There are certain foods I only eat to review for this blog. Poor me, right? So that is how I came home with a Seitan Cheesesteak from Blackbird Pizzeria. I was also running an errand nearby and opportunity could not be denied.
I'm in the mood for a seitan cheesesteak twice a year. It has to be a moment. Seitan is something I like on its own, with a sauce and some mashed root vegetables. But I rarely add it to sandwiches because it's such a heavy source of protein that adding it to bread makes it sit in my stomach like a rock.
There is a little crevice in my heart that is reserved for the Seitan Cheesesteak. There are a handful of seitan contenders in town, but most are made with real cheese, and the ones that are not don't taste very good. My preferred seitan sandwich is the grinder that Mr. Vedge makes.
So while I take my sandwiches loaded with roasted veggies, hummus or pesto, or fat slices of avocado and tomato, I knew that Blackbird's seitan and I needed a moment alone.
I peel back the paper gently, the melted Daiya cheese clings to the seitan like a protective parent. You don't really see it, but its sheen is there, it has become the vital glue that binds to its protein like a proper cheesesteak. The ultra-thin sheets of Upton's Naturals Seitan are tender and wispy. The onions, peppers, and mushrooms offer quiet support.
I put it on a plate, because eating it off of the paper just made me feel 20 years old again, coming back from an all ages show. I even checked my hand to make sure there was not a stamp on it.
I thought I had a favorite seitan. But Upton's is far better in this application.
The 12 inch roll, the one factor that splits those that have tried this sandwich, is soft and doughy. It's clearly fresh and of finer quality than your typical cheap hoagie roll. I inspected the grain and I wouldn't be shocked if they made the rolls themselves. It has that same pull and chew as the pizza dough. I did end up leaving some of my roll behind. It was quite good, but I was tapped out.
And the best part about this sandwich is that an hour and a half later, instead of feeling lethargic and bloated, I felt revved up and headed out for cardio and weight training at the gym.
The other sandwiches on Blackbird's menu await. I have a feeling that the Chickpea Salad Hoagie is going to require some attention.