A Local’s Love Letter to Seitan’s Helper Vegan Deli

Image of vegan sandwich. Bushwick Bites. Exploring the Local Food Scene and Sustainable Initiatives in Brooklyn's Hippest Neighborhood. Bushwick Bites: Brooklyn’s fastest-growing food publication.

In a tucked-away corner of Brooklyn, nestled at 2 Morgan Ave, is a tiny deli that has, over the last few months, become my regular lunch spot: Seitan’s Helper Vegan Deli. Now, before diving deep into the scrumptiousness of their offerings, let’s shed some light on the star ingredient, shall we?

For the uninitiated, seitan (pronounced say-tahn) is often dubbed “wheat meat.” Originating from ancient Chinese cuisine, it’s a protein-packed, meat substitute made primarily from gluten, the protein in wheat. When cooked, seitan closely resembles the texture and appearance of meat, making it a popular choice among vegans and vegetarians alike. In the world of plant-based alternatives, alongside tofu, tempeh, and jackfruit, seitan holds a revered spot, known for its versatility and meaty texture.

Seitan’s Helper takes this ancient food and breathes contemporary life into it, ensuring each batch of their vegan deli meat is carefully handcrafted. There’s an art to making seitan, and these folks have perfected it. Kneaded with human hands, full of love and compassion, they pack an explosive flavor in every bite. They vow to use only top-quality, plant-based ingredients, leaving animals out of the equation entirely. It’s an ethos of compassion that rings through in each dish they create.

Now, let’s talk about their mouth-watering menu:

From their BEC featuring house-made Seitan maple bacon, chickpea nomelette, and a punchy roasted red pepper jam to the EVIL TWIN with Seitan roast beef, tangy slaw, and dill pickles, each item is a gastronomic experience. The TRIPLE THREAT, a tantalizing trio of Seitan mortadella, salami, & pepperoni, boasts a melody of flavors, from spicy to tangy, all perfectly balanced.

The PAN WITCH is an absolute revelation, sandwiching Seitan ham & bacon, and chickpea nomelette between two fluffy pancakes — a savory-sweet delight I’d recommend to anyone in a heartbeat.

For those craving seafood minus the sea, the CRABBY DADDY is a must-try. Made from chickpea in a crab-style salad, it captures the essence of the sea without harming any marine life.

If you’re unfamiliar with plant-based diets, you might wonder about other meat alternatives. Alongside Seitan, the vegan world has embraced a plethora of options:

Tofu: Made from soybean curd, tofu has been a staple in Asian cuisines for centuries. Its mild flavor and adaptability make it a favorite.

Tempeh: Another soy product, tempeh, is made from fermented soybeans. It has a firm texture and a nutty flavor, often used in stir-fries and grilling.

Jackfruit: This large tropical fruit, when unripe, has a meaty texture perfect for vegan pulled pork and tacos.

These alternatives are not just for vegans but for anyone looking to diversify their diet or reduce their meat consumption.

Seitan’s Helper Vegan Deli isn’t just a deli; it’s a testament to the endless possibilities of plant-based cuisine. It’s a haven for those seeking flavorsome food that’s both compassionate and sustainable. Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just dabbling in plant-based eating, this place is worth the visit. I walked in out of sheer curiosity and walked out as a loyal patron. So, the next time you’re in Brooklyn, drop by, and let them feed you. As they say, they “want to feed you,” and trust me, you want to be fed by them.


Author: Aaliyah Ali