Veggie Versions of Iconic Meat Dishes

Carrot pastrami sandwiches in Montreal, Buffalo cauliflower in Toronto and jackfruit carnitas in Chicago
 

Carrot pastrami sandwich, Le Vin Papillon

There’s a new wave of meatless cooking working its way across the restaurant scene, and it features produce that’s been roasted, smoked and otherwise transformed into fresh takes on classic meaty fare. Check out these iconic meat dishes gone veg.

Jackfruit Carnitas

Ruxbin, Chicago

It may be sweet and mushy in its ripened state, but unripe jackfruit is chewy, stringy and extremely versatile. At Ruxbin, chef Edward Kim shreds and braises green jackfruit (instead of pork), then fries it up with Mexican seasoning in a vegetarian carnitas, served with stone-ground grits and smoked tomato gravy.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Electric Mud BBQ, Toronto

Crispy, spicy Buffalo wings set the finger-licking standard for chicken-lovers everywhere. But Electric Mud BBQ gives those wings a run for their money with its Buffalo cauliflower: large cauliflower nuggets that have been battered, deep-fried and doused with buttery, vinegary Buffalo sauce. True to form, they’re served with blue cheese salad and celery sticks.

Ginger Shiitake Mushrooms

Odd Couple, Saskatoon

Ginger beef is a staple at most Canadian Chinese restaurants, including this popular Saskatoon spot. But Hong Kong-born chef Jackie Tso also offers a veggie option, swapping out the meat for shiitake mushrooms and creating a nostalgia-perfect alternative to the classic.

BBQ Mushroom Sliders

Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, San Francisco

Oyster mushrooms get the full-on American comfort-food treatment at this cool cocktail bar in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighbourhood. They’re smoked, pulled and tossed with barbecue sauce, then topped with a delightfully messy mix of coleslaw, crispy shallots and American cheese on mini-brioche buns.

Carrot Pastrami Sandwich

Le Vin Papillon, Montreal

Inspired by the Montreal smoked meat sandwich, Le Vin Papillon’s version features carrots that have been brined, smoked and rubbed with spices. They’re then sliced like brisket and loaded on a bun with carrot mustard, pickled dill, fromage frais and caraway and rye crumble.

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