Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Easy Ways in to a Veg-centric Handheld Two sandwich categories seeing creative plays in veg-forward advances

The stalwart veggie wrap is due for an upgrade. Infusing global flavors and ingredients is a simple approach here.

With veg-centricity influencing many menu sections, it’s about time the sandwich menu benefits from a modern approach. In recent years, vegetarian offerings here have accelerated in flavor profile and culinary creativity, thanks in large part to chefs’ embrace of veg-centricity. Here are two categories seeing creative plays in veg-forward advances:

Give the Reuben a beet

Over the past few years, beets have validated a solid vegetarian take on the beloved Reuben sandwich. While tender beets can stand in with rich color, and gentle flavor and texture, chefs are beginning to push the boundaries further.

Smoked beets are the star of the Rueben at Bud & Marilyn’s in Philadelphia, providing a meatier profile that nicely complements the Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and pickled carrot and jicama in the sandwich build. In Denver, Beast + Bottle’s Smoked Beet Reuben is layered with kraut, Gruyère and sauce gribiche, giving the sandwich a culinary upgrade.

Caramelized or roasted beets are a natural fit in other beet Reuben offerings. At Double Take in Los Angeles, the Beet “Ruben” is layered with roasted beets, sauerkraut, Emmental cheese and house Thousand dressing.

Meanwhile, local roasted beets get the call-out on The Bread Box’s version in San Antonio, with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, smokey Russian dressing, served on housemade marble rye bread.

Go global with the veggie wrap

As the usual-but-dated “vegetarian” option, the veggie wrap is ready for a makeover. Going global is an easy way in here, tucking in produce items that give it a global structure, then sealing the deal with condiments and sauces.

In Las Vegas, queso oaxaca and jalapeño aioli solidify the Mexican bent in Salud Mexican Bistro’s Vegetarian Wrap, which is layered with mushrooms, avocado and grilled onions.

Legends Hospitality’s Healthy Choice carts at AT&T Stadium in Texas reach for Thai peanut sauce to anchor the Thai Veggie Wrap, a whole-wheat tortilla stuffed with broccoli slaw, peppers and spinach.

Napa cabbage, soy-ginger marinade and spicy kimchi aioli are the flavor heroes of The Claremont Tavern’s Korean Veggie Wrap in Bernardsville, N.J. Red bell peppers, squash, zucchini, portobello mushrooms complete the build.

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