We’d opined on the Bill Gates-backed Los Angeles company’s original product, the Chicken-Free Strips, a couple years back, essentially stating that we thought they were pretty convincing and a great alternative to have on the market, but not something that we really saw ourselves seeking out much. These sliders, though—they are right up our alley.
As Shape magazine put it recently in an article titled “Beyond Meat’s High-Protein Veggie Burger Is the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Vegans”: “A burger that packs more protein and iron than beef, more omegas than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, plus tons of calcium and a whole slew of vitamins—oh, and did we mention the burger is completely vegan and soy-free? It sounds too good to be true!”
We’re here to tell you they taste too good to be true too. We prepared a bunch of them for this year’s Oscar party (the less controversial than its namesake American Slider), populated by mostly non-vegan friends, and they were the culinary hit of the party, with more than a few people remarking on their convincingly realistic meatiness.
Beyond Meat first debuted the sliders’ big brother, the Beat Burger, at a New York Mets pre-game event, touting the burgers’ whopping 23 grams of protein and other nutrients needed by athletes but sometimes hard-to-find in other plant-based foods. Which is great, obviously. But the main thing that keeps us coming back to these is how fucking good they are. Hands-down the best off-the-shelf vegan burger we’ve ever tasted.
We usually cook these stovetop with a little sesame oil, which adds to the smokiness of the flavor, but we’re excited to hit proper grilling season with these too. Discerning health foods stores and Whole Foods are your best bet for carrying these, but check the product filter on Beyond Meat’s store locator—as of writing, the Beast Burgers are nation-wide, but the sliders are select areas only. Whole Foods also offers a bagged vegan split wheat roll that has on the packaging “Great for sliders!” or something along those lines. Add your favorite vegan mayo and vegan American-style cheese slices (a la Chao or Follow Your Heart) and you’ve got zero reasons to eat red meat ever again.
Edit: A note from Beyond Meat after publication:
“Hi Troy. Thank you for reaching out to us and for the positive review! After a super successful launch, we are making some minor labeling and supply-chain changes during which the Beast is on a brief hiatus. We are currently in full Beast mode preparing for a much larger national launch as grilling season approaches, with the Beast returning to shelves by the end of April. Thank you for your patience!”
Beast mode, returning soon!