This Plant-Based Brand Is Launching a New Steak — And It’s Ridiculously Amazing

published May 20, 2022
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meati foods classic steak
Credit: Meati Foods

I don’t buy meat all that often, and I buy steak even less. When I have meat, it’s usually when I’m dining out, but even then I limit my consumption for a few reasons. Save for the shrimp taco we shared on a recent trip to Philadelphia, my partner doesn’t eat seafood. So when I’m cooking for one, or eating with anyone besides him, I’ll lean towards cooking seafood along with roasted vegetables or whatever salad kit I have on hand. Another reason why I rarely buy steak is because good-quality meat, especially steak, is pricey — as it should be — and more so with grocery prices on the rise. Plus, the meat industry is a major contributor to the climate crisis, which is something I’ve become increasingly conscious of in the last few years. 

So when I heard that Meati Foods was about to launch a steak made predominantly (95%) from mushroom root, I was very excited and somewhat skeptical. I’ve tried a lot of plant-based meats, but this would be my first steak (coincidentally it’s the first sold in the U.S. as well). Replicating whole cuts of meat is challenging. It’s why we see so few on the shelves today. Would this one be juicy and tender, like the cut from a cow? Would it chew like steak and taste, well, like steak? I had to find out!

Earlier this week, I got to try the filets, along with the brand’s crispy cutlet, which is a plant-based breaded chicken cutlet — also made from mushroom root. The steak was prepared two ways: grilled whole with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and skewered with a  sesame and teriyaki marinade of some kind (the skewers were served as passed hors d’oeuvres). Both looked like very convincing cuts of meat, and they tasted even better. The steaks were tender and had a buttery, mild flavor. The skewered meat also had a mellow sweetness, which I took a particular liking to.

At one point, I had collected so many skewers and toothpicks (the latter, from tasting the breaded chicken cutlet, both plain and marinated in a gochujang barbecue sauce), a server came over with an empty bowl so I could deposit them and, presumably, free up my hand for more. (I had to get my fill to hold me over until I can order some to grill on my own!)

Meati Classic Steaks will be available in four-packs for $35 and eight-packs for $70 (these prices include shipping) starting promptly at 12 p.m. EST on May 23. I say promptly because the last drop, which was for the Meati Crispy Cutlet and Classic Cutlet, sold out in less than 2.5 hours! You can also sign up ahead of May 23 “to be first in line.”

Have you tried Meati Foods before? Tell us about it in the comments below.