The Yard House Restaurant chain plans to step up its healthy menu options by preparing 25 of its most popular dishes using fake meat believing it will appeal to both meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
At its Irvine Spectrum, CA restaurant, the chain recently began using a vegetable protein from gardein, a brand of plant-based foods with the taste and texture of premium lean meat.
Yard House, which has been looking to incorporate more vegetarian dishes to its menu plans to expand the meatless menu company-wide this summer. Gardein is also used in the menus of Orange County-based Veggie Grill and Hoag Hospital. L.A.-area Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants are also testing gardein.
The texture of gardein is very similar to beef or chicken and no matter what dish the restaurant tried to emulate using gardein, even their own culinary team had a difficult time differentiating the dishes made with gardein. So it passes the taste test with flying colors…and look and texture.
Some of the new meatless menu dishes include signature Yard House favorites including the restaurant chain’s classic sliders, Orange Peel Chicken, Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza.
Diners who want to try the plant-based meals will not have to pay more. Yard House is selling most of the dishes at the same price as their meat counterparts on the menu.
Items specified by a green dot on the menu have the option to substitute gardein for the same price listed on the menu, the chain said. Gardein originated in the Pacific Northwest and is made from a blend of vegetables, grains and plant proteins including pea, wheat and soy. It is different from tempeh in both texture and flavor. It contains no animal or dairy ingredients, is free of cholesterol and has zero trans fats. Garden Protein International is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
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