Gotta give credit where it’s due: Out of all the dozens of vegan meat substitutes on the market, our favorite brand name has to go to MorningStar Farms’ Incogmeato. Known for its plant-based nuggets and ground “beef,” the brand is playing around with more ready-to-eat meals such as pancake and sausage on a stick and the recently released Chik’n and Eggo Liège Style Waffle Sandwich, which features a meatless breaded chicken patty nestled between two Belgian waffles. Breakfast is getting trendier and trendier.
MorningStar released a regular Chik’n and Waffle sandwich last year with Eggo, but this one is different in that it features Belgian waffles sweetened with pearl sugar, a thicker style than your typical American variety. All you need to do is remove the sandwich from its plastic packaging and microwave it for about a minute. There are oven instructions as well, which take significantly longer. No sleepy person in a rush (such as yours truly) would want to take 20 minutes to bake off convenience food, so the success of this sandwich heavily depends on how well it fares in the microwave.
I’ve got to say, after my first few bites, I came away happily impressed. The waffle was nice, rich, and sweet, while the vegan chicken patty was peppery and salty. While its texture was a little different than actual chicken breast—I’d say it was a little softer to chew through than actual poultry—I found that I didn’t miss the meat whatsoever. Every bite is packed with flavor, and the execution is solid. I didn’t notice much of an aftertaste, either, so no funny veggie protein flavors were lingering in my mouth afterwards, as can sometimes happen.
The sandwich doesn’t come dressed, so I drizzled mine with some honey before I gave it a bite, a preparation I highly recommend. Part of the fun of a chicken and waffle combination is the contrast between sweet and salty, and this sandwich leans more toward salty to begin with.
Is this sandwich for vegans? It’s hard for me to say. Those who choose to be vegan do so for a variety of reasons, and not just because they don’t want to consume animal products. For many people, being vegan is about coexisting with the environment, and I’m not entirely sure all vegans would embrace a product that uses heavily processed ingredients, some of which are genetically modified, as is disclosed on the packaging for the Eggo Liège Style Waffle Sandwich.
Like many plant-based products that act as direct meat substitutes, the Eggo Liège Style Waffle Sandwich feels like it’s aimed at people like me, who swap meat out with plant-based options from time to time for novelty and variety, and to reduce (but not eliminate) our dependence on animal products. It’s really not the meat that’s important to me, but the sensation of getting some sort of seasoned protein to fill my omnivorous desires. In this case, the Incogmeato vegan chik’n performs quite well, and the simulation scratches the itch admirably.
A few knocks: The sandwich is pretty small, and there’s only two of them in the box. The suggested retail price is a somewhat painful $8.49, which means you’re paying over $4 per sandwich (I was lucky enough to score a free sample). That’s expensive enough to keep me from stocking my freezer with them regularly, if at all. If they were cheaper, and came in a larger quantity, I’d happily have them from time to time, since I enjoyed the sandwich thoroughly. But just like every other designer meat substitute out there, it’s a product that will leave you to decide whether this tasty swap is worth the hit on your wallet.