It is not a combination that would usually tempt me but the bbq grilled tofu sounded really good. And it was really excellent. The tofu was well cooked to give it a nice chewiness and it worked with a generous amount of coleslaw, pickles and the aioli which was not as spicy as I feared. This would probably be my favourite sandwich to date.
Home Alone (turkey, stuffing, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, mashed potato and gravy on a roll):
This came highly recommended and I really liked it but not as much as others. I love a roast dinner and so it appealed but it is an American roast dinner in a bun, not an Aussie one. Mashed potato and gravy has always seemed an odd combination to me. The turkey wasn't as terribly meaty as I had feared and I loved the sprouts but could have had more.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. It was buffalo tofu that I thought would be too spicy and salad which I thought would be too dull. But they worked brilliantly together. I took it home and ate it in installments because it was spicy and I was not that hungry. The buffalo flavours were great and made the salad taste more interesting while the crisp fresh salad worked well with the spiciness. I would definitely eat this again but not if I was trying to impress anyone as I found the sauce made the sandwich quite messy.
I confess I choked on a crumb as I was about to eat this in a park and my friend seconded the juice of nearby strangers so by the time I ate this the cheese had cooled and my appetite was somewhat diminished. I liked it. The tomato sauce was rich and pleasing but the cheese was a cold (not Smith and Deli's fault) and the meatballs were a bit fragile. One of my good meat memories is the meatballs my mum made. The Maury Ballstein meatballs were lovely but did not resemble my memory of meatballs.
I really enjoyed this sandwich. It wasn't my sort of sandwich - too much cheese and meat for my tastes and not enough vegies. However it was really good with a vivid green spicy, herby mojo sauce. And I loved the way it was toasted until the panini was crisp on the outside and the cheese was melty on the inside. I would probably not order it again (given the huge sandwich menu) but I would highly recommend it to others looking for this sort of sandwich.
I loved that this sandwich used tempeh for the crumbed chicken schnitzel. One of the few meat sandwiches I really loved before going vegetarian was the schitzel sandwich. I was excited to try this but disappointed that the schnitzel was served cold not hot because I remember it otherwise. I ate half the sandwich cold. The other half I took home where I put the schnitzel, the bacon and the sandwich on the frypan with some added cheese. It was such a good sandwich.
It took me a while to get to Smith and Deli early enough to try the Egg McMartinez. It is really for the morning brigade and often gets sold out. I was curious about it, never having had an Egg McMuffin. When I finally managed to order one, it was a case of too much anticipation and not enough experience of eating eggs. The fillings were the bacon, a tofu-style patty, a pasty yellow moosh and some cheese. Was it meant to be the egg white and egg yolk separately represented in the muffin? I wish I could try it a few more times to work it out. I liked it but didn't love it enough to have it rather than other sandwiches.
These sandwiches are so amazing. I still get all unsure about what to order when I do make it to Smith and Deli. After many visits there are still heaps of sandwiches I want to try. I am a bit wary of the (mock) meatiness of a lot of them and the spice factor, but those that I have tried have been magnificent. The bread is excellent, the fillings are generous and the flavours are complex in a really thoughtful way. Even the names are fun and compelling. Here is the opportunity to try all those meat sandwiches I never had. Yet the sandwiches are also so good that they are far better than many regular meat and cheese sandwiches. When I took my friend who doesn't eat out at vegan establishments, she casually commented on the place sneaking in meat for the non-vegans. It is often that believable!
Broadsheet, Veganopoulous and Where's the Beef, all of which reviews alerted me to my need to try this place when I first heard of it last year. The most comprehensive reviews that I know of have been written by Rosalie of Quinces and Kale who wrote about a Smith and Deli sandwich a day for 29 days in September last year. While I don't agree with her on everything (unlike her, I like tempeh and pineapple), I do find this a great resource.
Smith and Deli
11 Moor Street, Fitzroy
03) 9042 4117
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 7am-8pm