Fat Hippo Underground has always been one of our favourite burger joints in the Toon. With many competitors vying to be the best patty in recent years, they have managed to retain their crown. As a vegan visiting Fat Hippo it is a different sort of experience, and it wasn’t easy to get a decent feed. A vegetarian and vegan menu was introduced a little while ago, which means those who are meat free have a clear understanding of what’s available to them.
The Teen still eats meat, so he was especially looking forward to visiting. He worked out it had been around 6 months since his last ‘proper’ burger, which meant he was pulling out all the stops when ordering. It made me feel a little uneasy, it has to be said, but you have to get used to challenges like this as a vegan. Although we popped by on a weekday lunchtime, he was adamant he wanted something from the standard menu. Now he’s started going to the gym he has an even larger appetite. Pity me please!
The Fast Hippo menu is very good value at just £6 for a burger and chips. There is a veggie option available on this deal too, which was great to see.
He ordered the Fat Hippo (£10.90), a double 4oz patty topped with streaky bacon, chorizo, cheese, onion rings and their famous sauce. He was salivating when it arrived and was very vocal in his praise of the moist beef. He said it was one of the best burgers he’d tasted and savoured every morsel. He even turned down cheesecake as he wanted to ‘keep the flavour’ in his mouth.
I took along my own vegan cheese and mayo as I wanted to properly enjoy the experience of eating the veggie burger. Too often they can be dry and heavy. Violife’s Mozzarella Style Slices were my go-to, and they worked well melted onto the Spicy Bean (£8.50) patty.
I’m pleased Fat Hippo are offering vegan-friendly buns consistently, which was something I whinged about in the past. I still don’t get this obsession with brioche! The sweet chilli sauce really brings out the flavour of the vegetables in the burger, although some might find it piquant if not used to heat.
There were no vegan options for dessert but, to be honest, I couldn’t have managed anyway. It would be great to see dairy and egg-free alternatives on offer in Fat Hippo and it would set them apart from other burger joints in Newcastle. Having vegan cheese and mayo really elevated my experience of dining here and I hope one day I don’t have to carry ingredients round in my handbag! Everywhere seems to offer a veggie burger to vegans and it gets a bit boring. This was anything but.
Thanks for reading,