SAN DIEGO — Vegetarians who miss the taste of fried chicken have a new alternative. KFC is now selling a plant-based chicken alternative at several of its restaurants across San Diego County. Many fast food burger restaurants have been selling a plant-based patty for a while with a lot of success, but is this chicken alternative finger lickin' good?
It's called "Beyond Fried Chicken." These are nuggets developed exclusively by Beyond Meat, which is already well known for its plant-based burgers.
David Leight drove from Ocean Beach to Clairemont Mesa just to try it.
“I try to eat as much plant-based [food] as I can,” David said.
And his first impression?
“Ehh... it's close," said Leight. "I mean Beyond Burger doesn't really taste like a burger, but they taste close enough and when you put all the stuff with it. It tastes pretty darn good.”
Leight has a point: who eats real chicken nuggets without sauce? So, he dipped it in a ranch sauce and tried it again.
“Ya - close enough," said Leight. "It tastes like a nugget.”
David's wife, Raima, is a pescatarian.
“I've been very excited to try something that was a fried chicken and I think it's delicious,” she said. “Yep - it's really good.”
That said, Raima admitted she doesn't know if this tastes like chicken because it's been so long since she's actually eaten chicken and she doesn't remember what it tastes like.
There are a few things you need to know about Beyond Fried Chicken. First, it's cooked in the same fryers as the real chicken, so it's not vegan. Second, it's not cheap. Twelve nuggets cost over $15 with tax. Third, it's not being sold in all of the county's KFCs, but is available in about 20 of them.
While Raima and David were excited to try it, others think the whole idea of fake chicken is for the birds.
“Beyond Chicken? How can it be Beyond Chicken if it's not meat?” asked customer Michael Liebers.
KFC is only selling the Beyond Fried Chicken in Southern California right now and it said it will only be around “while supplies last.”