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McDonald’s is testing a new McPlant burger at just eight locations in the United States. The company teamed up with El Segundo startup Beyond Meat to make the patty inside, which is unique to this new burger.

I headed to the Manhattan Beach McDonald’s location where they are testing it and ordered a McPlant meal with a side of fries and a diet coke. The meal was just over $10, which seemed to be about a $1 premium over a traditional burger offering like the Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

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The burger looks like your typical McDonald’s offering, except for the patty, which is a different color than real beef. It’s topped with lettuce, tomato, American cheese, pickles, onions, mayo, ketchup, and mustard.

Yep, this is not a vegan offering. The patty itself is vegan, but some of the toppings aren’t and it’s also grilled up on the same surface as beef burgers.

As for the taste? The best way to describe it is quintessential McDonald’s burger. Although the burger patty itself is a bit of a giveaway, the overall flavor is remarkably familiar. The patty texture is a bit softer than a beef burger, but I didn’t mind it.

In fact, I ate the entire thing. And half of another one.

Keep in mind, this is not a “healthy” alternative, just an alternative. The McPlant has just slightly less calories than a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, similar total fat content but slightly less saturated fat. There’s similar sodium content, a bit more fiber but less protein. Still, the McPlant packs 22 grams of plant protein and the patty doesn’t contain any soy or gluten.

Cholesterol is the big advantage here: the McPlant has 10 times less of the artery clogging fat than its beef-based sibling and you could reduce that to nearly zero if you got it without the American cheese slice and mayo.

Overall, it’s great to have options. McDonald’s is a big chain with locations everywhere and if you’re craving something plant-based or going with a group and want an alternative to beef and chicken, the McPlant nice to have on the menu.

McDonald’s is currently testing the McPlant at eight locations in the US including McDonald’s in El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. Additional test locations include Iowa, Texas and Louisiana.

McDonald’s Manhattan Beach: 1203 Artesia Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
McDonald’s El Segundo: 101 S Pacific Coast Hwy, El Segundo, CA 90245

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