Monday, August 22, 2011

DC Vegetarian

(Update on 12/21/11: DC Vegetarian on winter hiatus until 1/16/12)

DC Vegetarian is a vegetarian/vegan food cart located on SW 3rd Ave., between Stark St. and Washington St. in Portland, Oregon.

I ordered their vegan Steak & Cheese sandwich with no mayo or vegenaise ($5.50): homemade seitan (a high-protein meat substitute made with wheat gluten), grilled onions and peppers, and vegan cheese on a toasted sub roll.

Vegan Steak & Cheese sandwich, no mayonnaise
I thought DC's take on a vegan Philly cheesesteak was very good. The seitan cannot fully compare to a succulent steak, but I enjoyed it. The seitan does need more help as far as seasoning goes, but the meal worked for me.

What really sold me on this sandwich: the perfectly grilled peppers and onions. It brought great vibrant colors and crunchy textures to the dish. I think the peppers could have been better in long strips instead of diced portions -- considering that the seitan was also in strips. But hey, the cooking was spot-on awesome, and that's the main thing.

The vegan cheese largely stayed in blocks and did not melt, making for a weird-looking presentation. They did have a Daiya cheese option for an additional 25 cents; the Daiya cheese will melt very well, so I will probably get that next time.

The bread was simply awesome: perfectly warm and toasted, yet soft and pillowy on the inside. The bread held the seitan, cheese, and peppers very nicely. Probably one of the best examples of how bread on a hot sandwich should be prepared.

This was a huge sandwich, to the point that I chose to eat the seitan, vegan cheese, and veggies with a fork. DC Vegetarian offers condiments like sriracha, Aardvark habanero sauce, and Frank's Red Hot sauce. Adding hot sauce to the sandwich really bolstered the experience. Big points for having these condiments on hand!

A nice, guilt-free meal that I would definitely have again! For my first vegan "cheesesteak," that was pretty damn good. Overall, a great experience! 8/10

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