By now you’ve probably noticed your favourite burger joint’s menu getting more crowded than ever before, whether on the small billboard behind the cashier or on your food delivery app, forcing you to endlessly scroll looking for your usual.
So what’s hogging up all the space? Well, it’s not to introduce yet another cheeseburger with some onion rings on it. Rather, it’s to make room for plant-based options.
According to Fortune Magazine, plant-based menus are slowly taking over the biggest names in fast food.
With that, the team at 6ixBuzz wanted in on this trend and see what the hype was all about. So, we tested this theory on a Canadian burger powerhouse, A&W.
A&W is Canada’s first hamburger fast-food chain and began operating in Winnipeg back in 1956. Today, it is reportedly the second-largest hamburger restaurant chain in the True North.
We tapped into their well-known Beyond Meat Burger that launched in 2018 and their newbie (re-invented) Beyond Meat Nuggets, which launched on Monday and are only here for a limited amount of time nationwide.
So, is it a hit or a miss and truly worth the hype? Let’s find out.
Beyond Meat Nuggets First Impressions
First impressions are everything and food is no exception.
When I first saw the nuggets I was immediately surprised by how good they looked, to be honest. I didn’t have to bite into it yet to know it was crispy, I could just tell.
The smell was also pleasant. I didn’t expect it to smell like my plants in the background of the picture, but I also didn’t think it would smell, well, good.
My only concern was the size of the nuggets and the quantity. Although for a girl like me, this would easily make me full, to someone else, this might have been more on the smaller size.
As for the fried potatoes? We’ll skip that. A&W’s fries are always top-tier. Next.
Just as I previously expected, it was crispy, very crispy. Either I got the best batch of the day or this is the norm for this brand. Sorry, I’m still thinking about the fries as I write this.
I’m not much of a foodie, but one thing I always critique is the crunch. It’s literally an art. I can say that I was really happy that the nuggets weren’t too crunchy or not crunchy enough. It met somewhere in the middle, but closer to the latter.
Despite it tasting more like meat when compared to other nuggets I’ve tried, if you dipped it in sauce fast enough, you still could tell it wasn’t meat when looking at it after the first bite. It looked a bit grainy indicating that it could be plant-based. However, the exterior really does save the day and leaves you wondering.
I have to say that the nuggets surprised me. I knew I would be able to eat them and feel good about being environmentally friendly, but a meat-eater like myself knows that it’s hard to shake off the reality that it’s plant-based and not the “real deal.”
But in this case, it could have fooled me. It looked delicious and ready to eat when the time came. More importantly, it tasted great.
This was an easy hit and I would say kinda worth all the hype it’s been getting online.
Would I order this on a regular? Honestly, I would. Sadly, it’s only here for a limited time. We had good times ol’ friend.
Beyond Meat Burger First Impressions
As someone who usually heads towards the meat aisle in a buffet, I’m somewhat a bit apprehensive to try any restaurant’s plant-based menu items for full disclosure.
So, when my editor asked me to try the plant-based burger, since she’s already tried it before and was gonna review the nuggets instead, I took one for the team.
After a jog around my neighbourhood I was greeted with an enclosed A&W bag perched on my kitchen counter. My dad told me it had been delivered and set on the bench in front of our house while I was out.
By first looking at the burger, I could tell it was juicy and fresh for sure, but I didn’t hold my breathe because I knew the taste would probably be weird.
Y’all, I nearly fainted. It tasted like meat.
When I tell you my newfound vegetarian life flashed before my eyes! I’m joking. I still love meat.
I held the burger to get a closer look for further inspection. Clinging to the patty was a crispy bright green lettuce, savoury sliced tomatoes, sweet succulent pickles, fresh red onions and just the right amount of mayo, ketchup and mustard to give the burger that extra kick.
The sesame buns that held the patty and fillings together were soft and easy to bite down on. One thing worth mentioning as well is that the buns held their composure and remained intact. Hallelujah.
Usually, some burger buns tend to get a bit soggy and fall apart within the first few bites because of the number of toppings in between them. It was nice not having that scenario play out with this burger.
Amid my disbelief, I reckoned I should also try the patty by itself, just in case the toppings were masking its real flavour which I suspected.
But, even after trying the patty alone, for the most part, it still had the flavour of a regular meat patty. I could slightly tell the patty was not real meat because of its aftertaste, but again, the ingredients that made it a plant-based patty were very faint on my taste buds.
In fact, if I were to try the burger blindfolded, I would not be able to tell it was plant-based.
Being the curious cat that I am, I decided to do a bit of digging to possibly figure out why the meat patty almost tasted like a regular hamburger.
I was able to find out from A&W’s Beyond Meat Burger page that the burgers are cooked on the same grill as the bacon, eggs and other meat burgers.
This might be a contributing factor to why the patty hardly tastes like it’s plant-based, and something I thought I’d mention in case those who don’t eat meat because of their beliefs and practices were considering trying this burger.
My dad asked me if I would order this exact burger after I finished munching it down, and I said yes.
Everything was fresh, crispy and overall delicious. As a meat lover, I truly had no complaints.
The burger had my mouth watering before I even took a bite, and I can honestly say it tastes like a regular patty you would get at A&W or any fast food joint for that matter.