I’ve been a fan of BeyondMeat pretty much since the beginning. In fact, certain people at BeyondMeat headquarters in California refer to me as “Superfan #1.” No idea if I am actually the first of their Superfans (formerly Brand Ambassadors) but I like to think I am. It gives me something to tell my mom so she can tell the girls at Mahjong and pretend she’s proud of me.
This past weekend I flew to Anaheim to attend ExpoWest, the world’s largest natural products tradeshow. This is the one.
In addition to meeting virtually every vegan ever, I got to visit all the companies I know and love since becoming vegan; including BeyondMeat.
Last year their booth mimicked Taco Bell, this year they took on McDonalds. Topple the Golden Arch on its side and it makes a pretty sexy letter “B.” Last year they were releasing their beefy crumbles, this year it’s The Beast (burger) and breaded “chicken” fingers. Fast food fare.
As I approached the booth and soaked in all the aromas that one would expect, I suddenly made eye contact with one of the BeyondMeat marketing team members, the beautiful Emily.
We smiled. I was swept away by either her big brown eyes or by the fact I knew she was going to feed me. Either way, I heard angels.
We chatted for a bit and I asked about Justin, another team member who I’ve known since coming on board. Justin is a dude. Probably the quintessential Californian but I can’t really say since this was only my second time setting foot in the state.
We found him. Did some sort of handshake thing. Took this photo (above) and grabbed Josh, who will forever be known as “the man who put The Beast in me.”
Resting peacefully in a logo takeout tray was a wrapped mini burger (slider) alongside three breaded chicken strips (with a squirt of ketchup). I had been waiting months for this bite and it was about to happen.
I heard angels. Again. I should have that checked out.
The first bite of the beast was better than anything I could have imagined. If you’re still transitioning or you’re a vegan who craves a good burger. This is it. Firm and juicy. Slathered in ketchup. Resting in a soft slider roll. I could have eaten 50 of these little beasts (as an aside, the original Beast is BIG … haven’t had a chance to try it yet). Everything I miss about White Castle was in my hand and no one had to be killed to make it.
Then I grabbed a chicken finger and dipped it into the ketchup. Crunchy. Juicy. A little bit of spice in the breading. Absolutely incredible. I ate all three and didn’t want it to end. Again, with the angels.
I have to say in all honesty, I do wish the chicken fingers were gluten-free, I feel like this is a bit of a step back for the company since all their other offerings are GF.
However … this little meal was a major highlight of the weekend and one I will cherish forever. Just like this photo of me and Justin that I am having blown up to poster size to hang over my desk.
* In all fairness to my mom, she doesn’t play mahjong and she’s always been proud of me. Love you, Peg!