A few weeks back, Lindsay and I drove over to the grand opening of the Herbivorous Butcher, the vegan charcuterie, the first in the United States, that’s been the subject of much discussion over the last year or so. Lindsay is a vegetarian, and, though I’m not a strict vegetarian (or vegan) I do tend to cook and eat mostly plant based recipes. My only weakness is seafood, so I guess I’m what people call “pescatarians.” In any case, siblings Aubry and Kale Walch have been selling their wares at local farmers markets for a few years, though I never had the fortune to pick up any of their wares. So, when they announced their flagship store in Northeast Minneapolis opening in January, I was there!
It seems like half of Minneapolis had the same idea, though, so when Lindsay and I found ourselves in a three hour line, we opted to sample the Italian sausage (delicious) and come back at a more manageable time. It was awesome to see the attention the little shop had attracted. So a few days later we returned to pick up some vegan meats for dinner in the next week. The place was hopping on this late Sunday afternoon, and while the bacon was gone, we picked up some porterhouse steak, some maple breakfast sausage, and some sriracha brats. Next time, maybe the cheese!
It was easy to see why; with their small batch recipes made from local ingredients, it is a perfect opportunity to get people more interested in trying out a vegan diet, even if just for a “meatless Monday” thing, if only for the oddity factor. It is certainly a more sustainable one!
I tried out the porterhouse in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ “Chili Sin Carne al Mole,” which turned out quite delicious (though I may have gone a little too much on the chili powder, this turned out to be a five alarm type!).
Lindsay made a lovely breakfast for dinner, using the deliciously mapley maple sage breakfast sausage with pancakes and eggs. A great way to end a day! I’m really looking forward to grilling some of those sriracha brats sometime soon!
Basically, I think it’s an awesome place to get anything for a party or a special recipe, and we are lucky to have them in Minnesota! Even if I haven’t converted to be a pure vegan yet, I still feel much more comfortable trying some kind of vegan bologna rather than whatever it is in the “real” thing! I imagine the pepperoni would go pretty well on a pizza, and be pretty well indistinguishable from the spicy, tasty little mystery meat pucks you usually have!
Herbivorous Butcher, 507 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN T-F 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-4.