Well, the “impossible” has happened. Earlier this week, White Castle announced that it would be getting in on the plant-based burger trend by selling Impossible Sliders at 140 White Castle locations in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago. So, our intrepid copy editor volunteered to stop at a White Castle in Brooklyn on his way to work to pick up some of these $1.99-a-piece bite-sized sliders to see how they tasted.
Our staff was already a little reluctant going into this taste test. Half of the room was skeptical of vegetarian burgers and half of the room was hesitant of White Castle as a whole. Nevertheless, we dove in to our 12-pack of Impossible Sliders. You know, for science. We also had a few classic White Castle beef sliders for comparison.
The burgers themselves actually looked more like cheeseburgers than the real beef sliders did. There was a solid amount of “meat” between each bun. “It looks a lot like a fast food burger,” one editor remarked. “Like, if someone didn’t tell me it was meatless I might not know.” Meanwhile, the original slider looked a bit sad, more like a slice of Steak-umm than a burger.
So the Impossible Slider looked appetizing, but did it taste OK? As was to be expected, reactions were mixed. One staunchly anti-fake-meat editor just noped right out of the taste test. “I will not eat that again. Ever. It was weird and uncomfortable,” she said. “It does not replace a burger and all it did was make me crave a burger.” It was also noted that the Impossible Sliders from our White Castle in Bushwick, Brooklyn, were cooked all the way through and thus did not “bleed” the way the marketing of the Impossible Burger promises.
Other editors enjoyed the taste. The Impossible Slider was smoky, hearty, and had a texture that really did mimic that of ground beef — if you don’t think about it too hard. “If a meatless burger can be well done, this is well done,” one taster commented.
The two non-meat eaters on staff felt this was a great budget-friendly replacement for the more expensive options, like those at Momofuku Nishi. “I thought it was a fast-food quality veggie burger. I would get this as an alternative to beef if I was forced to eat at White Castle because what other meatless options are there?” one vegetarian editor remarked. “The one thing I miss about McDonald’s is the burgers, just for the soft bun, American cheese, and tiny pickles. This had those elements without the standard puck of frozen beef.”
So overall, what did we think? It’s definitely worth a shot. Honestly, this burger really could fool a meat eater and satiate any meat cravings vegetarians may have. As options like these become more and more mainstream, you can expect to see the Impossible Burger in budget-friendly forms at White Castle and beyond, and it may just be one of the new burgers that everyone is talking about.