Best Of 2018

Best Use of Chickpeas: Grand Central Delicatessen

Best Use of Chickpeas
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

The phrase “deli” strikes boredom into the heart of every vegetarian. Sliced salami? Don’t care. Smoked turkey? Pass. If you’re sick of egg salad or cheese-and-mustard sandwich creations, head to Grand Central Delicatessen in Pleasant Ridge. The Art Deco-inspired deli takes its name from the historic New York City train terminal and comes complete with jaunty 1920s menu names like The Flapper veggie sandwich and The Remus roast beef and horseradish cheddar. But along with its smattering of Boar’s Head meat and cheese offerings on bread — plus soups, prepared salads and light bites — is a grand selection of vegetarian and vegan offerings. There are portobello and hummus sandwiches and standard cheese pleasers, an interesting vegan Cat’s Meow with faux cream cheese and fig and then, the pièce de résistance, a vegan “tuna” salad sandwich. It doesn’t taste like tuna (thank god) but it does taste awesome. Made with smashed up chickpeas, vegan mayo, celery, nutritional yeast, onion, lemon and kelp, it’s served on whole-wheat batard and makes you feel like you’re indulging in a true NYC deli experience. The “meat” salad texture is there and so is the heft. The flavor is absolutely indulgent, even though it’s vegan. Grand Central Deli, 6085 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, gcdeli.com.