Throughout August, Andrew Mark Veety is drawing inspiration from our 2012 FEAST 50 lineup for his lunch picks. Today’s column expands upon the growing vegetarian/vegan/raw scene that our readers wrote in about with a look at one of its newcomers, Frida’s Deli.
Alright St. Louis, gather around and take a knee. I want you to put down all the great burgers, pizza and dagwood looking sandwiches that I’ve been telling you about for nearly a year now and for at least one lunch this week, try something that may be unfamiliar.
That something is the raw tacos from Frida’s Deli, a University City eatery that has quickly become a midday staple for vegetarians and vegans in our fair city, but should be on the radar for anyone looking for a meal that is not only tastes good, but is also good for you as well. And let's be honest; that’s good advice for all of us.
Now, on to the tacos. The menu lists them as gluten free, vegan and raw, a trifecta of culinary terms that can needlessly strike enough apprehension into a casual diner to have them heading for the nearest drive-thru window. That, however, would be a shame because Frida’s take on tacos - essentially canoe-shaped “tortillas” of romaine lettuce leaves - hits all the right notes, not to mention the spot.
Crisp lettuce and slices of creamy avocado provide the greenery for your plate, but it is the sunflower “meat” - raw sunflower seeds that have been chopped and seasoned with the smoky warmth of cumin and fiery kick of spicy chili - that would be every bit as welcome on your own family’s taco night as seasoned ground beef or chicken. Even better, the nut filling accomplishes this without feeling like a replacement for meat, a hallmark of honestly great vegetarian fare - and a great lunch - in my book, and after you try them, your book as well.
Frida’s, 622 North and South Road, University City, 314.727.6500, fridasdeli.com
Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.