MANILA, Philippines – Most of Metro Manila’s carnivores know where to go for a good ‘ol juicy burger fix, that’s for sure. But contrary to popular belief, so do the plant-based eaters, vegetarians, and vegans of Manila. And one of these restos is neighborhood burger joint Sweet Ecstasy.
Most know them for their sinfully juicy cheeseburgers, steam burgers, and the dangerous grilled cheese burger (two grilled sandwiches sandwiching Sweet X’s signature beef patty).
But the Beyond Ecstasy Burger (P500) has been an open secret since July 2019 – Sweet X’s first-ever 100% vegan and totally plant-based burger.
The Beyond Ecstasy Burger is made from Beyond Burger patties – a juicy and meaty alternative to actual beef.
It looks almost like Sweet Ecstasy’s regular burger – fluffy buns, oozing cheese, their special sauce, crisp, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and your choice of raw, grilled, or caramelized onions – only that it’s vegan to the core: from the cheese, sauce, and down to the bread.
The bread is dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free (toasted in olive oil), while the cheddar slice is dairy-free Daiya, and the ecstasy sauce is tofu-based. There’s no soy, no animal ingredients, or animal-based derivatives present – just a whole lot of plant protein. It’s kosher-friendly, too!
The texture and mouth feel of this burger does resemble meat – not the mushy, non-textured veggie meat of other storebought “meatless” meats, but the stringy, tightly-packed kind, sans any extenders. Combined with Sweet X’s power combo of ecstasy sauce, cheese, fresh veggies, and fluffy buns? Quite the experience.
However, I did notice that the patty itself was very thin and flat, far from Sweet X’s usual beef patty, so don’t expect a hefty size.
It did taste like a chori burger to me upon first bite (if some of you may be familiar with the Boracay staple before), the Filipino-style “chorizo burger” that’s both salty and sweet, and a little peppery. It’s savory, for sure, with a hint of grilled smokiness.
It’s a recommendable alternative for plant-based eaters craving for the Sweet X burger experience. The price may be steep for a thin, meat-free patty, but coupled with the rest of the burger works, it’s a fair price to pay for the occasional not-so-cheating “cheat day.”
And hey, the Beyond Ecstasy burger also got the seal of approval from a few of my meat-loving friends, so for those not completely plant-based, do feel free to enjoy one of your Meatless Mondays at Sweet X.
The Beyond Ecstasy Vegan Burger is available only in Sweet Ecstasy’s Jupiter Street and Greenhills branches, since it requires a separate griddle for cooking and more kitchen space.
You can enjoy it via dine-in or take-out. – Rappler.com