having tested the vegadeli waters a few times before, we know pretty much what we're going to get. we like the food well enough, but it's vegadeli's commitment to 100% vegan fare that brings us back. it's a truly comforting experience when you know you can trust the kitchen to deliver veg-friendly food 100% of the time. so, thank you for that, vegadeli! and thank you for offering up food that still has the ability to surprise us every now and then. (peep our original vegadeli entry here.)
we're suckers for nachos, but we almost always pass them up at restaurants because guilt trips generally trump cheese. well, this time we figured the dose of guilt would be lessened considerably thanks to the all-vegan nacho components, so we dove headfirst into the molten soy deliciousness. vegadeli's nachos come with red onions, cajun rice and beans, salsa, and the aforementioned soy cheese. clark wasn't completely enamored by the soy cheese at first, as it tends to leave an odd aftertaste, but the more you eat it, the more you warm to it. and anyway, the salsa, chips, rice and beans, and red onions were more than enough to compensate for any distaste for the soy.
a quick note: we went with the lentil soup and stuffed veggie cornbread again, and, again, it was sublime. this is surely the one thing we will always order.
we tried the raw pad thai next, which is made with zucchini "pasta" and a whole slew of fresh veggies. delightful in both flavor and consistency, the pad thai is a solid raw offering for any restaurant, though it doesn't compare with scape's raw lasagna. then again, vegadeli's raw noodles are 16 bucks cheaper. the thing about this pad thai is that it doesn't really taste like pad thai, at least not in the traditional sense. we're fine with reinterpreting classic dishes and making them unique to a restaurant, but we both would've liked more peanut flavor and more ginger. we had fun eating their pad thai; we're just not sure we'd get it again.
as part of our research of st. louis veggie burgers, we ordered up one of vegadeli's three options: the teriyaki burger. dubbed one of the "healthiest burgers in town," vegadeli's veggie burger patty is soy-, gluten-, salt-, nut-, and oil-free. this is definitely the burger you want if you have issues with food allergens; it's just not necessarily the burger you want if flavor is your top priority. made with hummus, grains, and veggies, the patty manages to hold together well, and it certainly delivers the flavor it promises. the problem is that the flavor profiles of the patty's ingredients are all a bit tepid. we suppose the teriyaki (or bbq cheddar or original with vegan mayo and ketchup) is supposed to compensate for the mild flavors of the patty, but there just didn't seem to be enough flavor anywhere for the burger to assert itself as crave-worthy. still, the burgers at vegadeli aren't bad at all, and they're noteworthy if for no other reason than they're as healthy as a burger gets. we're definitely not giving up on these burgers, either. next time, we'll try the bbq cheddar to see if it has a bolder flavor.
now, our one serious complaint: you'll notice that there are some potatoes next to the veggie burger. we're not sure what was wrong with them, but they were covered in blemishes/discolorations. they tasted strange, expired, and we didn't dare risk more than a bite each. we'll chalk this up as a fluke, but it's another example of the inconsistencies one is likely to encounter at vegadeli. occasionally, the kitchen just isn't as attentive to detail as we'd like them to be, which is one of the main reasons our assessment of vegadeli's food continues to hover in the high "b"s. nevertheless, as clark always reminds his students, a b+ is still way above average. we definitely recommend vegadeli with confidence. one thing's for sure: you'll always eat healthfully.