A novel preparation of Beyond Meat’s plant-based Beyond Burger debuted last week at all three locations of vegan restuarant Next Level Burger (NLB) in Oregon. The all-organic, non-GMO Beyond Stack Burger features two hot-off-the-griddle Beyond Meat patties, fresh onions, tomatoes, lettuce, a choice of swiss or cheddar vegan cheese (either from Daiya or Follow Your Heart’s Chao), and a “super secret NLB seasoning.” Founder Matthew de Gruyter tells VegNews that he partnered with Beyond Meat because he found its patty exceptional. “I think what Beyond Meat has done hasn’t existed before,” de Gruyter says, adding that when it comes to cooking the burger, it is analogous to its meat counterpart. “Beyond Meat knocks it out of the park” when it comes to taste, and de Gruyter says it is “reminiscent of a classic, thick beef burger.” Customers can now choose to substitute the Beyond Burger patty into any of NLB’s burger offerings. De Gruyter and his wife Cierra started the plant-based burger restaurant in 2015 with the mission of bringing healthy, environmentally friendly food options to the fast-casual industry while removing animals from the supply chain. NLB is the second burger chain to add Beyond Burger to its menu after Veggie Grill—which added the “bleeding” burger to the menu of its 28 locations last year. De Gruyter is planning an aggressive expansion of NLB locations to states outside of Oregon this summer.
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