photo credit: Nate Watters
Ben & Esther’s Vegan Delicatessen
Veganizing a deli is no small feat, and Ben & Esther’s has done it. The counter-service spot with very limited seating serves classics completely void of meat and/or dairy, be it a reuben on rye or matzoh ball soup. The bagels themselves are great to begin with, and some complicated dupes totally work, like bacon breakfast sandwiches with gooey cheese understudies and a fake egg patty that’s just as springy as the real thing. Some things, however, crash and burn, like liquid smoke-soaked carrot lox that’s just as limp as it is unconvincing. Stick with bagels and schmear or “egg” sandwiches for best results—especially with a black and white cookie on the side.
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