Well, here we are again! It’s time for another SAD GIRL TASTE TEST, and this time we find ourselves back at Burger King to try out the IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER! For those of you who may somehow be unfamiliar, Impossible Foods Inc. teamed up with Burger King to produce this fully plant-based menu option, and I believe it has finally rolled out nationwide, but at the very least, it definitely seems to be available in major cities as of very recently.
That didn’t stop a Burger King in Brooklyn (the one closest to my house, actually) trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes by listing the Impossible Whopper on its online delivery menu well before they were actually stocking it, though! And instead of informing customers who’d ordered it that it was not actually an option, they just went ahead and sent the regular Whopper instead with no note, no nothing. And the vegans ‘n vegetarians were angry. (And usually I would be, too, but honestly, if you’re getting Burger King delivered to you in New York City, you kind of deserve it?)
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was wary of BK’s credibility from the get-go; even though there were now official signs peddling the Impossible Whopper in Brooklyn Burger King windows, what if they just decided to razz me by giving me a regular Whopper instead? Not one to take chances (in the context of Sad Girl Taste Tests, anyway), I figured I was going to have to order both the plant-based burger and the regular one to test ‘em out side by side. (And yes, I realize the irony in that action.)
When it was go-time, I headed to a Burger King on Fulton Street, and (as predicted) the atmosphere was very depressing. It was dead silent in there, no music playing, not even really a lot of kitchen sounds, and just a lot of people wordlessly waiting on their food. Enter me, the one who loudly orders one Impossible Whopper (630 calories) and then a plain ol’ Possible Whopper (690 calories). The cashier impressed me by asking if I wanted the Impossible Whopper cooked separately (to avoid mingling with meat juices in case I was really a vegan or vegetarian), and she also asked if I wanted to skip the mayo. I didn’t so much care about the cooking method, and while I would turn down mayo any day, I was trying to get the authentic side-by-side experience, so I kept it all and was (surprisingly shortly) out the door and on my way to TASTE TOWN.
The wrappers themselves are very distinct, and I imagine that was necessary to avoid any more confusion than the Impossible Whopper will likely already cause. But once you peel back the packaging, the burgers themselves are fairly indistinguishable – the Impossible Whopper has slightly more…structure? Is that the right word? Basically it just looks more uniform than the regular meat patty, although that’s not saying much since that one looks pretty uniform, too. (I didn’t peel back the bun and toppings to investigate the grill marks situation because that’s fucking stupid and I am not a clown.)
Impossible Whopper on the bottom, regular Whopper on the top.
And not to be anticlimactic here, but the taste was fairly indistinguishable, too. I took a bite of the regular Whopper first for a refresher of what we were looking for flavor-wise, most notably the flame-broiled factor, and the Impossible Whopper held up really well. Does that mean they’re identical? No. I will say that something about the Impossible Whopper did taste a little different…almost like it was skewing a hint sweeter than the regular Whopper? Not as savory or beefy. I don’t think it would have been as detectable (at least not to that level) had I not decided to try them side-by-side. Similarly, the texture was just a little off with the Impossible Burger, because the regular Whopper had a slightly bouncier, squeakier toothiness. So if you’re looking to have a bouncy, squeaky toothiness, then 1. why and also 2. I guess just order the regular Whopper, or no Whopper at all. (I would also like to take a moment to shout out the tomatoes, which tasted really good for some reason? Like, abnormally good.) Other than that, both delivered on the fast food burger experience, aka not as good as a regular sit-down or homemade burger, but will do in a pinch and/or whilst inebriated. I genuinely think (most) people would not be aware that they weren’t eating meat if you slipped them an Impossible Whopper and didn’t tell them about it first.
Impossible Whopper on the top, regular Whopper on the bottom.
At just a dollar in price difference (the Impossible Whopper was $6.19, and the regular Whopper was $5.19), and with neither (in my opinion) breaking the bank, I do think this could be a great avenue for regular meat-eating people to dip their toes into the plant-based Kool-Aid. Is this a burger for vegans and vegetarians, though? I mean, yes, if you’re on a road trip or you’re high or you’re in need of some late-night food after drinking all of the things. Do I think it’s improving the vegan or vegetarian food scene in NYC and other major cities? No, not so much. In more rural environments, certainly, but here (in a sea of great vegan and vegetarian options) it just doesn’t seem all that necessary. Does that mean I appreciate it any less? No! I think this is great, and I hope to see other chains following suit! So good on you, Burger King. YE HAVE MADE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE.