It’s time to announce the 2013 VegCharlotte Awards for Best Sandwiches!
And the winner is … Zizi’s.
I know, I know. Not much of a surprise, huh? After all, Zizi’s IS a vegan deli specializing in vegan sandwiches. (They do offer salads, smoothies, and entrees, but Zizi’s mock-meat sandwiches are what we know and love Zizi’s for!)
Voters did list specific sandwiches and it seems everyone has their favorite.
Almost every sandwich on Zizi’s menu received at least one vote. The sandwiches with the most votes were the Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Cheese Steak, Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak, Chicken Parmless, Chicken Salad, Crispy Fish, and the Crispy Chicken Wrap.
Most sandwiches run $6.50 – $6.75; wraps are $6.99. If you want your sandwich on gluten-free bread it’s an extra $.99.
Zizi’s sandwiches seem to be especially popular within three groups:
(1) Those new to the veggie lifestyle who are missing meat (“I can’t get over how much the chicken salad tastes like chicken salad”);
(2) Those vegan ladies with boyfriends/spouses/partners still a bit leery of the vegan lifestyle (“My husband won’t touch tofu, but he WILL eat a Philly Cheese Steak or a Crispy Chicken Wrap!”); and
(3) Those that normally eat very, very healthfully but love having Zizi’s “sinfully delicious” “vegan junk food/vegan comfort food” as a treat.
For slightly healthier fare minus the mock meat, voters like The Common Market and Berrybrook Farm.
(OK, I know Zizi’s also offers healthy, no-mock-meat sandwiches such as the Grilled Veggie Sub and Avocado Sandwich – but VegCharlotte Voters would apparently rather eat a Cheese Steak when they go there).
At Common Market, you can either create your own sandwich – choosing bread, veggies, spreads (hummus, tabbouleh, tampenade, sundried tomato), condiments (yes, they DO have Vegenaise), and cheese if you’re vegetarian. OR you can choose one of the sandwiches from the Veg & Vegan section of their menu. Choices include Tree Hugger Wrap (cream cheese and veggies), Vegetarian Wrap (veggies), Mid-Eastern Wrap (hummus, tabbouleh, and veggies), Special K Wrap (hummus and veggies), Strait-Jacket Soy (tofu and veggies), Soy Boy (tofu and different veggies), or a PB&J. The PB&J is $2.50; other sandwiches range from $5.50 – $6.50.
At Berrybrook Farm, voters who like tempeh happily noted that Berrybrook Farm has a variety of three different tempeh sandwiches – a Veggie Tempeh Sandwich with tomato, spinach, onions, red peppers, avocados, and pesto; a Tempeh Reuben; and, for lacto-vegetarians, an Apple-Cheddar Tempeh Sandwich. They also have Grilled Cheese, a Patty Melt, a Pizza Wrap and a Black Bean Wrap – $4.25 – $6.25.
You can’t write a blog post about vegan sandwiches in Charlotte without mentioning Bean Vegan Cuisine. Bean has three sandwiches especially popular with VegCharlotte Voters:
The Reuben – “Possibly the best reuben I have had in my life – and that includes when I was eating meat!”
The Crabbie Patty Sandwich – faux crabcake made of jackfruit and described as “da Bomb!”
And the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich. “I love how Bean uses jackfruit in their dishes. I like having options other than soy.”
Bean’s sandwiches are all $8.50 and served with your choice of side from their quite extensive list.
Finally, for lacto-vegetarians NoDa Bodega is popular for the Caprese Panini ($7) and the Down South Grilled Cheese (pimento cheese with chipotle peppers – $6), as well as the “sometimes special” Basic Wild Panini (fresh mozzarella, roasted tomato spread, caramelized onions, fresh jalapenos and Peppadew Peppers).