Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Eating Out: Hungry Jacks

Hungry Jacks is the Australian equivalent of Burger King. While they have had a veggie burger for a long time, it was definitely not vegan. And for a long time neither were their chips. But they have started introducing some new options for the vegans of the world.

Their first offering in their vegan range was the Vegan Cheeseburger. Two veggie patties, vegan cheese, vegan mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and onion. I tried this but was super underwhelmed. The veggie patties (which fried and cooked separately from anything meat... or as separate as you can get in a Hungry Jacks kitchen) were just quite mushy and flavourless. I also was very sad with the fries I got at that visit. However, I should say that heaps of people love the vegan cheeseburger, so this as always is just my opinion.

Vegan Cheeseburger and Fries from Hungry Jacks; Raspberry Almond Thickshake from New Zealand Naturals

They also have a vegan breakfast burger, which has the a single of the same patty with cheese, mayo, salad, and plus or minus avocado. As I wasn't a fan of the veggie patty, I haven't tried this. It should be noted that their hashbrowns are also vegan if you are getting breakfast!

Burger King in the US made all sorts of waves when they introduced the Impossible Whopper. Hungry Jacks wasn't far behind, launching their Rebel Whopper. It is not the Impossible burger, the burger has been developed here in Australia. Yes, the buns are vegan. And because Hungry Jacks already has vegan mayo, that is not a problem to sub... and vegan cheese if you are getting the whopper with cheese.

What has made some people very angry, both here and in the US, is that it is cooked on the same grill as the regular burgers. I know in the US they will microwave it for you if you ask, that doesn't seem to be an option here. For me personally, cross contamination is gross, but it doesn't make the end product any less vegan. But of course there has been a very vocal group online saying that because of this it is not vegan, and if you eat it you are not vegan. And then the other group saying that it is too unhealthy and you shouldn't be eating this sort of food if you are a vegan. And can we just not with the pedantic gatekeeping please? People can make their own choices with this sort of thing. If it is not for you, then it is not for you. If it is for you, then it is for you. Plus I think that seeing vegan friendly options in mainstream businesses is a very important tool in making vegans feel less isolated. Both in terms of living in places where maybe there aren't any fancy vegan options, but also just you can go and hang out with your friends and get something to eat with them. If you want to hear more about this, might I suggest checking out The Bearded Vegans podcast, they have some great episodes.

Anyway, there is my rant. So what did I decide? Yes, I tried it. For Science. And they were super upfront as I ordered telling me it was cooked on a shared surface. The way I ordered was a Rebel Whopper with Cheese, minus the cheese and the mayo, add vegan cheese and vegan mayo. That way it didn't cost me any extra! I also got a large chips to go with it, because for some reason the large was cheaper than the medium.

Rebel Whopper from Hungry Jacks

When it came I was happy to see it had been marked vegan on the wrapper!

Rebel Whopper from Hungry Jacks

And how was it? It was fine. The burger had a bit of a metallic taste, which I assume is the haem that everyone seems so desperate to have these days. Though it wasn't as meaty as the Beyond Burger. I have no idea what an Impossible Burger is like. The chips were a lot better this time too!

Rebel Whopper from Hungry Jacks

Would I get it again? Probably not, unless it was some sort of emergency road trip scenario. It was just fine. The shared cooking does squick me out a little. I know lots of places I eat out at that are not entirely vegan probably have some degree of shared surfaces, though most of the time I am not thinking about that. (Though I remember one time I ordered a vegan gozleme at a stall and they were cooking it and right next to it started cooking a big pile of dead cow for another customer and that was confronting.) But this is front and center in our minds. But that is my personal feeling, and doesn't make the burger any less vegan to me! As for any health concerns... seriously... I am not going to Hungry Jacks for a healthy meal. Vegan food has no obligation to be healthy, thank goodness!

Anyway, sorry for the essay on what was essentially a short post about burgers. But these are some of the fun things that we have to face as vegans, both from omnis and (sadly) sometimes other vegans. So if you are near a Hungry Jacks/Burger King and you have the Rebel/Impossible Whopper, enjoy it and let me know what you think!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

BunnyDee Pet Pins

I posted some of my cute Bunny Dee prints a while ago, and I continue to be totally obsessed with this wonderful cat loving artist. A while I go I commissioned some custom pet pins, one for each of my girls! These are gorgeous wearable works of art. I'll be showing off a closer look at each of them in coming blog posts.


  1. The vegan police drive me insane! Cross contamination grosses me out too, but I agree with you, the end product is still vegan and it's just a personal choice.
    Last year I tried the beyond burger lettuce wrap thing from Carl's Jr. and while I was eating it and liking it, I couldn't help thinking about the meat grease that had to be in my burger.
    But I've also worked in so many restaurants that I prefer to not eat out for so many reasons and things I know and have seen.
    But it is fun and wild to be able to order fast food as a vegan!
    I love the pins so much!!!!!

    1. Most of the time I tend to eat out at vegan only places, but I know that is a priviledged position to be able to say that. Thanks to where I live.
      But my heart definitely gives a little jump seeing all the vegan food popping up at places you wouldn't expect. It is almost becoming more common than not to be able to find a vegan options at chain restaurants here, I think.

  2. Replies
    1. I love ranty comments! Thanks for reading my ranty post.

  3. I'm glad you went ahead and gave it a try despite all the negativity you observed. And yay for the chips being better than they were before! I still haven't gotten around to trying the Impossible Whopper yet, but I'm sure I will eventually!
    Those pins are absolutely beautiful!

  4. I completely agree with your perspective - let's avoid the gatekeeping and let people make their own decisions about the boundaries that work for them.

    Thanks for the review of these burgers! You've confirmed my instinct that these probably aren't for me, except for a no-other-options scenario. I am more interested in the Dominos pizzas based on your other post. :)