Forbes Features Farm Burger Invasive Species Sandwich Launch

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By: Amy Barnes

Farm Burger Catfish Sandwich 

With plant-based burgers at the forefront of menu trends, Southern-based Farm Burger is bringing a new option to fast casual dining tables. Farm Burger has launched a Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish sandwich with the invasive species protein at its base. The farm-to-table fast casual restaurant’s invasive species option is guided not only by sustainability but also a cultural background.

“Farm Burger carries the Impossible Burger in all 11 locations nationwide as a plant-based meat alternative for customers. We had been looking to incorporate seafood onto the menu for a while and wanted to craft a sandwich that would fit well with our menu and match our sustainable ethos. As we learned more about the Blue Catfish and the environmental issues associated with it, it seemed to meet all of our criteria: tasty, sustainable and thought-provoking,” said Farm Burger Executive Chef Cameron Thompson.

The Farm Burger Catfish Sandwich doesn’t just serve up the Chesapeake Bay invasive species. It pays homage to the culture of the area with chef-chosen toppings of Farm Burger slaw, house-made pickled jalapeños and a side of fries seasoned with Old Bay. With a nod to Fish Fridays during Lent, the  new sandwich will be available at Farm Burger locations beginning March 5th. 

“Crispy catfish and slaw, to me, is a classic combination like peanut butter and jelly. The slaw is tossed in our signature FB sauce to add some Farm Burger flair to a classic pairing. We’re rounding out the meal with Old Bay fries as a tribute to the Chesapeake region,” said Thompson.

Founded in 2010, Farm Burger is known as a “better burger” restaurant group committed to a sustainable food future through ethical eating. Founded in Atlanta by farmer/rancher Jason Mann and restaurateur George Frangos in 2010, FB Burger has ranked in Food & Wine’s Best Burgers in the US. At its locations nationwide, Farm Burger already focused on crafting 100 percent grass-fed, grass-finished beef burgers, dry-aged and ground fresh, as well as other menu items made with local and sustainably-sourced ingredients. Introducing an invasive species was an easy choice for the culinary team.

Farm Burger Blue Catfish Sandwich and Old Bay Fries

In 2018, Farm Burger earned a spot on Good Food 100 Restaurants for their work promoting good food and sustainable food systems. Bringing an invasive species option to fast casual was the perfect match for continuing that work. Choosing Blue Catfish as the invasive species to add to their menu was a well-thought out process for Farm Burger. Though Farm Burger currently has no further plans to expand their invasive species menu options, other potential options include Lionfish, Asian Carp, Blue Catfish, Rusty Crayfish and Wild Boar.

“Trying to find a fish species that wasn’t threatened was a little bit more difficult than we expected. Farm Burger co-founder George Frangos is from the Chesapeake Bay area and was familiar with what was happening with the Blue Catfish from some fishmonger friends. We liked the idea that we could help with the invasive species problem—and that it is a wild-caught fish rather than farm-raised. It dove-tailed nicely with what we stand for,” said Thompson.

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