I can’t even believe we’re writing about this, but yes, we went to TGI Fridays because they are testing out the Beyond Burger in several locations in the greater Boston area. We specifically drove an hour out of our way to go down to Mansfield, Massachusetts to try it out, even though we’ve had it before at other restaurants. We feel that it is important to show support when mainstream restaurants offer a vegan option like this because it shows that they recognize the future is vegan. If they see that there is a demand for vegan options, they will continue to offer them!
Straight out of the gate, we knew that this wasn’t going to be the perfect burger experience because while they were offering the burger, there’s no vegan cheese, mayo, or any other vegan toppings available. Plus you’ll need to order it without the Friday’s sauce and on the gluten-free bun. What threw us back the most, however, was when our server asked us how we wanted our burgers cooked. Something neither of us has been asked in several years! We told them medium well, but you might want to go medium or even medium-rare because ours came out pretty well done.
The highlight of the experience was when the manager came out and asked us if we were vegan. We told him we were and he explained that we would want to switch to the gluten-free bun because their normal bun was not vegan-friendly. He mentioned that they were being trained on the differences between vegetarian and vegan and because of that, he knew to keep an eye out. We always leave a business card with our bill when we leave and he left us a message on our Facebook asking us how our visit was and that he hoped we enjoyed our burgers.
While it’s not a perfect option, it is a great option to have if you’re in a position where you have a mixed vegan / non-vegan party or if you’re wanting to sit down, eat a burger and fries, drink a beer, and watch some football. We’re hoping that their test run of the burger goes well and that they begin to offer it in all of their restaurants in the future.