Eater, a leading online food publication, recently reviewed White Castle’s take on the Impossible Burger. Eater Chief Critic, Ryan Sutton, called it “one of America’s best fast-food burgers.” The vegan slider gained so much attention around the Eater office that it slid into the publication’s weekly podcast, “The Eater Upsell’s,” 5 Best Food Stories of April episode.
The Impossible Burger debuted in 140 White Castle locations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Chicago on April 12. In his commentary, Sutton referred to the patty as meat, explaining, “Meat, incidentally, is the right term here.” He continues to describe the burger: “The White Castle Impossible sliders are cooked well done, on the griddle. The searing process imparts them with a golden, caramelized, Maillard-style char. This 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 furthers that this “handsome char” of the Impossible slider is “unequaled by virtually any other fast-food burger save Shake Shack.”
On the podcast, Upsell hosts Daniel Geneen and Amanda Kludt interview Sutton about his somewhat surprising review. Sutton begins by explaining Impossible’s origin and nationwide distribution, saying, “The good people at Impossible Foods designed [the Impossible Burger] to taste precisely like a regular burger.” He also notes that this vegan patty differs from the common veggie burger, as its plant-based ingredients allow it to “bleed.” “You can have a medium rare veggie burger,” Sutton said. Although not new to restaurants, Sutton noted that the Impossible Burger has so far been restricted to the “By Chloe” and “SoulCycle” types, referring to the somewhat elite. The White Castle partnership marks a distinctive break from this demographic. “This is a vegetarian burger for the people,” Sutton remarked.
When asked “How is it?,” Sutton replied, “It’s delicious by fast-food standards.” Although he cautioned that the patty does not give off the same lingering “funk” as high-quality beef, he explained that it is a far better alternative to fast-food burgers. “What it mimics very expertly is the umami nature of real meat. It tastes savory and it makes you salivate and it has that beautiful Maillard char.” He concluded, “At a [fast-food restaurant], I think the Impossible Burger actually works better than commodity beef.”
Host Kludt chimed in, asking, “So you could see this at a McDonald’s or an In-N-Out or chains like that across the country?”
“100%,” Sutton affirmed.
Image Credit: White Castle