Beyond Meat is making a big splash in the fast-food game, with countless restaurants offering their own vegetarian options. The latest entrant in the plant-based arena is Starbucks' Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich. So how does it compare to one that's already been in the game for a while?
We wanted to see just how the coffee giant's latest animal-free sandwich stacked up against A&W's own Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich.
Full disclosure: this is my first experience with anything from the meatless brand. I've got no beef with plant-based options, but I am an omnivore at heart. Still, I'm no chicken, so I was ready to dive right in.
Let's start with appearances. The A&W sandwich gets an early edge on the competition by having some actual colour on the patty. By comparison, the Starbucks "sausage" was pretty gray and drab.
Overall, the A&W sandwich had a bit more volume due to its English muffin. The specialty bun on the Starbucks offering was a little bit flat, giving everything a more compressed look. Both appear to use real cheddar, though, so thumbs up if you're into that.
Going in for a smell, there's a definite herbaceous scent to the Starbucks sandwich, most likely as a result of their own blend of seasonings.
And yet, the A&W patty wins out here as well, with a more savoury aroma that really recalls cooking breakfast links at home.
Finally, there's the ever-important taste test. I can safely say that in this regard, there is a clear, unequivocal winner.
The A&W Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich just tastes better.
The overall flavour and texture of the patty are so close to a real sausage that you could easily fool someone who didn't know better. That being said, it was a bit on the dry side.
That being said, the Starbucks option is not awful. As a matter of fact, it's fine.
The patty had a little bit more moisture, which was nice, and the texture was a spot-on recreation of breakfast sausage. Still, it was just missing something in its flavour profile that kept it from winning this competition.
Where the A&W sandwich recreated the experience of eating fast-food breakfast, the Starbucks sandwich just left me feeling uninspired.