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Veat: It's what's for lunch
August 20, 2009 10:16 AM   Subscribe

The top 10 fake-chicken sandwiches in the U.S.

Fake meat is popping up more and more, but it still can be hard to find a good vegan/vegetarian sandwich that doesn't provide its protein from cheese and bread. Amy from PETA's VegCookingBlog has selected her top 10 faux-chicken sandwiches. In reverse order:

10. Chickette Sandwich - Red Dog Saloon, 1421 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA
9. Breaded Chicken Sandwich - Vertical Diner, 2280 S West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT
8. No Chicken Caesar Club - Foodswings, 295 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY
7. Grilled Gardein Bruschetta Pomodoro Panini - VegiTerranean, 21 Furnace St, Akron, OH
6. Mock Chicken Dijon - Pizza Lucé, various locations, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
5. Chicken Parmesan Hero - Red Bamboo, 140 W. 4th St., NYC, NY
4. Chicken Run Ranch Burger - Native Foods, southern CA
3. Bayou Chickin' Sandwich - Veggie Grill, L.A. and Irvine, CA
2. Vegan Philly Chicken Cheese Steak - Govinda's Gourmet Vegetarian, 1408 South St, Philadelphia, PA
1. Secret BBQ Chicken Sandwich - Green New American Vegetarian, 2240 N. Scottsdale Rd. #8, Tempe, AZ

Red Bamboo might be my favorite vegan restaurant, but for fake meat in San Francisco, I like Golden Era, Loving Hut, and Millennium. In Louisville (KY), I like Zen Garden. The latter offers a bitching BBQ Soy Sandwich, but none of them have fake-chicken sandwiches.

Got a local favorite that should make the list? What's the best fake-chicken sandwich in the world? Does anyone really care?

Bonus content: Recent update on in vitro meat from Wired UK. And CNN. And Wikipedia. (previously)
posted by mrgrimm (68 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yay for Govinda's!
posted by Mister_A at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


They left out KFC. Oh, right - that's because KFC's fake chicken is disgusting!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:20 AM on August 20, 2009


That should be The top 10 admittedly fake-chicken sandwiches in the U.S.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:21 AM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


(Dawkins, the Second Amendment, banned books and now PETA. We've got a real quadfecta going on here today.)

I have completely unable to find some of the more realistic fake meats in my area. Even the "natural foods" and Trader Joes places draw a blank. I guess they aren't out of the highly urbanized areas yet (which this list of locations would seem to confirm).
posted by DU at 10:21 AM on August 20, 2009


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products. There are so many delicious vegetarian and vegan foods that don't try to be something they aren't-- what's the point of second- and third-rate substitutes for something to which you're ostensibly opposed? I mean, you don't see antidrug activists smoking oregano and shooting up saline solution.
posted by dersins at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


(previously)
posted by dersins at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2009


i agree with you in theory dersins, but honestly, sometimes it's nice to be able to get a sandwich outside the house that is something other than salad on bread.
posted by RedEmma at 10:24 AM on August 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

Selection bias. "omgfakemeat" is a hot topic and gets discussed outside of vegetarian circles. Inside of such circles, it's just one option of many for dealing with things like non-vegetarian friends/relatives, dishes that require meat of some kind, etc.
posted by DU at 10:26 AM on August 20, 2009


Generally speaking, I really dislike the notion of fake meats. Vegan/vegetarian food ought to be good on its own merits, not as a "good enough" substitute for a meat product. A good black bean "burger" beats a good fake "hamburger" any day. Tastes nothing like beef, of course, but it's delicious on its own terms. Is it really so ingrained in people that "meals contain meat" that a meat substitute has to be found?

I once had a fake "pulled pork" sandwich at All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge, MA that was made with jackfruit and very good, but I kind of see that as an exception to my rule, since sammiches like that are vehicles for the sauce as much as anything else.

So yeah, I'd like to see a "Top 10 Vegetarian Sandwiches" list. Maybe it'd be too broad a topic, but there has to be a category of delicious food that is somewhere between "trying to compensate for lack of meat" and "ultra-crunchy vegan special" with tons of sprouts and lettuce and no actual flavor.
posted by explosion at 10:28 AM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I absolutely hate it when a vegan/vegetarian says to you, "So? Do you like it?" Then when they drag their compliment from you they say, "Gotcha! It's ground up dirt and metal, doesn't it taste JUST LIKE MEAT?"

No. It doesn't. Also, tomatoes, garlic and wine don't have any meat in them, why not just make THAT?

I have no issue whatsoever about vegan/veggie restaurants offering a non-meat sandwich, that's as advertised.

Please don't ambush me with soy protein or flax or anything else that purports to be a "meat substitute."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:29 AM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


you don't see antidrug activists smoking oregano and shooting up saline solution

Of course not. That might reduce the concentration of Viagra, Percocet, and sanctimony in their systems.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 AM on August 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


It's not advertised as 'chicken,' per se, but my god - the sandwiches at Portland's Bye and Bye are insanely good (and beers in Mason jars? Fuck yeah!). PaRaDoX Cafe has lots of fucking great fake meaty sandwiches (as well as the Vegan Country Comfort - scrambled Tofu, garden veggie sausage, roasted potatoes, vegan almond gravy and biscuits). Red and Black Cafe, besides being collectively owned and operated, has a badass sandwich menu as well. The Flavor Shack serves a sandwich of fake meaty in a waffle with maple syrup. There's just a lot of really delicious pdx vegan places.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Say what you want about the studies that found soy messes with testosterone/estrogen balance. Even if theres only a tiny chance that the studies are perhaps possibly halfway valid, no way Im fucking with that shit.
posted by ElmerFishpaw at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2009


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

Most vegetarians are not obsessed with fake meat products.

Some vegetarians rely on them to ease the transition to vegetarianism, particularly those who have grown up eating in a meat-potato-vegetable format. Some people like the taste, texture and form of meat products but want healthier alternatives. Some people want to serve something familiar to meat-eating family and friends. Some people want to be able to have high-protein options at summer BBQs. Some vegetarians don't use fake meat products at all.
posted by Adam_S at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Say what you want about the studies that found soy messes with testosterone/estrogen balance. Even if theres only a tiny chance that the studies are perhaps possibly halfway valid, no way Im fucking with that shit.

Yes, you should definitely stick to the safety of red meat, particularly beef.
posted by DU at 10:35 AM on August 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


The best fake chicken sandwich in America is at my house.

You take some veat bites and brown them in a pan quickly. (Quickly! Veat gets stringy if you cook it too long.) Drain on a paper towel and chop coarsely. Mix with mayo or homemade aioli, finely diced Granny Smith apple, chopped boiled egg, fresh chopped tarragon, and a bit of anise seed. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and lots of fresh black pepper. Serve on toasted multigrain bread.

That, my friends, is one fine sandwich.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:36 AM on August 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

Weird. I don't even think of it as a meat substitute. Its just another delicious food option we have. Call it braised tofu, or TVP cooked in tomato sauce with onions and peppers, or you can call it 'fake ribs' or 'fake sloppy joe' - either way, its weird to get all self-righteous about not eating vegan protein substitutes.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:38 AM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Say what you want about the studies that found soy messes with testosterone/estrogen balance. Even if theres only a tiny chance that the studies are perhaps possibly halfway valid, no way Im fucking with that shit.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Don't ever read about what's in your fish - and what mercury can do to your BRAIN.

Wow.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:39 AM on August 20, 2009


I used to make mushroom burgers all the time. Carrots, avocado, sprouts, cheese, yum. Again, good on its own terms. But I don't see anything wrong with impersonating meat, especially when many meat products (like this one, using 3D technology) are themselves approximations of a single piece of animal flesh.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:47 AM on August 20, 2009


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

I don't know any vegetarians who are obsessed with fake meat products. In fact, I'm more likely to buy them than any of my vegetarian friends or family. This is because I have many wonderful recipes that I have learned or created that center around a meat protein, and I would like to be able to recreate some of these recipes for non-omnivores. Sometimes I can find a specific substitute that will suitably replace the original meat. Some recipes I've found can be recreated just fine simply by leaving the meat out and not trying to replace it at all. And some things simply have to be completely reinvented. Point is, it's not about "faking" the meat. It's about providing the widest possible range of cullinary choices within the limits of the system.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


> Say what you want about the studies that found soy messes with testosterone/estrogen balance.

Hush now and finish your industrially-produced hormone-enhanced milk.

(And to stay on-topic, as an omnivore I treat fake meat as food that's not convincingly meat but can be enjoyed as a substance with its own particular texture and flavor. I still order veggie burgers from time to time for no other reason than because I like a good veggie burger.)
posted by ardgedee at 10:55 AM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I haven't tried any of these particular menu items, though I have been to the NYC places on the list. Red Bamboo is pretty amazing.

At home, I like Quorn for its nutritional profile, taste, and versatility. I use the Naked cutlets.

These foods are eaten for texture purposes, ethics, health purposes, or just overall taste. What people eat is such a personal thing and it doesn't affect you.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:56 AM on August 20, 2009


as an omnivore I treat fake meat as food that's not convincingly meat but can be enjoyed as a substance with its own particular texture and flavor.

This is exactly how I treated those products as a longtime vegetarian (I eat some seafood now). I've found most vegetarians past the first few months or year do.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:59 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight. — Rita Rudner
posted by netbros at 11:00 AM on August 20, 2009


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

Yeah. We've all heard the stand-up bit. You know why companies sell and why people buy fake meats? Because they can be damn delicious and if done well can easily rival their fleshy counterparts.
posted by item at 11:01 AM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are no vegetarians, just omnivores with a bias.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:09 AM on August 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why go to the Fake Chicken Cheesesteak, when the whole "Chicken Cheesesteak" think was supposedly a "healthier option", and you could just go for broke with a Fake Steak Cheesesteak?
posted by mikelieman at 11:10 AM on August 20, 2009


s/think/thing/, of course.
posted by mikelieman at 11:12 AM on August 20, 2009


In Seattle, I think the best fake-meat dishes I've eaten are at the Teapot restaurant on Capitol Hill. It's been a while since I've eaten there, but they were a favorite of mine when I spent more time in that part of town. OTOH, it's a Chinese restaurant, so no sandwiches.
posted by hattifattener at 11:16 AM on August 20, 2009


Fox-chicken sandwich.
posted by 445supermag at 11:22 AM on August 20, 2009


I really don't understand the vegetarian obsession with fake meat products.

...

I don't know any vegetarians who are obsessed with fake meat products.


Um ... OK, I admit it, I'm pretty obsessed, mostly because I don't really like tofu that much, but I love SE Asian food. It's possible to make the same dishes with standard veggies, but it's not as enjoyable to me as with the TVP.

I also love the taste of fish (most meat to be honest - mmm, ribs), and am often amazed by the fake stuff. Golden Era has a pineapple salmon that is damn good. I eat eggs, and fake chorizo is nearly as good as the real thing (it's all spices anyway). I love to BBQ, and I don't really like veggie shish-kabobs (though grilled corn is great), so having fake ribs or dogs to throw on the grill is a godsend.

Part of the issue is that rather than "vegetarian," a more accurate term for me (that my friends like to use) at public events for the last 20 years has been "side-dish-eating motherfucker." Of course you don't need to have a protein/meat in your entree, but it sure gives it a lot more credibility. (Fwiw, my wedding dinner was completely vegetarian with no TVP at all, and I loved it.)

The fact that veggie-burgers and faux-chicken sandwiches are now more available for those of us who've previously been stuck with Taco Bell for fast veggie lunches is pretty exciting to me.

There are no vegetarians, just omnivores with a bias.

True. I used to make the distinction myself, as in not calling myself a "vegetarian," just that I "don't eat meat much, if ever." People hated that, so I sucked it up and accepted the tag.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:37 AM on August 20, 2009


There are no vegetarians, just omnivores with a bias.

This doesn't make sense. 'Vegetarian' is not (exclusively) synonymous with 'herbivore'.
posted by Adam_S at 11:42 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks, mrgrimm. I already passed Govinda's on the way home from work, and now you've got me ready to go back over there for a damn sandwich!
posted by orme at 12:04 PM on August 20, 2009


There are a number of meats where I discovered what I missed was how the meat was flavored and not the meat. Sausage and pepperoni don't taste like pork side, they taste like the spices that go in them. I make sandwiches with "fake pepperoni" because it tastes good and saves a bunch of time on flavoring my own bean curd. Ditto BBQ tofu and veg. You spend an inordinate amount of time getting BBQ flavor into chicken (and if you're like my dad you don't do a good job of it); I do the same thing with tempeh.

Plain chicken breast isn't very tasty. My "fake chicken" is simulating what gets added to the chicken, not the chicken.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah - "fake pepperoni" is actually pretty damn good as an ingredient. It's not as good as the best "real pepperoni," but it's better than some I've had. Vegetarian or not, it's a good low fat substitute, especially in dishes where it doesn't stand alone.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:26 PM on August 20, 2009


Man, when it is well past midnight and I am in my cups there is no better late-night snack than a bunch of fake-chicken nuggets cooked until crispy, then used as a medium for scooping up dollops of hummus. And I say this as an omnivore that loves the taste of flesh and eats it regularly. Fake meat is frequently fantastic! I'm glad that liking it doesn't stop me from liking everything else!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:49 PM on August 20, 2009


There are some fake meats that are awesome. Scrambled with eggs, Soyrizo tastes insanely similar to real chorizo, but doesn't leave me in a grease-induced coma. As far as fake burgers, though, the most meat-like ones taste like school cafeteria hamburgers, which is a bad thing, but the black bean ones are great on their own merits, especially on a whole-wheat bun with tortilla chips on the side.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:49 PM on August 20, 2009


If modern factory-grown chicken tastes like styrofoam, then what, exactly, does fake-chicken taste like?

My problem with soy "cheese" and soy "meat" et al. is not the act of imitation, but the fact that they are imitating bad cheese and bad meat. Whenever people tell me something "tastes like chicken" I think: this person has never tasted a real chicken.

Red meat is even rarer in the US, as anyone who has been to Ireland or Argentina - or anywhere where the cows are still grass-fed - can attest. The taste cannot be imitated by any combination of beans and grains. Soy cheese can imitate that gunky white stuff that Kraft makes, but not manchego or cave-aged cheddar or anything, really, that you'd want to serve with a good red wine.

For the record: I make a pretty damn good black-bean burger. I only eat meat a few times a week. I'm not anti-vegetarian at all!
posted by kanewai at 12:55 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


As for why vegetarians eat fake meat, it also depends on why you're veg. I don't dislike the taste of meat, I dislike animal cruelty. If there was some tasty vat-grown meat, I would eat that. On an extremely selective basis I might consider eating meat from animals (depending on circumstances). But anything I buy in a store or restaurant is too suspect to trust, and I've seen personally and heard too many horror stories about ostensibly "humane" (the mythical caring local rancher or w/e) that turned out bad (although some of that probably turns on exactly how much care/consideration you think animals deserve --- humane to some may be cruel to others).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:57 PM on August 20, 2009


Fake meat is frequently fantastic! I'm glad that liking it doesn't stop me from liking everything else!

I don't think you're paying attention. You're supposed to choose a side, stick with it, and defend it at all costs. No fair enjoying the wonderful diversity of foodstuffs out there.
posted by bondcliff at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2009


Luce's mock muffuleta is a tastier sandwich, but yeah, it's not fake chicken. ok. thinking about it almost makes me miss working there.
posted by rainperimeter at 1:01 PM on August 20, 2009


I have a friend who regularly ate the 20 cent wings special at a weekly bar gathering with some friends. She skeptically tried the Barbecue Buffalo Wings at Red Bamboo in Manhattan [link is to menupages listing since their site is down right now]. Without any prompting on my behalf, she declared them the best wings she had ever eaten. I love Red Bamboo!

The Brooklyn location has a slightly different menu. No wings, but plenty of other tasty options.
posted by funkiwan at 3:36 PM on August 20, 2009


I'm a vegetarian for over twenty years. Why would I want to eat fake meat? I don't eat meat because it is yucky; I don't even like to walk past the meat counter at the store, it makes me gag.

If you are a meat eater, imagine how you would feel if you walked into a restaurant and the waiter said, "How would you like to try some of our mock cockroach soup? Or maybe our new faux-rat sandwich." Well that's how I feel about fake meat.
posted by charlesminus at 4:13 PM on August 20, 2009


mrgrimm: Got a local favorite that should make the list?

Well, one that probably should be included - one of the best vegetarian restaurants out there, and a cultural landmark to boot, is a fantastic place called The Grit in Athens, Georgia. Started by one of the guys from the old alt-metal band Porn Orchard in 1986 and operating out of a building owned by one Michael Stipe, they are the very confluence of good old tasty Southern food and excellent vegetarianism/veganism. Take a gander at their menus: 1, 2. I can personally attest to the fact that things which ought to be horrendous aberrations like Tofu Meatloaf and Tofu Wellington (!) are rendered there in a way that completely changed my mind about fake meat.
posted by koeselitz at 4:14 PM on August 20, 2009


charlesminus: I'm a vegetarian for over twenty years. Why would I want to eat fake meat? I don't eat meat because it is yucky; I don't even like to walk past the meat counter at the store, it makes me gag.

If you are a meat eater, imagine how you would feel if you walked into a restaurant and the waiter said, "How would you like to try some of our mock cockroach soup? Or maybe our new faux-rat sandwich." Well that's how I feel about fake meat.


People are vegetarians for lots of different reasons. Some people (like you, I guess) are vegetarians because they think meat tastes bad. Other people are vegetarians because, although they love the taste of meat, they think that, for one reason or another, they shouldn't eat it.

I don't have any problem with either group; live and let live, I say. If fake meat helps people to satisfy their moral qualms while getting to satisfy their tastes as well, what's the trouble with it?
posted by koeselitz at 4:17 PM on August 20, 2009


i hate foodswings. the food was alright, but the last few times i went there it seemed the workers there were more concerned with their cool points of working in a punkrock vegetarian restaurant in williamsburg than actually um, working there. 'go ahead kid, finish hanging out back there, i'll wait.' ach. think i struck it off my list of food options for that neighborhood 3-4 years ago. i'm surprised it's still around.

red bamboo is awesome though. i've since quit vegetarianism, but i'll go back there every now and again for some of the fake chicken.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 4:55 PM on August 20, 2009


As a devoted omnivore with a ton of vegan friends, I am happy to attest that the faux chicken at Foodswings is some of the best ever. At least it was when I last lived in New York, five and a half years ago.

Red Bamboo is also amazing.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:12 PM on August 20, 2009


this!.

why in the world not just eat a plate of rice and beans instead of mystery non-meat?

or should we just deduce that, beside being bourgeois gastronomic posturing, the faking of the meat points to the unspoken truth that veganism is just not natural.
posted by liza at 5:36 PM on August 20, 2009


quorn naked cutlets are amazing. brush with oil, seasoned, baked. they can go in so much.

for boca/morningstar burgers - put a little butter in the pan, cook off the frozen outside of the patty and smear it around in the butter (45 seconds or so if you start with a hot pan) - add vegetarian worcestershire (i found one that has smoke in it, awesome!), cook both sides of the patty for 3-5 minutes (when the outsides start to blacken), add BBQ sauce (i use stubbs spicy), cook for another 3-5 (after it's liquidy but before it's burned), put it on a toasted bun - enjoy.

and to echo a lot of what's been said - i don't eat meat because it's cruel and bad for my heart. it has nothing to do with it being tasty. i also don't endeavor for my "fake meat" to taste like the "real thing". to me, they are lumps of protein that retain seasonings well if you learn to cook with them.

i suggested red bamboo on the green just the other day. so freaking good.
posted by nadawi at 6:18 PM on August 20, 2009


fake meats are usually some combination of TVP and TSP - which are ingredients in many, many "meaty" products. so i guess the natural question would be - if you're such a meat happy ominvore, then why are you eating fake meat?
posted by nadawi at 6:20 PM on August 20, 2009


I once had a fake "pulled pork" sandwich at All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge, MA that was made with jackfruit and very good

Oh lordy, jackfruit is amazing when used in the same way as meat might be, in savoury dishes. I discovered it years ago when I was in Indonesia, ate it every chance I got, but sadly, haven't had it since. So good, so meaty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:33 PM on August 20, 2009


I make my own fake chicken from bacon.
posted by bardic at 6:37 PM on August 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I hadn't realized how much I missed Govinda's (and Essene Market) until I read this post.
posted by crataegus at 8:20 PM on August 20, 2009


I'm sorry, but no. The best fake-chicken sandwich is the one that I invented:

Chick’n and Avocado Sandwiches


1 8-ounce package meatless chicken, cut into strips
2 small Haas avocados, sliced
3 hoagie buns, preferably whole wheat
lettuce leaves
sweet onion slices
chipotle mayonnaise*

Heat chick’n strips in a small, non-stick skillet until just heated through. Layer strips on buns, top with avocado slices, and serve with lettuce, onion slices and mayo.

Serves 3.

*To make chipotle mayonnaise, puree a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the blender. Stir about ½ teaspoon of the puree into about ¼ cup of mayonnaise . Taste and add more if you like. Store remaining chipotle pepper puree in a small glass jar in the refrigerator. The puree will keep for a year.
posted by zinfandel at 8:39 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


3. Bayou Chickin' Sandwich - Veggie Grill, L.A. and Irvine, CA

I'm a little surprised to see this on a nationwide list, especially in the number three spot. (Not one location from Northern California or the Bay Area?? Really?) I'm right across from the Irvine location, and most of their food induces a listless kind of, "Oh, tempeh with veggies on top. Meh." reaction from me. Granted, I've never tried their Bayou Chicken Sandwich, so I could be missing out. Overall though, I would sooner grab something from the Trader Joe's next door and make a dinner at home.

All the good reviews for Red Bamboo have me curious. Unfortunately the restaurant seems to be a NYC thing, so I'll have to put that down on my list of places to hit should I visit.
posted by Avelwood at 9:09 PM on August 20, 2009


Say what you want about the studies that found soy messes with testosterone/estrogen balance. Even if theres only a tiny chance that the studies are perhaps possibly halfway valid, no way Im fucking with that shit.

This came up one day at work. I'm not googling it again, but there's an awesome article out there one of those wackjob right-wing NewsMaxToday! sites about how soy milk is turning kids "Gay." And yes, they used the scare-quotes around "gay."
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:37 PM on August 20, 2009


the unspoken truth that veganism is just not natural

Neither is birth control.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:39 AM on August 21, 2009


Yeah, I call bull on their LA answers—the best fake chicken sandwiches here are at Real Food Daily and Veggie Soul, which makes a pretty kickin' BBQ chicken (though not as good as their pulled porkish stuff). It's good enough that you don't even really mind the crazy religious flyers on their tables.

As my girlfriend has often remarked, I'd eat the most disgusting shit if I weren't vegetarian, so I kinda seek out the weird fake meats. I love the soyrizo (mostly for hashbrowns, but really, goes in anything) even though it comes in what we call the meat condom. I used to love the Morningstar riblets, but unfortunately the tree they made them from is now extinct.

It's just flavored protein—there's good and there's bad. I was kinda disappointed to see the woman who used seitan in chilis relleños get sent home in the first Top Chef episode (though her plate looked like ass, and you can't taste things through the TV yet).
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 AM on August 21, 2009


I think you could be a vegan who just doesn't like eating meat and still enjoy some of these things because what people think of when they think of a chicken sandwich -- the texture, the mouthfeel, the seasonings -- are partially attributable to the inherent qualities of meat, but can be duplicated using non-meat products. You're not a bad vegetarian or vegan for wanting those qualities, nor are you a bad omnivore for wanting a good sandwich.

That's my consensus reality, damn it.
posted by mikeh at 1:05 PM on August 21, 2009


They obviously didn't make it down to The Grit in Athens, GA. The Chik Parm sandwich there is terrific. I miss The Grit. A lot. I have yet to find a vegetarian restaurant that tops it.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 2:52 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


OMG, Foodswings is the WORST! This list is definitely suspect.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2009


Good news, dersins. I don't limit myself to eating things you understand.
posted by chairface at 7:46 PM on August 21, 2009


You eat differential equations? Dude, that's weird.
posted by dersins at 1:05 AM on August 22, 2009


Way back when I was a math student, I ate differential equations and SHIT LIGHTNING!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 PM on August 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


How does the shit lightning taste?
posted by klangklangston at 11:15 PM on August 23, 2009


LIKE VICTORY!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:28 PM on August 23, 2009


WITH ITS TONGUE
posted by klangklangston at 11:49 PM on August 23, 2009


LIKE CHICKEN



(duh?)
posted by zinfandel at 10:00 PM on August 28, 2009


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