White Castle Becomes First Fast Food Chain to Serve Plant-Based Impossible Burger

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The so-called "bleeding" veggie burger is bleedin' everywhere these days.

When I wrote about my local gastro-pub/grass-fed burger joint serving the plant-based Impossible Burger, I kind of assumed we'd be seeing a broader roll out in the not too distant future. And given that McDonalds is serving vegan burgers and Sonic is going the part-beef, part-mushroom route, I figured it wouldn't be too long before a major fast food chain started doing, ahem, the Impossible.

And now we've reached that point. Specifically, White Castle—home of the original slider—is aiming to lure vegetarians and flexitarians alike with a slider made from Impossible Foods' burger mix. According to Grub Street, the initial launch covers 140 restaurants around New York, New Jersey and Chicago, but I wouldn't be shocked to see it spread further from there.

White Castle is certainly going all out on promotion, if the launch party is anything to go by. Hannah Goldfield of the New Yorker reports that the party featured Quest Love spinning tunes, and it gave her an opportunity to try the slider itself. Her response hints at why I myself find such developments encouraging. Contrasting her first, somewhat underwhelming experience with The Impossible Burger at David Chang's Momofoku, Goldfield recalls it not really holding its own against the high-end, grass-fed beef being served. In White Castle, the opposite is true:

...if I were presented with the choice of a burger made with cheap beef—probably inhumanely raised, definitely bad for the environment—or a plant-based alternative that tasted this close to the real thing, I’d go for the Impossible burger.

It's intensively-raised, fast food beef that we most need to replace. And happily, intensively-raised, fast food beef may be the easiest to replicate.

Let's see if White Castle can make this slider stick.