyfriend too, and this is what we thought...
Out of general respect for Canada, I decided to try Tim Hortons Beyond Burger first. First off, this burger was popular. I had to visit three (!) different Tim Hortons locations to get my hands on it, so my expectations were sky-high.
My Tims burger experience got off to a somewhat poor start. When I requested the Beyond Burger from the lady behind the till, she stared at me as if I had just asked her to fetch me a burger from the moon. After telling me twice, ‘I don’t know where the button is for that’ (neither do I?!) and with a definite huff and puff, my ‘Beyond Burger’ was created. Hopeful, but definitely feeling like the staff wanted me to die, I paid and set on my way.
I used to think that looks don’t matter. I used to only care about what was on the inside. But honestly, when I saw this burger, with all of its greasy innards spilling out onto the paper, I changed my mind. This burger looked gross. It was messy and gloopy and it did not have a seeded bun! Repeat: It did not have a seeded bun!
The whole thing was just an over-mustardy mess. It somehow managed to be both incredibly dry and horribly damp at the same time, and the lettuce and tomato looked like they’d wilted and died from the embarrassment of being encompassed in a non-seeded bun. This burger was not made with any kind of love or affection. This was an unloved burger. And that was how it tasted.
My boyfriend was so appalled at the sight he didn’t even have a bite. NEXT!
I made my way into A&W feeling slightly dejected, but hopeful that things could only get better. Thankfully, the first location I visited had the burger in stock (win!) and the server greeted me with an enthusiastic smile (double win!). When I ordered their Beyond Burger with cheese, the server knew exactly where the button was. I knew good things were coming.
It was big. It was thick. It was juicy. It was delicious. It is harder to provide an accurate and vivid description of this burger, as I literally inhaled it. The lettuce was full and crisp, the patty was thick and had flavour, there was a soft, seeded bun, and it was just the right amount of moist. Pictures do not do this burger justice. This is the Beyonce of burgers.
If I could eat this divine creation for every meal, every day, for the rest of my life, I would do it. I’d get Scurvy for this burger. I would give my last dollar for this burger. I would sacrifice my only child for this burger. It really is that good. It is created-by-angels good. It is the kind of burger you’d tell your grandkids about. It is the kind of burger you’d die for. I would die for this burger.
Boyfriend: “It’s alright.”
At the risk of hurting Tim Hortons' burger’s feelings, my heart simply belongs to the A&W burger. They’re actually almost incomparable. While Tims Beyond Meat comes cheaper at $5.69 (before tax) vs. $7.59 (before tax) at A&W, the more expensive one is absolutely worth the money.
We appreciate you trying Timmy’s, we really do, but you’re going to have to try harder because A&W’s Burger went above and beyond in meat-ing my expectations!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.