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The last time I ate a Philly Cheese “steak” sandwich was at the Hometown Diner in Connellsville, PA. The cook there made me one without the cheese and the steak. It was basically fried onions and red peppers in a roll, pretty delicious but a pale imitation of the original. I’d also eaten a vegan Philly Cheese steak in New York at Blossom du Jour and thought it was good but not earth shattering. Before that I ate my very first one at Champs Diner in Brooklyn. The Champs one was wonderful and it set a high benchmark.
So I was pretty excited to find the Rocky on the Smith & Deli sandwich board. The Rocky is a classic Philly Cheese Steak with beef, peppers, onions and cheese toasted in a roll.
This one was damn good. The beef was pretty convincing in texture and taste and it is hard to go past the fried onion/pepper combo with melted mozzarella cheese.
The bread roll was an excellent sourdough.
The photo was kindly provided by fellow blogger Faye at Veganopoulous. Mine was atrocious, having been taken one handed on a phone in semi darkness. What can I say? I was in a hurry to eat the sandwich!
Smith & Deli
111 Moor St
The truffle shuffle is a ham and cheese toastie made extra special by the addition of truffle oil.
The bread was a beautiful sourdough multigrain, the house made mozzarella cheese was delicious and pleasingly melty, but I wasn’t so keen on the seitan based ham. That’s me, I am not thrilled by the taste of gluten flour in seitan. It needs to be well spiced and flavoured and there just wasn’t quite enough hammy vibe there to overpower the flavour of the flour. This is a minor quibble. I am being picky, but given the fabulousness of some of the other mock meats at Smith & Deli, the ham didn’t quite measure up for me.
It was still a damn good sandwich. Each bite packed a burst of truffle flavour which really made the sandwich special. But to be honest, I’d probably enjoy this more without the ham.
I ate it as I walked along Moor St in the winter sunshine to see an exhibition at the museum.
Smith & Deli
111 Moor St
If you like chilli this is the sandwich for you.
Sorry the photo doesn’t show much of the filling, but I snapped this one in the car with my phone.
This is a pleasingly mouth scalding sandwich packed with heat from jalapeños and a delicious chipotle aioli. It also has some other ingredients that work well against the spicy heat. Turkey and cheese make up the filling, and roasted corn kernels and pickled red cabbage make a soothing contrast against the chilli firepower.
This comes in good sourdough bread and I had mine toasted. Excellent.
Smith & Deli
111 Moor St
The plan to eat all the sandwiches on the Smith & Deli menu as a Vegan MoFo challenge started as a jokey exchange on a Facebook group I am part of, but after a moment’s thought it seemed like a great idea. Since I started the research (as in – eating) for these posts, Vegan Mofo has changed the rules. Instead of a single theme for the month of your choice, they decided to have one common theme each day.
I’m rebelling and I have decided that all the posts will be on my chosen theme, just like before. These posts happen to fit nicely into the Vegan Mofo 15 theme #5 of Best Sandwich Ever. I had a choice of publishing them over the month, or all on day five. I decided to string them out. Bad me.
So here goes.
Smith & Deli opened in mid June with, amongst other things, a spectacular 32 item vegan sandwich menu. I was on a mission to try them all, so why not write them up for Vegan Mofo 2015?
I was going to attempt to eat them all in the 30 days of MOFO, but in the interest of full disclosure, and the protection of my waistline, a number of these sandwiches were consumed in June, July and August.
The Home Alone sandwich had me written all over it, so it was always going to be my first choice on opening day.
It consists of a roll with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, mashed potato and gravy. The sandwich I actually ate on the frenzy of opening day was a one off special as they had run out of both rolls and turkey. Mine was in sublime turkish bread from Noisette Bakery and the turkey was replaced by chicken salad. Both were really excellent substitutions.
This sandwich was so delicious it actually made me a bit weepy. Beware! This is how the slippery slope of sandwich addiction begins!
Smith & Deli
111 Moor St
A kilo or so of small lebanese cucumbers that were not going to last the weekend landed in my possession, courtesy of some leftovers at Fareshare. I hate waste, so I used them to make some pickled cucumbers. I’d got the idea to do this after my sister-in-law brought some to a family dinner. It has taken me an age to publish this post. I wrote it in March and forgot about it. Here it finally is.
These pickles need to be stored in the fridge as they are not sterilised by heat. But I like them better this way as they retain more of their crispness. It also means that they can have less vinegar than a stored pickle, which I also like, as they are not so tart. They will last several weeks in the fridge.
The important part is to get the ratio of vinegar to water right so they preserve. Everything else is really to taste. The right ratio is about 5 parts vinegar to 3 parts water. I needed about 2 cups in total.
I used this mix and then added enough sugar to take the edge off the vinegar and seasoned with salt, thinly sliced garlic, black peppercorns, fennel seeds and fresh dill. That’s it.
They are delicious.
|The Pol Roti|
In the grim and dismal cold of the Melbourne winter it has been really nice to get away to somewhere warm and beautiful for a week and a bit.
I’ve been to Bali a few times now and I never fail to be taken by its beauty and the friendliness of the people. There are towns, which are largely like other towns in South East Asia, but it is the mountainous greenery of Bali which I love, rice terraces, cloves drying by the roadside, cinnamon trees and bananas just growing by the road. There is also the joy of being able to see the horizon, which is a rare occurrence for city dwellers like me, something I think of as a holiday pleasure.
To see Bali in its beauty, I think you need to head away from the southern beaches which are full of sometimes embarrassing, badly behaved drunks and head further north. This time I headed for the relaxing town of Ubud for some reading and cooking, followed by a some snorkelling at Menjangan Island off the town of Pemuteran, a small fishing town on the north west coast close to Java. I’ve been to both places before.
Bali is also a great place to eat. Indonesia is the home of tempeh and tofu and it is pretty easy to get vegan food here. I’ve also found the Balinese to be very friendly and helpful in making sure we can eat well. There are some great cafes and restaurants in Ubud specifically catering to vegans, which is not so surprising. The eating opportunities range from the upmarket to small local warungs that can feed you beautiful fresh food for under $5. We also ate well in Pemuteran. The staff at our accommodation there (Taruna Homestay) were on the ball about what was vegan, even alerting us to some hidden egg in a dish.
I’m just going to add many, many pictures of the fabulous food we ate, and give a list of some of the places we tried. There were many more, but these were the ones I liked best. I haven’t reblogged the places I’ve already been to even though I revisited a few, these are well covered in a previous post.
Feast your eyes.
Jl. Subak Sok Wayah, Ubud, Bali
There are two, one near the bridge on the main road and one across the rice fields.
We went to the rice field one. It is worth it alone for the walk and the views.
Jalan Bisma Ubud
Bali 80561, Indonesia
Jalan Sriwedari No. 5, Ubud, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Jl. Raya Singaraja-Gilimanuk,
Gerokgak, Desa Pemuteran, Kabupaten Buleleng,
Bali 81155, Indonesia
Paon Cooking School
Laplapan Village, near Ubud
I’ve been trying to get to Papasito for ages, but it just seems to have evaded me, either through it closing for a break or because we just couldn’t get ourselves organised. “We must go to Papasito” had become a familiar mantra.
Finally, I caught up with some friends for dinner there on a freezing winter night.
To save thinking we opted for the $45 vegan banquet and ordered a variety of cocktails, wine and beer to match, all of which were good.
We started with a generous serve of house made corn chips that came with a delicious salsa roja, guacamole and cashew cream. We scoffed the lot because they were so tasty. The corn chips were thin, light and crispy.
The next course was a palate cleansing salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, corn and cactus. It left my mouth zinging, with a bit too much pepper for my taste, but I otherwise enjoyed it.
Next up was a plate with a soft open tortilla with impeccably cooked eggplant, with roasted potato, onion and corn. It was accompanied by two half quesadillas with different fillings, one pumpkin based and the other blackbean.
This is probably where we should have stopped…but a hearty blackbean and mushroom casserole was next up, served with a stack of warm tortillas. We were all too full to do it justice and it was a bit the same in flavours as some of the previous dishes so it didn’t encourage us to gluttony.
Lastly came the cashew vanilla dark chocolate mousse. It was fabulous, not too rich and I managed to eat it all despite being REALLY FULL.
The food was perfect for a winter’s evening, solid, warming and hearty.
I’d go back, but next time I think I’d order a la carte to have less food and perhaps a bit more variety.
219 High St,