4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Evolution Fast Food does just fine with old fashioned fake meat

Tech company chicken will have to prove it’s better than this

A plant-based "fried chicken" and "bacon" sandwich from Evolution Fast Food
A plant-based "fried chicken" and "bacon" sandwich from Evolution Fast Food

A certain fried poultry chain garnered buckets of free press last week for announcing it will be serving vegan chicken options at its restaurants. Really, KFC is just the latest fast-food brand to make hay out of partnering with Beyond Meat, one among the buzzy new genre of tech companies that employ scientists to create plant-based meat substitutes.

Place

Evolution Fast Food

2965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

You see, the announcement roughly coincides with the launch of a new, Beyond Chicken line. The company has been steadily been looking beyond its burger success, and has now fashioned an approximation of white meat from pea and fava bean proteins, plus a variety of starches and glutens.

I can’t lie: I will be eager to try it. But will vegetarians?

Two years ago, the founder of Beyond Meat made the claim that 93 percent of the people who bought its products in grocery stores also shopped for animal proteins. In effect, that Beyond’s market isn’t strict vegetarians, or vegans, as much as it is omnivores who wish to broaden their dietary diversity.

Banker HIll's usually busy vegan drive thru

I could pretend to be shocked by this, but it’s almost like Beyond is reading my diary. I’ve been the one who wants it both ways: to eat less beef while eating the same number of burgers. Meanwhile, for all the tens of millions companies like Beyond have invested in developing veggie patties “that bleed,” it might be that people committed to plant-based diets were pretty happy with the meat substitutes they’d already been eating for decades.

So, instead of rushing out to a Kentucky-fried drive-thru to try the new, sci-fi styled chicken tenders, I steered toward Bankers Hill, to pay a visit to San Diego’s own, original vegan drive thru: Evolution Fast Food.

Vegan food doesn't have to equal health food: burger, fries, and a non-dairy milkshake.

Since 2006, Evolution has been making plant-based beef and chicken alternatives cooked up in a kitchen, not in Silicon Valley. Along the way, it’s debunked the misconception that vegans are only interested in health food — one of its most popular menu items is a buffalo chicken sandwich!

I’ve found it to be one of the city’s most consistently busy drive-thrus that isn’t named Starbucks. Though its burgers-and-fries-led menu is modeled after fast food (down to the non-dairy milkshakes), a wait upwards of fifteen minutes is common, even when cars aren’t backed up into the street. I’ve had occasion to joke that my biggest challenge to giving up meat is the drive-thru line at Evolution.

For those determined to go, it’s quicker and easier these days to place an order online for pick-up. But my point is, people are determined to eat here, despite all the well-documented advances in food-tech. Many remain compelled by a choice of tempeh, black bean, or “beefy” soy-based burgers ($8-10) — fare that never generates headlines.

Or, like me, they go for the faux-chicken sandwich ($10). Even without the Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, or other house-made adornments, it’s tasty and filling. Even without the tempeh bacon add-on — which looks more like a limp sock than actual pork, but lends a fatty sensation that allows you to feel like your breaking all kinds of new year’s resolutions. The alt-meat’s chew hardly resembles chicken, though I’ve had bigger qualms with the texture of a few fast-food chicken sandwiches in the past.

As for the future, when I do get around to trying the new-tech-marvel phony chicken, Evolution is what I’ll be comparing it to.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Head Quack says “CEO sounds too boss-like”

Jamming at the Duck Foot jazz session
Next Article

Long-range trips worth the $400-500

From outside Cedros Island, Alijos Rocks, past the end of Baja
A plant-based "fried chicken" and "bacon" sandwich from Evolution Fast Food
A plant-based "fried chicken" and "bacon" sandwich from Evolution Fast Food

A certain fried poultry chain garnered buckets of free press last week for announcing it will be serving vegan chicken options at its restaurants. Really, KFC is just the latest fast-food brand to make hay out of partnering with Beyond Meat, one among the buzzy new genre of tech companies that employ scientists to create plant-based meat substitutes.

Place

Evolution Fast Food

2965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

You see, the announcement roughly coincides with the launch of a new, Beyond Chicken line. The company has been steadily been looking beyond its burger success, and has now fashioned an approximation of white meat from pea and fava bean proteins, plus a variety of starches and glutens.

I can’t lie: I will be eager to try it. But will vegetarians?

Two years ago, the founder of Beyond Meat made the claim that 93 percent of the people who bought its products in grocery stores also shopped for animal proteins. In effect, that Beyond’s market isn’t strict vegetarians, or vegans, as much as it is omnivores who wish to broaden their dietary diversity.

Banker HIll's usually busy vegan drive thru

I could pretend to be shocked by this, but it’s almost like Beyond is reading my diary. I’ve been the one who wants it both ways: to eat less beef while eating the same number of burgers. Meanwhile, for all the tens of millions companies like Beyond have invested in developing veggie patties “that bleed,” it might be that people committed to plant-based diets were pretty happy with the meat substitutes they’d already been eating for decades.

So, instead of rushing out to a Kentucky-fried drive-thru to try the new, sci-fi styled chicken tenders, I steered toward Bankers Hill, to pay a visit to San Diego’s own, original vegan drive thru: Evolution Fast Food.

Vegan food doesn't have to equal health food: burger, fries, and a non-dairy milkshake.

Since 2006, Evolution has been making plant-based beef and chicken alternatives cooked up in a kitchen, not in Silicon Valley. Along the way, it’s debunked the misconception that vegans are only interested in health food — one of its most popular menu items is a buffalo chicken sandwich!

I’ve found it to be one of the city’s most consistently busy drive-thrus that isn’t named Starbucks. Though its burgers-and-fries-led menu is modeled after fast food (down to the non-dairy milkshakes), a wait upwards of fifteen minutes is common, even when cars aren’t backed up into the street. I’ve had occasion to joke that my biggest challenge to giving up meat is the drive-thru line at Evolution.

For those determined to go, it’s quicker and easier these days to place an order online for pick-up. But my point is, people are determined to eat here, despite all the well-documented advances in food-tech. Many remain compelled by a choice of tempeh, black bean, or “beefy” soy-based burgers ($8-10) — fare that never generates headlines.

Or, like me, they go for the faux-chicken sandwich ($10). Even without the Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, or other house-made adornments, it’s tasty and filling. Even without the tempeh bacon add-on — which looks more like a limp sock than actual pork, but lends a fatty sensation that allows you to feel like your breaking all kinds of new year’s resolutions. The alt-meat’s chew hardly resembles chicken, though I’ve had bigger qualms with the texture of a few fast-food chicken sandwiches in the past.

As for the future, when I do get around to trying the new-tech-marvel phony chicken, Evolution is what I’ll be comparing it to.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

A romantic triptych

Joy Womack: the White Swan, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Next Article

Series of crimes already by 23 years old

Judge James Simmons: "Don’t let anybody else dictate how the rest of your story will go."
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close