The Vegan Big Mac That Left Me Questioning Reality
Does it make me a “bad vegan” to say I miss fast food sometimes? Because I do.
I spent many 1990s childhood afternoons at the local McDonald’s playplace. As I got older and graduated from Happy Meals, the Big Mac became one of my favorite sandwiches. It came second only to the Big ’n Tasty, which also possessed the Special Sauce that everyone knows is really thousand island dressing.
You know what I really miss about fast food, though? The slim buns and patties. They’re typically in a perfect 1:1 thickness ratio, balancing each other out in flavor while allowing someone with a small mouth (me) to get a full bite without letting the sandwich contents slip out the sides. I hate an overly thick bun or patty. I like my shit even. It’s hard to find that in any other setting.
A while ago, I heard via Instagram that there existed a vegan Big Mac. I needed to experience it. And that’s how I ended up eating a vegan Big Mac alone in the corner of Doomie’s Home Cookin’ in LA.
Doomie’s is located in a strip mall in Hollywood. It’s been there since 2008. In addition to the famed Big Mac, they serve items like chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, and jalapeño poppers. Obviously a departure from the more health-conscious vegan scene.
I made my pilgrimage to Doomie’s one afternoon after visiting the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. After I sat down, the time came to order my sandwich. The Big Mac is on the secret menu, so you have to ask for it by name. I’m thinking this is because they can’t actually print “Big Mac” on the official menu for fear of copyright infringement. All of Doomie’s’ burgers come with fries. You can upgrade to fun time fries for $3, but I stuck with the no-fun fries and later doused them with hot sauce.
The burger came quickly, and it was impressive. It had all the qualities of the original Big Mac: shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped onions, pickles, special sauce, and melted yellow cheese (American? Cheddar? Who cares). Even the buns were exactly like the original. Where do restaurants get these buns from, anyway? I’ve never seen them at the grocery store. What’s the source? What’s their bun plug? I am so interested in this and about five seconds away from launching a formal investigation.
Upon first bite, the burger was remarkably similar to the original Big Mac. My head said it was wrong but my heart knew it was right. This was not a cow. This was a soy and wheat combination. Yet unlike the original Big Mac, it was far less greasy and did not leave me feeling like I was about to shit my pants. I did, however, feel happily full. I wanted to unbutton my shit-free pants and take a nap, but unfortunately that’s frowned upon in public.
I had a ton of fries left after finishing my burger, which brings me to my only grievance: Doomie’s needs milkshakes. And according to my server, a lot of people ask for them. I used to dip the remainder of my fries in a vanilla milkshake at McDonald’s and wanted so badly to recreate this scenario. Doomie’s, if you’re reading this, please strongly consider adding milkshakes to your menu.
Nonetheless, I sat finishing my hot sauce’d fries while Best Coast’s “Our Deal” played overhead. I left Doomie’s feeling like I had conquered a mountain or some sort of impressive physical challenge. After all, eating is considered a sport in some scenarios. I think this was one of them.