Iconic Fast-Food Drive-In Mel’s Adds Vegan Impossible Burger to Santa Monica Menu

California drive-thru chain Mel’s Drive-In is set to open a brand new restaurant in Santa Monica. The new location will serve Impossible Foods’ meaty “bleeding” vegan burger.

According to Colton Weiss, the grandson of Mel himself and co-owner of the company, the menu was created to satisfy everybody’s tastes. “We have all kinds of options for everybody,” he told Santa Monica Daily Press. “We have breakfast all-day, every-day and we have reasonable prices.”

The new restaurant will open at the end of July, at the end of the iconic highway Route 66. “It’s a huge deal to not only us, but to the Route 66 car clubs and society,” he said, adding that he’s excited to serve customers who have completed a cross-country road trip along the route. “It’s so cool to have that on top of everything else, it’s going to be big,” he noted.

Mel’s is not the first chain to add the plant-based Impossible Burger to its menu. East coast fast-food company White Castle began serving Impossible sliders back in April, gaining positive feedback from consumers. Major food critic Ryan Sutton even labeled the burger as one of America’s best when it comes to fast-food. “Meat incidentally is the right term here,” he stated. “The White Castle Impossible sliders are cooked well done, on the griddle.” 

Sutton continued that compared with the traditional White Castle beef slider, the Impossible Burger is superior. “[The Impossible Burger] stands in stark contrast to the chain’s standard slider, where a paper-thin beef patty, plagued by a sickly gray hue, looks like someone shaved the wrong end of a cow over a mandoline and microwaved the result,” he noted.

Since its launch with the chain, the Impossible Burger has performed well, with restaurants serving around three hundred of the sliders a day. “We’re seeing encouraging signs that this is a good idea that has a lot of potential,” said White Castle VP Jamie Richardson to Forbes.

Across the US, people are becoming more open to purchasing and consuming plant-based products. One February study revealed that more than fifty percent of Americans actually prefer the taste of vegan protein to animal protein.

Image Credit: Mel’s Drive-In