Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Game-changer..... Vegan Reuben

Yeah, you heard that right gamechanger.  No other way to put it  Not unlike when 40 years ago a little known hillbilly was brought to Pittsburgh to take on the role of Quarterback.  Ok, I may be blowing this sandwich a bit out of proportion with that one.  Again, I have to give props to @milwaukeevegan for suggesting that @thecometcafe on the "Lower East Side" (catchy name) has the "Best Vegan Reuben".  At this time it really didn't register, because I am still having canivorian "meat" dreams, and Vegan and Reuben together didn't seem to register. I always liked reubens, I never loved them, but it was one of my goto sandwich's.

I admit, I don't have dreams specifically about reubens, but I do have the occasional dream that I am begin chased by large sausages.  I guess I need to lobby the Brewers to include a Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage be added to that lineup.  I digress, but Field Roast has a lot to do with it.  As I mentioned on an earlier blog about where I learned about this wonderful company, I even mentioned the reuben by name.  I had my first at @thecometcafe, and I never looked back.

On getting home, we made a bee-line (no offense) to the nearest Whole Foods, which incidentally is the only one in Greater Cincinnati.  I found the Field Roast area, and bought one of each thing they had.  (And yes, the sausage was the Pizza game-changer, but the I still classify the reuben as the definitive overall game-changer).  I picked up a few other essentials, and that evening I was making my first batch.  Nice Organic Rye (Organic is a given anymore.  Although I think more often than not, its a scam to suck more of your hard earned pay, I'm trying not to let my cynicism rule my day), sauerkraut, various condiments to try and duplicate the Thousand Islands dressing, and some Daiya cheese, to sprinkle on top.  Now contrary to most people, I'm not completely sold on Daiya.  Yes it melts good, but its not my favorite.  I guess I still remember what cheese tastes like, so this stuff is far removed.  Besides, buying a cheese because it melts good seems to be the wrong reason.  When I got a steak, it wasn't because I liked the color of it.

Getting out the skillet, Earth Balancing my bread.  (It seems wrong to say "Buttering" now), assembling my new creations, and using my family as the test kitchen.  I say family, but in reality my kids still thing Vegan, or Veganism is some sort of disease.  My son desperately thinks I'm going to be in some health trouble because I dont drink Milk.  Yes, I'm learning that the marketing campaign does affect the young pretty good as well.  Not to mention some of my closer friends, now worried about my Soy intake, as some study, or studies, no doubt funded by the Dairy Farmers of America, said too much Soy will cause health problems.  Well my answer to that is; "too much milk will turn you into a Cow".  Hard to argue with that one.  It is infact what it was designed to do......

Back to the kitchen, and my testers.  Lets just say, that this lovely golden brown delicacy was heavan in my mouth, and I proceeded to make them every day for the rest of that week. (thats not actually my sandwich in the picture, it just looked pretty good)  At one point in my endeavor I had thought I lost the almighty sandwich forever, but with one relatively simple creation, I became once again inspired. Over the next few weeks, I've made several variations, some grilled, some not, sometimes sauerkraut, sometimes cole slaw, but at the core, I still have go back to Field Roast for making it all possible.

So "game-changer" may be a bit strong, but its these little strategic battles that I win, make me think I can get through this.  Now, tackling the Jimmy Johns "Italian Night Club", is another story entirely.  I think some things cannot be redone.  For now, thank you Reuben!


  1. I tried for years to replicate the reuben and it's true, the one with Field Roast at Comet Cafe is the best. I thought I was the only one who obsessed about it, but apparently not! :-)

  2. hi colleen! so there is a name behind @milwaukeevegan. awesome... and yes, i am obsessed about it as well. i've gone there and got it togo as well, to brought it into work the next day. still good, a little soggy, but very good. my replica's are pretty good too. i'm quite happy about this discovery. :-)

  3. Chased by sausages? Turn into a cow? You do make me laugh Brian. Thank you! Your sandwich sounds good though I admit I have never had a reuben, vegan or otherwise, before.