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Is It Sustainable to Eat Beef in 2020 During a Pandemic? L.A.’s Burgerlords Says No and Removes All Meat From Menu

9:00 AM PDT on July 16, 2020

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]f there's one thing you can count on in Los Angeles, it is to always have a wide variety of family-owned burger joints littering our fair city. From the Valley to the Westside and [real] Eastside of Los Angeles, somewhere within a few miles of those corporate burger options, there will also be a supply of mom and pop burger shops. 

Each with its own unique history, which brings us to Burgerlords and their decision made public today to go 100 percent vegan.  

Co-founders and brothers Frederick and Maximilian Guerrero have roots in L.A. burgers and fries. Being the sons of Andre Guerrero, owner of the much-beloved neighborhood institution The Oinkster in Eagle Rock, their love for the all-American meal goes way back. These roots in the burger were formed while working at The Oinkster for their dad. Sometime between flipping patties and making sure the fries were always crispy, the family started a Tumblr blog to post ideas for crazy burger recipes. 

They quickly found that their manic, crazy burger blog was gaining traction and a large following with the internet. Thinking nothing of it, Fred continued to update his blog on a weekly basis while also using it to promote his family’s restaurant. When the brothers left the business to go off on their own, they opened an art gallery in 2013. They quickly found themselves seeking a change of pace and while brainstorming for a sustainable business, Fred remembered the crazy burger blog which was aptly named “Burgerlords.” 

In 2015, with that blog idea as the catalyst for their next venture they went full steam ahead, a restaurant named Burgerlords. While the restaurant included both meat and vegan options, As a vegetarian since the age of eight. Fred was unabashedly more proud of his vegan burger made from vegetables, grains, and nuts. 

It is this deep-seated moral sense of ethical obligation that made him ask himself: Can he consciously keep serving meat-based burgers in a time when meat processing plants have been mistreating their workers? Along with the looming possibility of having to charge $15 for a burger since the cost of meat has been going up? Or, finally, was he finally going to go all-in on his dream of serving sustainable plant-produced food he himself loved to eat as a child. 

Frederick Guerrero. Photo by Asato Lida

When it came time to decide there was no question about it and he made his choice.

The new menu will debut today at both their Chinatown and Highland Park locations. It includes a new vegan chili cheeseburger and chili cheese fries made with their house vegetable chili. A new “Buffalo Ranch Tofu Burger” and a new spicy creation named the “Brainburner” will also be on deck, with a percentage of the sales from this burger will be donated to Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of community-based organizations that advocate for the rights and needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community in the greater Los Angeles area.

The new menu available today.

Watch the full L.A. Taco interview with Frederick Guerrero below.

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