Bon Appétit Tastes the Impossible… First!

If you don’t know what the Impossible Burger tastes like, you’re not alone.

Public House chef-partner Traci Des Jardins and Executive Chef Jorge Lumbreras with the Impossible Burger back in March

This revolutionary plant-based burger — specifically designed to entice meat lovers — has been making waves at just a handful of exclusive, top-flight restaurants, including Bon Appétit’s own Public House, where our renowned chef-partner Traci Des Jardins and Executive Chef Jorge Lumbreras debuted it to great acclaim in March. (Traci is a consulting chef for Impossible Foods and is also serving the burger at her restaurant Jardinière; David Chang and Brad Farmerie were among the other noteworthy early adopters.)

With the burger’s recent launch at a corporate café in South San Francisco and its impending July rollout at another in San Jose, Bon Appétit officially became the first food service company in the country to offer this much-buzzed-about burger to its café guests.

The Impossible Burger’s debut at B42 Café, a Bon Appétit corporate café in South San Francisco

Although its meaty taste, texture, and juiciness are what have made headlines, the burger has other qualities, too — ones that align with Bon Appétit’s companywide sustainability commitments. The Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% lower greenhouse gas emissions than its beef counterpart. It’s made from wheat protein, potato protein, coconut oil, and heme, the natural molecule that gives meat its color and flavor. (It contains gluten and soy.)

At Public House, which adjoins AT&T Park in San Francisco, the Impossible Burger has been outselling the standard hamburger during lunch (except on game days), according to Jorge. It was also an instant hit at Bon Appétit’s first corporate café to carry it. On its first day, the burger was menued at the B42 Café in South San Francisco, which normally sells only around 24 burger specials daily. They sold 24 Impossible Burgers as soon as they opened the doors. “Customers were so excited; they couldn’t believe they were seeing it in their café,” said Executive Chef Jenem Martin.

The following day, B42 Executive Chef Todd Terwey and Sous Chef Stephen Marquez prepared 60 Impossible Burgers, anticipating even stronger demand once the word spread. They sold out by the end of service — a once-impossible feat for a plant-based burger!

Here’s Public House’s Impossible Burger and beef burger, side by side. Can you tell which is which?