A Florida Restaurant Is Charging $69 For A Steak That Isn't Even Real Meat

Despite shrieks of fear from meat lovers around the globe, the science behind plant-based meats has continued to advance so rapidly that the lab-grown alternative is becoming nearly indistinguishable from real steak.

That's the case, at least, for Florida-based Charley's Steak House, which has partnered with the plant-based food startup Chunk in an effort to craft a vegan-friendly menu item that looks and tastes like a filet mignon seared over a wood-fire pit.

According to a recent write-up in Fast Company, executive vice president Clark Woodsby has been looking to launch a vegan steak alternative on the Charley's menu for some time. As Woodsby explained, he and his team have made a point of venturing out to food trade shows for over a decade, with hopes of finding a cut of fake meat which can pass the blind taste test.

Though the $69 price tag is sure to turn away a number of curious consumers, the high-priced non-steak will surely please vegetarians who frequent the restaurant, as well as any flexitarian hoping to cut down on cholesterol.

What makes this fake meat better than previous versions?

While some comedic internet discourse hails plant-based steak as the worst thing to happen to humanity since the burning of the library of Alexandria, most experts have begun to find the taste and textures of plant-based foods as getting closer to their farm-to-table counterparts.

For years, none of the plant-based offerings found at restaurant shows across the country made the Charley's Steak House team happy, until they were recently introduced to Chunk's special method for crafting realistic fake meat. Chunk utilizes fermented soy and wheat, as well as other plant-based additives such as coconut oil, beet juice, B12, and fortified iron.

This fermentation process provides both texture and flavor profiles that have not been present in previous prototypes, marking Charley's as "the first steakhouse in the country to serve a plant-based option of the tenderloin cut," according to the New York Post.

Of course, if the nearly $70 price tag is keeping you from trying the plant-based steak, there's still hope for the cut to come to other restaurants, perhaps even at a more affordable price point. As the technology continues to progress, making high quality fake meat cheaper and easier to produce, partnerships like these seem likely to continue popping up in eateries around the world, further cementing the notion that plant-based meat is here to stay.