4 October, 2022, 16:29

Plant-based “Beaut Burger” now open at MSA Annex

Beaut Burgers features a 100% vegan menu with a down-to-earth approach

With the recently-opened Westbound and brand-new Beaut Burger, the MSA Annex is bound to become one of Tucson’s most popular destinations.

The plant-based burger joint features a 100% vegan menu with a down-to-earth approach. The project was four years in the making, said Kerry Lane,
Beaut Burger owner and co-founder.

“My background is in macrobiotics and raw veganism, which are both fantastic for their own reasons, but I wanted Beaut to feel familiar and approachable to people,” Lane said. “I wanted to create a restaurant that was light-hearted and fun, like a picnic. There’s a reason we have Miller High Life, Coca-Cola, and French fries on the menu. I’m doing my best to make a bridge between fast food and animal-free eating.”

The recently trending Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger patties attempt to duplicate beef as closely as possible down to a pink center. However, Beaut’s house-made patty embraces the vegetable origins.

“It’s got a very long ingredient list,” said Ari Shapiro, partner and co-founder at Beaut Burger. “Just pure grains and vegetables, there’s no soy. It’s gluten-free. A lot of spices and herbs. It’s a very labor-intensive process.”

Condiment station and seating at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Condiment station and seating at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

However, eaters will still have the nostalgia and experience of eating a burger.

“I wanted the patty to feel rich, satiating, and crumbly like ground beef,” Lane said.

The bun is a house-made slow-fermented English muffin, available gluten-free for $2 more. They’re cooked on the griddle as well, with the flat shape helping provide a uniform toast. The inside is a bit softer and moister than a conventional English muffin.

While the burger menu offers traditional toppings, it also features unique toppings such as pickled poblano, tamarind chutney, house-made mozzarella, and the spicy Yemenite condiment zhoug.

The Bay Cakes are Beaut’s vegetable-based take on crab cakes, served on Merchant’s Garden romaine with tartar sauce and radish sauces.

Both fries and sweet potato fries are properly executed with a crisp exterior and fluffy interior. Other sides are cold and fit more within the picnic theme — potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, dill pickle, veggies with Native Seeds/SEARCH Vaquero beans, and grape pecan parfait with ambrosia.

B8 and B4 burgers, coleslaw, fresh herb sweet potato fries, veggies, and regular fries at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

B8 and B4 burgers, coleslaw, fresh herb sweet potato fries, veggies, and regular fries at Beaut Burger (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Desserts are based on what Lane grew up eating in Iowa and Nebraska: “Jell-O with whipped cream, Rice Krispies, and fruit crumbles based on whatever fruit is in season.”

Beverage options include homemade limemade, iced tea, soda, beer, and wine.

Beaut Burger Menu Highlights

  • B2 – cheddar cheeze, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, pickle ($6)
  • B4 – griddled mushrooms & onions, Swiss cheeze, mayo ($6.50)
  • B5 – zhoug, ranch, cucumber, tomato, lettuce ($7)
  • B7 – peanut butter, tamarind chutney ($7)
  • B8 – frizzled onions, pickled poblano, smoked tomato aioli ($7.50)
  • B9 – marinated eggplant, house-made mozzarella ($7.50)
  • Bay Cakes – on Merchant’s Garden romaine with tartar & radish sauces ($8.75)
  • Fries – hand-cut Russet or sweet potato (regular, spicy, fresh herb) ($2.50/$4)
  • D – Veggies with Native Seeds Vaquero Beans ($4)
  • Homemade Limeade ($1.50/$2.25)
  • Scotcheroos – Rice Krispies Treat with chocolate topping

Operating hours are 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily.

Beaut Burger is located at the MSA Annex at 267 S. Avenida del Convento. Keep up with Beaut Burger on Instagram. For more information, visit beautburger.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.