Burger UP Marathon Burger is Not Vegan

September 8th, 2012 by NashVeggie Leave a reply »

Burger Up Marathoon Burger Vegan Vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa

A little disconcerting news to those who are looking for a vegan veggie burger in Nashville, it has been brought to my attention by employees of the restaurant that the black bean and quinoa burger lauded by many at Burger UP, otherwise known as the Marathon Burger is NOT vegan or vegetarian. One of the ingredients used is their made-in-house ketchup which contains standard Worcestershire sauce that has anchovies. This Worcestershire sauce is also used in the ketchup they serve to dip those fries in it as well. The ketchup isn’t just served on top of the Marathon Burger, it is IN the burger so asking to leave it off it isn’t so simple.  Though the Marathon Burger is not listed as vegan or vegetarian on their menu many have inquired about it and told it is while it has garnered many reviews in local publications as suitable for vegans and vegetarians without any correction. Adding egg is a common move by restaurants when making veggie burgers and vegans know to ask about that in advance but adding a non-vegetarian ingredient such as standard Worcestershire just makes no sense whatsoever as you’ve just relegated the burger to the same as your animal meat sandwiches without so much as a mention to this on the menu. Listing those ingredients on the menu would go a long way.


Hopefully, we can urge Burger Up to make a change.


UPDATE: I’ve been told that the Marathon Burger also has panko bread crumbs which, in this case, contain egg. While those would be vegetarian they are of course not vegan.

UPDATE: Speaking with the owner lends the news that Burger Up is working to revise their Marathon Burger recipe with a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. This is great news.



  1. Jennifer Stevens says:

    WOW! Thanks for letting us know. I have had this in the past and am very disappointed. Wish my server had known more about the ingredients and could have told me. Hopefully we can get this changed but it does concern me that I was lied to in the past.

  2. Sarah says:

    It is also true , yet not advertised that the burgers are not grass finished . Seems that burger up is not entirely forthcoming about their ingredients.

  3. Anny says:

    BurgerUp just posted this to twiiter:

    Thank you. We are on it! Never claimed vegan. Veg, yes.

    So not true, every time I’ve eaten there I’ve asked if the Marathon was vegan and they’ve said YES! Ugh. No wonder it always made me feel sick.

  4. Steve Lyman says:

    It has been (passively) brought to my attention that the picture you include in this post is not the dubious Marathod Burger from Burger Up. It appears that the photo is from Frothy Monkey, not Burger Up. Hard to tell, it may be a quinoa patty, but the photo is useless. This relegates your post to the same journalistic value as a tabloid, useless. Unattributed quotes, misleading picture…come on. If you’re going to rake a thoughtful, well meaning, locally sourced restaurant over the coals for what amounts to less than microscopic levels of anchovy in a burger that is not even marketed as vegan, then at least get the picture correct.

    And while we’re at it… Why is it that the entire world must bend to your wants and wishes? When I walk into the Wild Cow, I don’t ask them to supply me with meat options. Why then would you expect a burger restaurant to cater to your very narrow dietary desires?

    I respect your right to exclude whatever proteins you choose for your diet. Key word being choose. Burger Up has responded, graciously I would say and unnecessarily, to your extortive demands.

    In the end we’re talking about about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, which contains a minuscule amount of anchovy, in a catsup recipe that in turn makes up a minuscule part of a larger burger recipe. We’re talking microscopic amounts of fish juice. That does not, in any way, render the Marathon Burger identical to, “…animal meat sandwiches.”

    That kind of “reduce it to the absurd” argument significantly lessens your credibility.

    • NashVeggie says:

      Here’s the deal “Steve”, if that’s your real name. I know a lot of Steves. That “Steve” looks much like Steve from Portland, Oregon that works at Stumptown Coffee so I’m not sure you should be using that name.

      It comes down to being TOLD it was vegan then being served something NOT vegan. Simple as that. If we were told it was not vegan then it would not be an issue. We would go along our way. Simple. So before you come in here “Steve” get your ducks in a row.

      I asked as well as did many others and we were told that the Marathon Burger was, in fact, vegan. It goes no further than that. It sounds no more than you being a plant for the restaurant. You sound petty. I’m sure this matters little to other customers of Burger Up. Either they will revise or they won’t. If they don’t, the vegans who once ate the burger will no longer. If they do then vegans will once again visit and dine. Either way, Burger Up will continue to thrive, so do not worry “Steve”.

      “Extortive demands” Where did I make any type of demand? Extoritve? Reading comprehension, “Steve”.
      Also, that picture is the burger from Burger UP as they were prepping to open on 12 South. I did a review for it which you would know if you bothered to follow links and read, which you didn’t but hey, what am I supposed to expect from someone who fakes a name, right?

      In the end, before you decide to come here and “rake me over the coals” for what appears to be something you know little about get some facts regarding vegans, what they eat and more than passive hearsay.

      Oh, and “Steve”: Thank you so much for the visit and reply. Have a fantastic day!

Leave a Reply to Anny