I like to order Reuben’s when I’m at delis or restaurants that don’t have vegetarian options. I just order the sandwich without the corned beef. What I get is loads of warm sauerkraut smothered with melted Swiss cheese between toasted rye bread slathered with dressing.
Even better is a Reuben with tempeh! Hold up, hold up! Not always.
Take the Reuben that I ordered for the Natural Goodness Market in Center City Philly the other day. Natural Goodness is a small health food market with a kitchen that serves sandwiches and hot foods. I had only ten minutes on the parking meter, so stopped in to grab a sandwich to go. I chose the Reuben with tempeh.
Um, what are the ingredients in a Reuben?
Corned beef – We’re substituting tempeh. The tempeh was straight up out of the package – not seasoned, cooked, or warm.
Sauerkraut – Usually lots of it, but not in this case. My hankering for sauerkraut was not even tickled.
Thousand Island-type dressing – A sauce should say something, pop in your mouth. Their sauce was weak.
Swiss Cheese – Absent! Not no nothin’!
Rye Bread – Seven grain bread? I’m sure they use it for every sandwich on the board. That’s cheap. And it wasn't toasted.
The person who made my sandwich obviously didn’t care one iota about a Reuben, or food in general. Just because you’re a health food store doesn’t mean you can get away with such things. Food should taste good and somewhat represent what you advertise.
It’s 2006! Meals at health food stores were bland and nasty 10 to 15 years ago. You’ve got competition now. Compete!
Natural Goodness Market and Cafe
2000 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Mon-Fri. 9a.m.-7p.m., Sat.10a.m-6p.m., Sun.-closed