REVIEW: I tried Whole Foods’ viral sandwich

Whole Foods' answer to "But what about bacon?" is the TTLA: a vegan BLT, made with tempeh bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and vegan garlic aioli. 

And it’s also, according to some, a life-changer. 

The sandwich went viral after actress Tabitha Brown posted a video of herself literally singing its praises to Facebook in January.

“Honey, I’m looking around and stuff look different. That’s how good it is,” Brown says in the video, which has since been viewed nearly 1.5 million times. Brown’s impromptu review sparked the #TTLA challenge, where people similarly share their reactions after trying the sandwich on social media.

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According to several sources, the video reportedly spurred Whole Foods to up its supply of tempeh bacon. 

When I bought my TTLA at Whole Foods’ North Lamar flagship, around 3 p.m. on a Tuesday, it was the last one. 

It was also okay. 

There was a strong fake-smoke smell coming from the sandwich before I even unwrapped it. And the smell translated into taste pretty seamlessly. It tasted like a good BLT, but instead of bacon flavor, liquid smoke. And instead of that pull you get when biting into a piece of bacon, no pull. Texture-wise the bacon was indistinguishable from the avocado. 

Most tempeh bacons are made by marinating strips of tempeh in smoke flavoring, which explains the strong smoke taste. It is also how Whole Foods suggests preparing its TTLA at home.

I think my favorite part was the bread.

My life is unchanged, but the $9 sandwich is a good meatless lunch option. 

If I got it again I would definitely not get it toasted, which browned the avocado and wilted the lettuce a little. I would also do as Brown so adamantly encouraged and “add a pickle.” 

That one’s on me. 

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