A few weekends ago JC and I went to Kensington Market after a friend posted a picture on instagram showing vegan sausages were being handmade by Thomas Lavers Cannery & Delicatessen. They’ve been open since January 2013, and have been doing some interesting food things ever since.
It’s a nice clean looking space, clearly created by someone with an eye for interior design. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the full glorious wall of colourful preserves. Delicious options like pickled veggies, home made jams, jellies, mustards, sauces, pickles, etc.
The front window looks like a fresh pasta making station (no – the pasta isn’t vegan, but cool to watch.) and the first display case by the cash register – had two trays of vegan sausages: An Italian with fennel & chili, and a Pastrami with smoked paprika, allspice, and mustard seed.
But then, it gets better – I looked up at the side board, and there it was on their sandwich menu – Vegan Reuban and Vegan Bahn Mi (amongst other things)
So of course, JC and I ordered a vegan bahn mi and a vegan reuban to share. The guy asked us if we wanted it totally vegan or if we wanted cheese on it. No. We didn’t. But FYI there is an option for you lacto-vegetarians.
The same fellow taking our order/making the sandwiches was averse to answering any ingredient questions. I don’t know why it was difficult to get answers from them in person or
on twitter, (They did eventually reach out on twitter and are nice), and are but it made me frown. Thus breaking one of the rules below (a sign near their cash register.)
There is no seating at Thomas Lavers. So we walked over to they very nearby Bellevue Square Park (the park in Kensington Market) and sat on some beams and dug in to our respective sandwiches. Not-so-secretly, I just wanted to eat the reuban, but I waited my turn.
The Vegan Bahn Mi
Start with a tasty white roll, add vegan wasabi mayo, carrots, cucumber, and Italian vegan sausage slices then you have this sandwich. I loved that this had corriander/cilantro in it. But FYI cilantro haters beware. The roll was awesome. Fresh, not soggy, delicious. I still wanted the reuben.
The Vegan Rueben
I’ll come out and say it. I like reuben sandwiches. I’ve liked them in the pre-vegan days when I was a kid and I’d make them for myself, and throughout my travels since then. This one was no different.
Marble rye, thinly sliced seitan based pastrami, some kind of sauce. I’m operating under the assumption that the thousand island dressing on this sandwich is made without real mayonnaise. If you want to make their recipe for yourself at home, they shared their (non-vegan) one here with The Star.
Eating it made me realize how much I didn’t want to share.
Writing this has made me realize how much I’d like to go back there and eat.
Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen
193 Baldwin St. Toronto, Ontario
Open 11-7, Every Day