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Deals Plant-Based Restaurants

Denny’s Begins Serving Beyond Burgers

Last week, Dunkin’ Donuts announced the introduction of plant-based protein Beyond Meat to their menus in the form of new breakfast ‘sausage’ sandwiches. Now, another major chain has revealed that they’ve been cooking something up with Beyond, and it looks to be the first family diner chain to do so.

Denny’s has announced that they will begin serving Beyond Burgers at their restaurant locations.

The new meatless protein option will be available at all Los Angeles locations of Denny’s as of today. It features a 100% plant-based Beyond Burger patty that’s topped with sliced tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, American cheese, and Denny’s All-American sauce on a multigrain bun.

In honor of the new menu addition, Denny’s will be giving away free Beyond Burgers (with the purchase of any beverage) on Halloween Night from 4pm to 7pm. Anyone in the Los Angeles area looking for some plant-based sustenance during their night of spookiness will definitely want to check it out.

While they will only be served at LA locations, Denny’s plans to give Beyond Burgers a nationwide launch in 2020.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Categories
Fast Food

Carl’s Jr. Launches Western Bacon Cheeseburger-Inspired Beyond Burger

Carls-Jr-Beyond-BBQ-Cheeseburger

The plant-based burger battle is heating up once again. Looking to build on the success of its Beyond Famous Star, Carl’s Jr. is expanding its partnership with Beyond Meat to launch the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger.

Drawing on the success of its Beyond Famous Star, the fast food chain developed a new burger build meant to complement the Beyond Burger patty, while drawing on the flavors of its famed Western Bacon Cheeseburger. The result features a Beyond Burger patty topped with Carl’s Jr. original BBQ sauce, American cheese, and crispy onion rings, on a sesame seed bun.

“With one Western Bacon Cheeseburger sold every second, we saw this as the perfect flavor inspiration – and so the new Carl’s Jr. Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger was born,” shared Patty Trevino, SVP of Carl’s Jr. Brand Marketing.

Carl’s Jr. was among the first major fast food chains to introduce a plant-based option to its menu last December. To date, more than 4.5 million Beyond Famous Star burgers have been sold, making it the most successful burger launch for the brand in the past two years.

Categories
Fast Food

McDonald’s Officially Testing Plant-Based Beyond Burger In Canada

From Burger King to Carl’s Jr., some of the biggest names in fast food dove head first into the plant-based patty game and haven’t looked back. It made you wonder if the biggest of them all, McDonald’s, would do the same, or even go as far as creating its own proprietary blend of plant-based burgers.

While the latter hasn’t happened, McDonald’s announced it is testing Beyond Burger patties at some of its Canadian locations.

Starting September 30, Beyond Meat “P.L.T.” burgers will be popping up at 28 McDonald’s locations in Ontario, Canada.

The “Plant, Lettuce and Tomato” burgers contain everything in its name, plus onions, mayo and cheese nestled between classic sesame seed buns.

It’s not quite a “vegan” burger yet, but it’s a start, and a big step into the plant-based waters for the Golden Arches.

“During this test, we’re excited to hear what customers love about the P.L.T. to help our global markets better understand what’s best for their customers,” said Ann Wahlgren, VP of Global Menu Strategy for McDonald’s. “This test allows us to learn more about real-world implications of serving the P.L.T., including customer demand and impact on restaurant operations.”

So if the burger is well-received, there’s a good chance we start seeing the Beyond Burger expand within the chain, as it has some catching up to do with its competitors.

Categories
Cravings Fast Food What's New

Is Carl’s Jr’s New ‘Beyond Burger’ Actually Healthy?

[Editor’s Note: A previous iteration of this article stated that that the “Beyond Burger” had 0 grams of saturated fat, but the patty itself has 5 grams. A Carl’s Jr. representative reached out to Foodbeast and added that the Beyond Famous Star is higher in calories, protein, and sodium because the patty is larger than a standard Carl’s Jr. beef patty.]

Plant-based foods are usually associated with being “healthy,” but just as being a vegan doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in good health, eating Carl’s Jr’s new Beyond Famous Star Burger doesn’t mean you can suddenly binge on plant-based cheeseburgers.

Beyond Meat makes a veggie-based burger that looks, and almost tastes like beef, quickly becoming popular with the vegan and vegetarian community. When carefully compared to a classic beef Famous Star with cheese, however, the Beyond Famous Star doesn’t really wow you in the nutritional department.

In fact, the plant-based burger is actually higher in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and has the same amount of sugar content.

To be fair, a lot of it comes from the bread, cheese, and sauce, not the patty itself, but the same could be said for its beefy counterpart.

When put side-by-side, with the patty being the only difference between the two burgers, the numbers stack up like so:

Calories:

Beyond- (710)
Beef- (690)

Fat:

Beyond- (40 grams)
Beef- (37 grams)

Carbohydrates:

Beyond- (61 grams)
Beef- (57 grams)

Protein:

Beyond- (30 grams)
Beef- (28 grams)

Cholesterol:

Beyond- (30 mg)
Beef- (75 mg)

Sodium:

Beyond- (1,550 mg) 
Beef- (1,210 mg)

Sugars:

Beyond- (12 g)
Beef- (12 g)

Fiber:

Beyond- (5g)
Beef- (3g)

__________

Perhaps the key difference, while subtle, lies in the cholesterol.

Beyond Famous Star pictured to the left, Beef Famous Star on right.

With 40 fewer milligrams, zero coming from the patty itself, the new veggie burger is a tad bit more heart friendly than its beefy uncle, however, the sodium content is less than ideal. With a whopping 1,550 mg of sodium, the Beyond Burger has 340 more milligrams than the standard Famous Star, and surpasses The American Heart Association’s ideal daily recommendation of 1,500 mg.

You’re probably reading this and telling yourself, “Well, that’s because it has a bunch of fast food ingredients attached to it. The Beyond Burger patty itself probably isn’t that bad on its own.”

That is also not necessarily true.

When comparing the Beyond Burger patty, stripped down, with no cheese, bread, or sauce to blow up its nutritional numbers, a typical standard beef patty still has a bit of a nutritional edge.

For example, the Beyond patty is still higher in calories (270), fat (20g), sodium (380 mg), and carbohydrates (5g). It also has a little bit more protein (20 grams) for you meatheads trying to bulk up.

Even with all this data, you could argue that it is a win for Beyond Meat. If the goal is to make plant-based food that resembles its meaty predecessors, then plant-based junk food, in theory, should be, well, junk.

Regardless of nutrition, Beyond Meat’s ultimate goal is sustainability, and not necessarily trying to pander to PETA and vegans in the process. If slapping dairy products on their plant-based burger means that more people will eat it over beef, it’s still more eco-friendly over the alternative.

To ask Carl’s Jr. to make a healthy burger is unfair, anyway. We don’t go to Carl’s Jr. to revive our diets, we go for comfort food that’s cheap and fast. This collaboration still provides that convenience.

At the end of the day, the Beyond Famous Star is not a “healthy” new burger. It’s a fatty, cheesy, salty, carb-y burger that just happens to be made without beef.

Keep those expectations realistic when making your way to the drive-thru, and you won’t be disappointed when that burger goes straight to your hips, as junk food should.

Categories
Fast Food Health What's New

Carl’s Jr. Adds Beyond Burger, Confirms Plant-Based Burgers Have Gone Mainstream

2019 is kicking off with a historic moment in fast food: Plant-based burger alternatives, like the Impossible Burger and Beyond burger, have finally become mainstream.

Photo: Elie Ayrouth // Foodbeast

This moment is coming courtesy of Carl’s Jr., who has added the vegan Beyond Burger as an option to its menu nationwide. They’ve worked with purveyor Beyond Meat to create a patty that cooks just like their standard burgers and mimics the the taste and appearance as well.

Right now, the go-to way to order Carl’s newest addition is the Beyond Famous Star, which is the meat-free homage to the burger chain’s signature sandwich. It does come with mayo and cheese, but these can removed for those looking for a 100% vegan burger experience.

Photo courtesy of Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. is selling the Beyond Famous Star starting at $6.29, putting it on par with the prices of its standard charbroiled burgers. You can also change the burger on any other Carl’s Jr. offering to a Beyond patty for a $2 upcharge.

This marks the largest plant-based burger partnership in the nation to date, as Carl’s 1,100-plus locations carrying the Beyond patty easily surpasses the 400-plus White Castle locations selling Impossible Burger sliders. With their combined reach, it’s paved the way to get a plant-based fast food burger across the entire country.