The Secret of Success

What can turn an ordinary dish into something Extraordinary? We asked some local experts to share what makes their creations unique


(page 6 of 8)

Vegan Reuben

Secret Ingredient: Young Thai Coconut Meat

From: Try It Raw

Michael Severance is vegan. His wife, Natalia, is not. Constantly on the search for recipes that appeal to all types of eaters, once he discovered a vegan Reuben was even possible, there was no going back to life without it. Every Friday the sandwich sells out at Try it Raw restaurant in downtown Birmingham. “People are obsessed with it,” he says. The complicated recipe isn’t found in many other vegan restaurants. “One bite can have 20 different ingredients in it,” he says. So how exactly is the “meat” of this sandwich made? Coconut meat is scooped out of young Thai coconuts and marinated overnight in liquid smoke, tamari sauce, and olive oil. Then, it’s dried out. The “meat” is served on Severance’s homemade bread with sauerkraut from The Brinery in Ann Arbor, and Thousand Island dressing made of homemade pickles, cashews, sundried tomatoes, onions, lemon, and vinegar. All the unexpected flavors give the sandwich an enticing “bite me again” flavor reminiscent of a real Reuben sandwich. And although meat lovers might not be tricked in a blind taste test, this sandwich is a winner. — Casey Nesterowich

213 E. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-593-6991

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