Sunday, June 21, 2015

Smith & Deli (by invitation), Fitzroy by Bureaucrat

Following the success of Smith & Daughters, it's clear that vegans are conquering the foodie world! With the launch of its vegan deli, Smith & Deli, co-owners Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez (who's also the head chef) are intent on converting unsuspecting meat-a-holics into the tasty pleasure of plant-based cuisine.

Smith & Deli is modelled after its mothership, Smith & Daughters. However, instead of being a dine-in affair, the Deli is focused on take-away food, fresh produce and home-cooked meals.  Despite the presence of very meaty ingredients in the shop (think: pastrami, meat pies, chicken and cheeses) be assured that everything has been made from plants... and I mean everything.  If I had to sum up the food at Smith & Deli it would be "I can't believe that's not meat!".

We were treated to a build-your-own lunchbox.  There's an impressive range of made-to-order sangers and bagels at the Deli, which are inspired from the silver screen and old Hollywood, including the The Godfather (hot chilli salami, pepperoni, mozzerella, roasted peppers and basil), Foghorn Legless (chicken schnitzel, bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and celery salt) and Little Havana (pressed Cuban ham, roast turkey, mozzerella, pickles, cheddar and mojo dressing).  And yes, all of the ingredients are plant-based.

For my sandwich, I think this was the Reubenstein - pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, Russian dressing on rye. I loved the finely shredded sauerkraut and the pickles - they were nicely tart without being too sour or sweet.  The bright pink thing in the middle was the pastrami.  This nice but was a bit mushier than I thought it would be (it looked like a solid tube of meat in the Deli).  Nonetheless, it was a tasty sandwich.

The delicious pot of salad was incredibly fresh.  Lovely waxy Anya potatoes and lightly spiced chickpea and red onions on a bed of squeaky fresh spinach.  

A lunchbox isn't complete without some treats. The apple pie bars were wonderfully apple-y and light, the Snickerdoodle was my favourite as it tasted like buttered popcorn, and the chocolate biscuit was loaded with chocolate chips.

Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse

Verdict: we loved it

If dining at a vegan restaurant is too over-whelming for you, then check out Smith & Deli.  It's such a great way to introduce yourself to vegan cuisine (and not feel like you're missing out on meat).  Grab a coffee and bagel for breakfast, matzoh ball soup for lunch, or a selection of home-made dips and a slice of lasagne for dinner.  

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