It should come as no surprise that the Impossible Burger, reputedly the most meat-like plant burger ever created, made its Las Vegas debut at Andrea’s at Encore. After all, Wynn Resorts has long set the standard for vegan and vegetarian excellence on the Strip, and star chef Tal Ronnen, whom Steve Wynn brought to his Vegas resorts seen years ago to amp up the culinary creativity, has been a day-one board member at Impossible Foods. The ambitious company has been rolling out the Impossible Burger carefully, creating some serious demand by linking up with game-changing chefs like Momofuku founder David Chang.
“But only if we can convince meat eaters like me that a craveable, delicious burger can help change the world,” says COO/CFO David Lee. “This is the first time serving in Las Vegas, which we consider to be the ultimate destination. We’re not going to be around every corner, so bringing the Impossible Burger to a city where 40 million people visit every year is our way of getting in front of a broader audience.”
At Andrea’s, chef Joe Elevado is serving the “ground beef” product—wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and other all-natural ingredients including the secret “beefy” weapon, heme—three ways: sizzling sliders with kalbi sauce, Thai-style rice cups and mapo tofu with meatballs.
But enough with the details … how does it taste? It’s delicious, easily eclipsing your standard veggie burger in flavor, texture and overall appeal, especially with Elevado at the controls. The sliders, topped with kimchi pickles and kochujang aioli, are some of the most addictive mini-sandwiches you’ll taste, meaty or not.
There’s just enough savory, fatty feel and taste to fool some eaters into believing it’s beef, but more importantly, it achieves its goal. The Impossible Burger is not for vegetarians, it’s for the rest of us carnivores. It’s supposed to be burger enough to pull us away from beef, at least some of the time, and it is.