White Castle released the Impossible Slider on Thursday at all Chicago locations. The burger is made with the plant based patty popularly known as the veggie burger that bleeds, so we tried it for our taste test series.
I recruited fellow Tribune Food & Dining reporter Nick Kindelsperger, who tasted nearly 20 veggie burgers total in his quest to find the best a few months ago.
“I tried more veggie burgers in Chicago than any person need try,” he said. “The one that I loved was the Impossible Burger which tasted remarkably like beef.” His favorite can be found at Umami Burger, but there the double cheeseburger rings up at a heart-stopping $16.
The Impossible Slider is priced at $1.99 each, while an Original Slider is 77 cents. But the former is not meant to be a vegetarian version of the latter. The Impossible patty is thicker, weighing about 4 ounces before cooking, roughly the same as a triple slider, sprinkled with seasoned salt, then served with smoked cheddar, fire roasted onions, and a specialty bun, slightly heartier yet similar to the signature soft, white bread of the classic. Only the sliced pickles remain the same.
So how does the Impossible Slider taste? “It’s pretty good,” said Kindelsperger. “Look at the char it gets.” In fact we both gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
But what is it? “The product is made mostly of wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and an ingredient called heme,” wrote Kindelsperger in his veggie burger story. “That last ingredient is abundant in meat, and researchers at the company, Impossible Foods, concluded that it helped give meat its unique taste. Heme exists in plants, albeit in extremely small doses, but the company figured out how to capture vast sums in soy plant roots.”
Each Impossible Slider patty is hand formed in store, with an ice cream scoop, then cooked to order. At the Irving Park neighborhood location, a manager recommended ordering by phone or online for faster service. The specialty sliders will be available for an undisclosed limited time while supplies last in Chicagoland, New York and New Jersey only.