Where’s the Beef? South Florida’s first ‘meat-free deli’ opening in early 2017

(WSVN) - Meat eaters and vegetarians don’t always see “stomach to stomach” when it comes to food choices, but one South Florida business is trying to satisfy everyone. 7’s Belkys Nerey gives us a taste in our special assignment report “Where’s The Beef?”

In a classic 1984 commercial you can find on YouTube, the fast food chain Wendy’s poked fun at its competitors.

Wendy’s commercial on YouTube: “Where’s the beef?”

Thirty-two years later, “Where’s the beef?” is also a juicy question for Ryan Bauhaus.

His burgers contain no beef. His cheese is dairy free.

Ryan Bauhaus, Atlas Meat-Free Deli: “We use clean grains and we use fresh produce. It’s really simple.”

Bauhaus is the co-founder of Atlas Meat-Free Delicatessen. He stopped eating meat completely four years ago.

Ryan Bauhaus: “A lot of people have their own reasons, whether it’s environmental, animal advocacy, health issues.”

Ryan Bauhaus
Ryan Bauhaus

But since he still craves meat, he’s now trying to mimic the real thing, from the taste to the texture, to the look.

Ryan Bauhaus: “When you go to a gourmet burger restaurant, and it’s piled high with toppings and it’s saucy, and it just doesn’t even look like it should be good for you, that’s what we’re really striving for. That burger/beer aesthetic.”

About eight million adults in the U.S. are vegetarian, who don’t eat beef, poultry or fish, and vegans, who eliminate eggs and dairy products as well.

All can enjoy this mozzarella.

Ryan Bauhaus: “People use it on their pizza, melts great.”

Some of the Atlas Deli menu items include the Rachel On Rye — vegan pastrami and cheese topped with sauerkraut.

Ryan Bauhaus: “We smoke it for four hours, in a smoker. As you can see, it melts nice, doesn’t turn to an oily mess.”

And there’s the Italian Sausage Marinara.

Ryan Bauhaus: “Which contains sun-dried tomato, roasted fennel, fennel seed. It browns nice. A little bit of the parm.”

But enough cooking! We wanted to put Bauhaus’ burgers to a taste test, so we hit the beach. His daughter tagged along.

Man: “What kind of burgers are they? Ostrich burgers?”

Brenda Martins: “Like a sweet barbecue taste?”

Producer: “How’s the meat?”

Brenda Martins: “The meat is awesome!

Producer: “What if I told you there was no meat?”

Brenda Martins: “Are you serious?”

The Wheat Burger got Brenda from Oregon.

Brenda Martins: “I am a meat-eater, and this fooled me. The texture of the meat is just like hamburger. I mean, this is just — it’s unreal.”

But others figured it out.

Michele O’Brien: “It doesn’t look like meat, but it’s very tasty. I’ve had veggie burgers before that stunk.”

Trent Kilian: “I was never really a fan of veggie burgers. To be honest, I thought it was a burger lying about being a burger, but this is good.”

Terry Greenburg: “I know the difference, because I’ve eaten a lot of veggie burgers. But this is one of the best ones I’ve had.”

And Bauhaus is hoping they will be the best in February, when he competes at the famed Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

It’s the first time the festival has invited a contestant to compete with a vegan burger.

Ryan Bauhaus: “I’m ready.”

Right now, Atlas serves up its food on weekends at a stand in the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, and also sells its products to local restaurants. By March, Bauhaus says they will open South Florida’s first meat-free deli in Miami.

Atlas Meat-Free Deli
1940 N. 30th Rd
Hollywood, FL 33021
(305) 323-6661

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