The menu has changed over the years. I remember a Frito Chili Pie and a good veggie burger. However, I'm solidly behind the latest offerings. Hot damn, they are good!
My friend and I started with 2 of the 3 vegan appetizer options, because that's how we roll. First, the Spicy Seitan Nuggets, of which you get 5 decent-sized pieces of amazingness. I don't know how they got the buffalo wing sauce down so perfectly, but they did. It was orangey-red and tangy and spicy like a mother. I was impressed by the actual nuggets too, far from the sponge that seitan can often produce. They were actually quite sturdy and hard to cut, but you're probably just supposed to bite them like wings. I loved the satisfying bite the texture provided, and the mild ranch dip accompanying them. Definitely a must!
Next, we got the Fried Brussels Sprouts. You might have seen in past posts how much I love Brussels Sprouts, especially when doused in oil and nearly burnt. This is the best way to eat them. These sprouts were cooked really well and melted in your mouth, as fried things should. However, ask for the soy-chili sauce to come on the side. It made the sprouts way too tart and salty, and then the bottom layer got really soggy and even more tart. Sadface.
The third app, which we didn't order, is popcorn doused in nooch. You can't go wrong eating at a place that knows nooch+popcorn=love.
Obviously, my friend and I both ordered the Reubens, because when you have the chance to eat a vegan Reuben, you take that chance by the horns and you eat it.
Oh my goodness, this was a good Reuben. The seitan was sliced so thinly, and the cooks stuffed as much as they possibly could between those slices of bread. It was extremely salty - I think I drank 4 glasses of water just during this course - but that's how pastrami is supposed to be! I'm glad I asked for the side salad instead of the fries (you can do so for no extra charge!) because I put all those leaves in the sandwich, helping alleviate the saltiness and providing a different cooling texture.
Local 44 definitely has vegan bar food down. You can't go wrong with any of the current vegan options. And I'm really looking forward to having brunch here - the vegan brunch option is scrambled tofu with homefries and mushroom scrapple. What!
Another great thing about Local 44? It's a short drive from Little Baby's Ice Cream Parlor! Little Baby's is a small-batch ice cream purveyor, and it always has at least 4 non-dairy options. They are uniformly delicious, for hard scoop ice cream (you know how I feel about soft-serve). Also, all of their cookies, for ice cream cookie sandwiches, are vegan! After this dinner, I had a scoop of Smoked Cinnamon ice cream. Pretty darn great.
- Water speed: Great! I was drinking insanely fast, due to how salty the food is, and I never got impatient.
- Bathrooms: Surprisingly clean for a bar, though you'll set off the hand dryer probably 4x.
- Service: Good and friendly. It gets crowded, and busy.
- Food: Great vegan bar options, but beware if you have high blood pressure.
- Bonus: If you're a beer drinker, you will freaking love this place. They have a bottle shop next door so you can buy your favorite specialty beers. Also, Quizzo!