|NextLevel Burger's "All American Burger"|
It's no secret that for the most part, Americans LOVE their fast food. And also for the most part, the nature of what constitutes "fast food" means that vegans generally don't have much to do with it. I do understand some of the appeal when it comes to convenience and accessibility--sometimes you want to just be able to grab something and go, especially after a long day of work, or when you are in a hurry, or if you are on the road and don't have much time to stop and eat.
|Breakfast Benny with Tempeh Bacon|
My husband Doug and I used to joke about our "dream" vegan "fast food" restaurant. We talked about what menu items we would include and we wished there was such a thing here in Bellingham. We have often wondered: shouldn't there be a way to have plant-based "fast" foods that not only taste good but ARE good?
|Rich and creamy delicious non-dairy vanilla shake|
Then this past summer, we visited the incredibly vegan-friendly city of Bend, Oregon,
and discovered Next Level Burger
, where we fell in love with our "dream" vegan fast food restaurant in real life. Over the next few days of our visit to Bend, we ate there several times, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
|Breakfast Bowl with Tempeh Sausage|
Next Level Burger is revolutionizing "fast food" by offering meals made from 100% plant-based, non-GMO, organic ingredients. Not only that, they have incorporated using up-cycled, reusable environmentally friendly design elements
into the construction and design of the restaurant, in addition to recycling and composting their food and container waste. I am a HUGE
fan of this place and would love it if they ever decided to open up an NLB here in Bellingham! A girl can dream, right?
|Tasty tater tots with fantastic house-made ketchup|
They do have it on their schedule to open up another NLB in Portland this fall, so who knows, we may start to see these places pop up across the country! As more and more people turn to meatless, plant-based foods out of concern for animals, the environment, and our own health, having options that are easy and tasty can help people make the transition from a traditional mainstream "American" diet to one that is filled with wonderful vegan options that may surprise even the most die-hard-fast-food-loving omnivore! For the time being, you will have to take my word for it. But if you happen to get to Bend, (or eventually Portland!) you should definitely check out Next Level Burger.