As a cook and former carnivore, Ryan Bauhaus was sick and tired of frozen, processed faux meats. He wanted fresh stuff to work with, so why didn't it exist?
Thus, the idea for Atlas Meat-Free Delicatessen was born. Bauhaus dreamed up his own fake meat product, dubbed vegitein, which he'll soon be selling to meatless eaters across South Florida. The new spot, at the Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, will sell "meat" by the pound, plus made-to-order sammies, sides, and all the other trappings of a legit deli.
"I'm a former carnivore, so I had high expectations when I stopped eating meat," Bauhaus told Clean Plate Charlie. "I was really unhappy with what I was finding out there. Most products I wasn't texturally pleased with. Everything was processed in a lab somewhere, so there wasn't anything with fresh ingredients that I was used to handling."
Having worked in kitchens for years (in addition to owning a food truck), Bauhaus knew his way around a recipe. So he started working with vital wheat gluten and other fresh ingredients, and eventually, vegitein came to fruition.
"I've been in the kitchen for the last year or so trying to perfect my recipes," he says.
Atlas will run just like a regular deli, just with no actual meat. "You can get traditional sandwiches -- turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, sausages," Bauhaus says. "You can eat at the deli itself or take a pound of sausage."
Even vegan cheese (handmade) will be available by the pound. Everything is vegan, except for his turkey (made with free-range egg whites) and some vegetarian cheeses.
Vegitein has it over meat as far as health-conscious eaters are concerned.
"I use all fresh ingredients," Bauhaus explains. "Not only is it fresh; it's good for you. It's high protein -- 75 percent protein. That's more than you get from meat, without all the saturated fats." Plus, he uses only non-GMO ingredients.
And he's gotten creative with his meatless wonders. Sausages have various flavor additions, from jalapeño to fennel, and come in varieties like breakfast, bratwurst, kolkata, and chorizo. He'll also offer sauces like garlic mayo, chipotle mayo, and Asian-style mayo (all made with Vegenaise).
"The food is bold and flavorful," he says. "It gives an opportunity to anybody who likes to cook at home to really get creative in the kitchen."
The new digs will have a soft opening the second week of July, then an official grand shindig the first week of August.
Prices are comparable to those at any sandwich spot. A small turk'y sammie will run $6, a large, $8. A Reuben on rye, sausage marinara, vegan mozzarella and caprese, sausage sandwich, or burger -- all $6 also.
"It's an actual mission for me to put out good food for vegetarians and vegans, because we deserve to eat well too! Unfortunately, it's pretty hard around these parts," Bauhaus concludes. Amen to that.
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