August is National Sandwich Month, and foodies from coast to coast are chowing down on corned beef, pulled pork, and Italian subs. But what about our plant-based pals and gluten-free friends? Can they commemorate this most sandwich-y of months without resigning themselves to hummus veggie wraps?
Of course they can! To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of six savory stacks, from smoked BBQ to meatloaf and gravy, all completely devoid of gluten* and animal products but never devoid of flavor.
◊ Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ has been achieving the impossible for four years now by serving up smoked chicken, ribs, meatloaf, and burgers, sans meat. Their Slosmomofo—smoked soy curls dripping with maple bourbon bbq sauce and covered with a heap of creamy chipotle slaw—makes vegan dreams come true, especially when paired with a side of the irresistible and newly gluten-free macnocheese ($9). 4233 N Mississippi Ave; homegrownsmoker.wordpress.com
◊ The Cheese Plate PDX’s plant-based offerings raise the bar for non-dairy cheese, melting multiple faux-cheeses together to create the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and tangy. The Vegan Kale, which combines cart-made cashew fromage fort, Heidi Ho feta, Daiya cheddar, and crunchy Pacific Northwest kale chips, is guaranteed to satisfy even the worst cheese craving ($6). 2231 NE Alberta St; thecheeseplatepdx.com
◊ Papa G’s Deli boasts the best in health food with a diverse array of organic, vegan, gluten-free sandwiches, from the TLT to the Raw Sun Cheeze. The Tempeh Reuben, piled high with nutty seasoned tempeh, house-made sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing, is a favorite among vegans and corned beef fans alike ($9.25). 2314 SE Division St; papagees.com
◊ The Red and Black Café’s Nihilist Cheesesteak is the newest gluten-free offering on our list, and the first to use a bread other than Tigard-based Happy Camper ($8.50). This savory sandwich, prepared on slices of New Cascadia, figuratively bursts with flavor, while literally bursting with smoky, bacon-like tempeh hash, stringy Daiya mozzarella, sweet slivers of caramelized onion, and a spicy red pepper spread. 400 SE 12th Ave; redandblackcafe.com
◊ AND Café offers their sweet, steaming hot Meatloaf Sandwich two ways ($10.50). Thick slabs of walnuts, carrots, molasses, and spices can be either stacked with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo, or smothered with creamy mushroom dill gravy. We choose the latter every time for a healthier twist on southern comfort. 5420 E Burnside; andcafepdx.com
◊ Petunia’s Pies and Pastries takes a lunchbox staple to new heights with the Sweet ‘n’ Salty Sandwich ($6.50). This sticky sweet creation is covered with crunchy cashew butter and thick slices of banana, drizzled with agave, sprinkled with cinnamon, and served with apple slices and a Petunia Pig-shaped cookie. 610 SW 12th Ave; petuniaspiesandpastries.com
We love Portland for its friendliness to dietary restrictions, and we’re always discovering exciting new dishes. Where do you satisfy your sandwich fix? Please let us know in the comments!
*Gluten-free bread must be specifically requested for all sandwiches except the Sweet ‘n’ Salty.