Gardein, Gardein everywhere!

crispy_tenders_295x35052.jpgIt's interesting what a difference a year can make. When I stopped regularly posting to TofuFighting last August, the only place I'd seen Gardein brand meat substitutes was at Fresh and Easy and Whole Foods - they sell little two-to-three serving packets of pre-seasoned fake meats, in "beef" and "chicken" varieties. Easily one of the best-tasting products out there (though some of the flavors didn't appeal to me), and the consistancy is the most reminisant of meat that I've had (especially the chicken).

Fast foward to today. Gardein is everywhere:

Chipotle is serving Gardein as "Garden Blend" at select stores in New York, Washington DC, and California, and last week expanded to include many of their Los Angeles-area locations (sorry OC and the IE, none for us, yet). I tried it last week, and found it a bit dry - it didn't have the flavor I expected (and had heard about). I'm more than willing to give it another try.

The Yard House, a generally west-coast brewpub restaurant, is serving Gardein as a replacement for meat in almost all of their menu items. Some vegans are freaking out because the menu items themselves aren't vegan, but still, to have a vegan replacement that's not just a veggie burger is amazing to me. Right now it's available at their Irvine location, but it should go company-wide later this year.

Select Costco locations are now selling large bags of Gardein Crispy Tenders (fake chicken tenders) for $9.99 for 40 pieces. As is often the case with Costco, not all locations carry it, and it will likely disappear at some point as well. Keep buying it, and it may not. Such are the whims of Costco.

I'm sure it's found its way to other locations as well, but three major chains, in the space of a few months, is a fairly impressive feat for a vegan product. The best part is that it's actually good. I'm hoping more places jump on this bandwagon.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Doss published on June 16, 2010 11:58 AM.

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