This week, I wrote a story for Gothamist on a very cool Smorgasburg vendor that serves vegan BBQ. I know, I know. Vegan BBQ? It sounds like a punchline to a joke. But it's not!
Monk's Meats has been serving up its take on vegan BBQ all this year at the Williamsburg Smorgasburg on Saturdays and the Prospect Park Smorgasburg on Sundays. It surprised the heck out of me in that it's one of the meatiest vegan or vegetarian items I've ever had and it's treated like a real BBQ item in its technique.
"We make our seitan in slabs, about two pounds each, that hold up to heavier treatment of smoking and grilling," Kim explains. "It's first dry rubbed with our spice blend. We then let it 'age' for about three days and then it hits the smoker. We smoke the sweet 'Kansas City-style' barbecue seitan over mesquite for a minimum of two hours before we serve it. We transfer it to direct heat towards the end of the smoker time to build up a little char. It's then rested for about 10 minutes, thinly sliced, and finished on the grill with our maple barbecue sauce."
I respect Monk's Meats owners Chris Kim and Rebecca Lopez-Howes for taking on this challenge and trying to create new (some might say unorthodox) takes on vegan cuisine.
Take a look at one of the final products below and give them a shot a Smorgasburg if you make it out there.