It started at as a tempeh BLT, but I couldn’t find any decent tomatoes (no surprise). And then I didn’t have any lettuce, but I did have some lovely sprouts, and a perfectly ripe avocado. And a whole wheat english muffin and some olive oil mayonnaise. So I marinated the tempeh in some “smoky” sauce with a dash of whisky, soy, garlic and steak sauce, fried it up, mashed the whole thing together, and loved every little bit of it.
Local 44 has just (finally!) revealed a new brunch menu, Memphis Taproom/Ressurentction Alehouse owners have finally brought us the vegetarian and vegan options to rival MTR (Don’t even get me started on the fried pickles). I stopped in on brunch opening weekend, and had a hard time making a decisions. Eventually, I went with the fried mushrooms, coated in a buttermilk batter and with a side of poppy seed buttermilk dressing. Fried to perfection- but white mushrooms just don’t quite have enough flavor for me and the sauce with a little bland, so I dipped them in hot sauce.
This vegan Rueben, however, deserves a return visit. Thinly sliced seitan, saurkraut (a bit more would be nice) and special sauce on rye bread, it was just the right amount of savory and greasy, especially with a side of fries. I’ll be back again for this one.
I went back to El Camino Real last weekend. I just couldn’t help myself. While I sampled some of my favorite appetizers from the last visit (fried pickles, stuffed jalepenos) I also tried the vegetarian wings, which were so inceadible – juicy and crispy and spicy – they could make any meat-eater forget the difference. I also order the Chili Rellanos (above) a chili stuffed with seitan, cheese, and vegetables, served on a bed of black beans with a tomatillo salsa. It was very satisfying, with a subtle smokey flavor. I wished there were two chilis so I would have had one to take home!
My friend Krista ordered the BBQ Seitan sandwich with both the sweet and the spicy dipping sauces and was quite pleased. After that big Texas toast sandwich and slaw, it was difficult to make it through the pile of fries, though with all that extra dipping sauce, I “helped” by sneaking a few off her plate and dunking them deep in the spicy sauce.
Senor Lanky ordered the burritos, “two little donkeys.” He briefly considered saving one for lunch the next day, and then promptly ate both. He ordered his with carnitas, but our friend Steve ordere the grilled seitan (another vegetarian option is the cactus and potato)and they looked identical!
I am so in love with the whole-grain rolls from Metropolitan Bakery, I want to sing about it. They have all kinds of delicious texture, and an almost nutty flavor, and go well with all of may favorite sandwich toppings. I found out that I can order these rolls bulk from the main Metro bakery, so I ordered 5 dozen and made a whole spread of mini sandwiches for a reception at work. The above sandwich is a multi-grain roll with a healthy smear of goat cheese, a slice of roasted red pepper, a leaf of fresh basil, and some juicey balsamic-marinated, roasted, baby portobello mushrooms.
These little sourdough cutie rolls are also delicious. Who am I kidding? All the Metropolitan bread is delicious. I made these sandwiches with the roasted red pepper sandwich sauce from Bittmans How to Cook Everything (the basic, not vegetarian version of the cookbook) and added slices of mozzarella and grilled eggplant.
Above is a photo of the assembly-line spread I set-up for my sandwich making helpers. Look at all those delicious ingreadiants. Makes me want to reach right into a photo and grab a roll.
Señor Lanky was luck enough to score us some free tickets to the Symphony this week. We hurried from work to the gym to the Kimmel Center, with nary a moment for a healthy bite to eat, besides the Flavor & Fiber bar we split on the way to our seats. The Symphony (Curtis School, playing a particularly great Berlioz Symphonie Fantastic) ended at 10:30PM, and we stumbled out with rumbling tummies.
Where oh where to get a bite so late on a week night? Good Dog to the rescue, with a kitchen that stays open late and all kinds of veggie options. While I was tempted by the black bean and rice “soup of the day,” I succumbed to the more substantial veggie cake sandwich – a crispy roasted eggplant, scallion, mushroom, lentil and cilantro cake (likely deep fat-fried) on a cibatta with curried mayo, lettuce and tomato. And no, that’s not fake bacon you see. It’s a handful of crispy veggie chips, right on the sandwich. I order the mixed greens with a nice balsamic instead of the fries, gobbled half up, and saved the other for the next days lunch, when it was still delicious.