I said I'd give you sandwiches this Vegan Mofo, and boy, do I have a bunch for you tonight! Every Wednesday night, my friends and I have dinner at Imagine Vegan Cafe. We've been doing so since the all-vegan comfort food joint opened over a year and a half ago. Sure, we've missed a few Wednesdays here and there. But for the most part, all or some of us are there each week.
Needless to say, most of us have had everything on their massive menu. And we all have faves and go-tos. Imagine has a great selection of entrees, like "chicken" fried steak with gravy, red beans and rice with Tofurky sausage, chili cheese fries, vegan cheesesticks, and fried eggplant parm. But there's also a huge sandwich menu!
I asked all my friends to order sandwiches tonight for the sake of this post. And because they are awesome, they all agreed. I ordered my all-time fave — The French Dip Sub:
I have to admit, when I gave up meat in 1994, I was most sad about never getting to eat a French dip sub again. Roast beef was my favorite meat, and it was years before I had a vegan version. This one is, by far, the best vegan French dip sub I've had. They use a tender seitan steak and a salty, "beefy" dipping sauce. Vegan cheese and sauteed onions and peppers are available by request.
All sandwiches come with one side item, and although they have great fries, I usually opt for a veggie so I won't feel too guilty for dessert. This time, I went with sauteed spinach.
My friend Mike also loves the French Dip Sub, but I told him he couldn't order one because I needed another sandwich for my blog. So he chose something he'd never had before, the Chicken Bacon Melt:
I've had this before, and it is superb. They use Gardein chicken and Smart Bacon, and the sandwich is topped with creamy vegan cheese. It's so good! Here's what Mike had to say: "It was really good. I thought the tenderness of the chicken complemented the crunchiness of the bacon very well."
My friend Shay went with her go-to Fried Chicken Sandwich:
This is so simple and delicious — fried Gardein tenders, Vegenaise, tomato, lettuce, and pickles. That's it. No cheese. No frills. I like this sandwich with a side of Imagine's creamy vegan mac & cheese, but Shay opted for steamed broccoli. Here's what she had to say: "I love it because fake chicken is better than the real thing, and the Vegenaise is definitely better than the real thing. And the pickles just make everything better."
Stephanie (a.k.a. Poopie Bitch) ordered something new to her too. She ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich:
It's similar to the Fried Chicken Sandwich but with the addition of buffalo sauce and vegan ranch! It's so good and spicy. And just because she could, she ordered hush puppies on the side. Here's what Stephanie had to say about her sandwich: "I love anything covered in buffalo sauce. It has a nice level of spice. I got the hush puppies because anything deep-fried is a good choice for a side dish."
And if all that sandwich madness wasn't enough, dig this. So Stephanie bakes all the desserts that Imagine sells through her home-based vegan baking company, Swell Baked Goods. Tonight, she brought a selection of pumpkin latte cupcakes, pumpkin cream cheese blondies, Kalua chocolate cake, and more. But unlike some weeks, she wasn't planning on bringing any cookie sandwiches.
But when I told her about my planned Imagine sandwich post, she made a cookie sandwich JUST for me! She already had Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies for sale there, so she stuck two together with vegan buttercream and put it behind the counter, reserved for me. Isn't that awesome? I really have the best friends ever.
Look at that! OMG! The cookies were so moist and chewy, just like a perfect cookie should be. And the buttercream was just the right level of sweet. YUMMY!