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Starbucks New Impossible Sausage Sandwich Deserves a Spot in Your Breakfast Lineup

The coffee giant's first attempt at plant-based breakfast is a win.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Last week, Starbucks delivered on its promise to bring us more plant-based food with the debut of its first-ever Impossible breakfast sandwich. And while I, an unabashed meat-eater, have zero qualms about chowing down on the real thing, it sorta makes me a more qualified judge. Who better to give it an unbiased try than the full blown carnivore

ICYMI, the coffee giant's new A.M. order features all the fixings you'd expect from a classic breakfast sandwich with the Impossible Foods sausage patty, a cage-free fried egg, and aged cheddar sandwiched between a warm ciabatta bun. But how does it actually stack up against real meat competitors? Or even similar vegetarian-friendly orders elsewhere -- say, Dunkin's Beyond sausage sandwich? We're breaking it down. 

Megan Schaltegger/Thrillist

For a minute there, I forgot it was even plant-based 

By the time Uber Eats dropped that Starbucks order at my door, I had reached new heights of hanger. So it's safe to say I was eager for a first bite. The ciabatta was soft, warm, and did its part to hold that sausage, egg, and cheese combo together without overpowering it. The bread-to-ingredient ratio (an important dynamic!) was just right.

The sausage sat front and center -- with a single slice of cheddar melted on top and golden fried egg just underneath it. Now when I say I forgot it was plant-based upon tasting, I am not BS-ing you. I've tried my fair share of Impossible and Beyond Meat products over the years and I've typically got a "it's good, but different" stance on the subject. But this one had me fooled because it tasted so much like regular breakfast sausage. I even checked the receipt to verify there hadn't been a mix-up. There hadn't. 

My typical misgivings were absent here. While Impossible sausage has that fatty taste and texture we all know and love from a classic patty, its texture is unnaturally smooth and soft and it leaves a lingering, almost iron-like aftertaste. But Starbucks' egg and cheese managed to balance it out in a way that made both undetectable.

How does it stack up to other vegetarian-friendly breakfast sandwiches? 

Dunkin' has been serving up its Beyond sausage a number of ways. You can get it classic style on an english muffin, go the croissant sandwich route, or even have it served between a donut. I'm a fan of all of the above, but have two distinct notes that make the Starbucks version slightly more appealing. First, I prefer the Impossible Foods plant-based meat to Beyond Meat's plant-based meat (sorry, guys). For me, it just tastes more like real meat -- less aftertaste with more of a juicy, fatty bite. 

Finally, let's talk about the eggs. Dunkin's sandwich features that yellow, square hunk while good 'ole Starbs has a fresher, fried egg plopped on top. The latter tastes and looks real whereas I can't say the same for the former.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.