When I first became a vegetarian, when I wanted a fast food fix I headed to McDonalds and ordered the double cheeseburger meal without the burger. This was way back in the day, before they offered a veggie burger on their menu. Thankfully I don't have this craving any more, but occasionally I still want a good sandwich and I want it quickly. Terri is a sandwich shop in Chelsea that serves not just vegetarian but vegan sandwiches, along with salads and juices, for the on-the-go lunch crowd.
Given the season i couldn't resist trying the Thanksgiving sandwich ($7.81). Filled with tofurky, cranberry sauce, chopped celery, and crushed walnuts, along with a spread of vegan mayonnaise, this was the first Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich for vegans I'd ever seen. My only complaint was that the cranberry sauce was all tart and no sweet; that contrast with the saltiness of the tofurky would have made this even better. The celery added some much needed freshness to the whole sandwich.
The Fat Elvis ($6.43) is filled with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, honey, and soy bacon. There's no way that the first three of those ingredients are going to be bad, mixing the sweet and salty and presenting a contrast in textures: the gooey peanut butter/honey mix and the crispy bread. Unfortunately the soy bacon was neither crispy nor salty, and thus added nothing to the sandwich. You'd be better off going with the Skinny Elvis ($5.05), which is the same sandwich without that soy bacon.
When I ordered the Jerk Tofu sandwich ($7.81) the server warned me that it would be hot, due to the scotch bonnet peppers used in the pepper and onion relish. She told me it was so spicy that some people were complaining, and therefore she decided to start warning people. Yes, there was a pleasant mild burn to the sandwich, but it wasn't overwhelming. The tofu is smoked, which made for a delicious filling, but it was a little dry and could have used more of the jerk sauce.
Vegetarian sandwiches have come a long way since I was ordering those meatless burgers. Terri offers plenty of creative options for vegetarians and vegans, and for omnivores who want to eat something meat free. With a menu offering such diverse items as a "meatball" sub and a portobello sandwich with cashew basil pesto, there are dozens of reasons for a return visit.
60 West 23rd Street, New York NY 10010 (map)
About the author: Howard Walfish is a Virginia native who has been living in New York since 2003. He is, in fact, a vegetarian, and is the co-founder of Eat to Blog and the creator of BrooklynVegetarian.