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Apr 24, 2019

Here's What Del Taco's Tacos Made With Beyond Meat ACTUALLY Taste Like

They're made using Beyond Meat's vegan beef crumbles.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, then you know the inconvenience of having to make boring substitutions at fast-food restaurants.

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Bean burritos can only hit the spot so many times.

Well, this Thursday, April 25, Del Taco is stepping it up by debuting the first ever fast-food taco made with vegan meat.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

For those of you who don't live in California, Nevada, Utah, or Arizona, where most of Del Taco's stores are concentrated, Del Taco is a fast-food chain with more than 500 locations across the country.

The meatless tacos, which will come in two flavors, will be made with Beyond Meat, a vegan beef crumble made of pea protein, as well as the chain's signature blend of spices.

The two options are: the Beyond Taco (vegetarian) made with vegan beef crumbles, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and sliced tomatoes; and the Beyond Avocado Taco (vegan), which is the same thing but with the cheddar cheese swapped for a slice of avocado. They'll both cost $2.49, though the exact price may vary by store, and they’ll be a permanent part of the menu.

As a lover of both meat and plant-based foods, I knew I had to give it a try.

To be clear, I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but I do try to adhere to Meatless Mondays and generally cut meat out of my diet whenever possible.

First, I tried the Beyond Taco, which looked exactly like a normal Del Taco. For me (a meat eater) it also tasted incredibly similar to meat, but had a slightly earthier flavor.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

First of all, the the Beyond Taco looked almost exactly like a taco made with animal meat. The crumbles were slightly redder in color and were mushier and less defined, but could've fooled anyone into thinking it was the regular stuff. Flavor-wise, the meat tasted similar, but as if it were flavored with mushrooms or nuts. It was good. It also helped that, like the regular Del Taco, this one was heavily seasoned and greasy. 😬

I'm not sure how a vegetarian would feel about this, but for an omnivore simply trying to cut back on meat, the Beyond Taco didn't really feel like it was missing anything in flavor or texture. (And by the way, it's REALLY not missing in anything, since it has about the same number of calories as a normal Del Taco.)

The Beyond Avocado Taco was the exact same thing, but with the cheese swapped for a slice of avocado that I wished were double the size.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

The lil' slice of avocado placed on top of the taco is good for two middle bites of taco, MAX. Thankfully, you can get an extra slice or three for 30 cents a slice.

You can also pay $2 extra to substitute Beyond crumbles in any item on the menu that includes meat, like on queso-loaded nachos or on a french fry–stuffed Cali burrito...

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

In my opinion, you shouldn't be paying to help save the world from its fiery CO2-induced demise, but I get that vegan meat is still niche and takes extra money to research and create, etc., etc.

Or you can do like a soccer mom does and order a fast-food salad with vegan meat crumbles.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

I'm the soccer mom.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, Del Taco also says it has taken a few extra measures to limit cross-contamination with meat products, including prepping all Beyond Tacos in sleeves and storing the Beyond Meat in a closed container.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

And by the way, here's a side-by-side comparison of beef crumbles and the vegan beef crumbles:

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

If you're interested in trying Del Taco's Beyond Tacos for free, just download their app and enter the promo code "Beyond" within seven days of the launch (April 25).

TL;DR: Del Taco's new Beyond Tacos made with vegan beef crumbles were pretty delicious and mirrored animal meat in both taste (though they did taste a little earthier, IMO) and texture.

Going meatless, at least from time to time, is pretty important to me, given all the recent reports on climate change. So I'm psyched more and more fast-food joints are introducing tasty vegan options! That said, I do wish Del Taco was a little more transparent about its recycling efforts, and hope the chain is making good on its promise to "recycle paper/cardboard where available."

  1. Would you try Del Taco's meatless tacos?

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Would you try Del Taco's meatless tacos?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Sure, they look pretty good.
  2.  
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    Maybe. I'm not convinced.
  3.  
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    Nah, I'll pass.