Hungry for a sammie and near 12th on Capitol Hill? The house that used to be the People’s Republic of Koffee just south of Lucky Devil is now Scratch Deli and they’ll make any of their sandwiches vegan for you!
What? Yes, they will hold the dairy and replace the meat with either fresh tofu or a fresh mushroom mix – depending on what you like and what is best for the sandwich. Check out their menu here to get an idea (and see the foot note!). Their sammies feature locally-sourced ingredients or are made entirely from scratch, so you won’t find any fake meat here, just whole foods. (Tho Field Roast is local, so maybe they’ll offer their deli slices some day.) What is crazy is that there is no place inside the deli that tells you that you can get anything vegan! It’s like a big vegan secret or something.
We tried the Cuban (mustard, pickles, peppers, caramelized onions) with the mushroom mix instead of pork (photo above) and the BLT with tofu instead of bacon (photo below). The sammies are wrapped up like mini subways and are way more delicious than any wrap. The pickles, mustard, and caramelized onions on the Cuban provided a ton of bright flavor, but I had to add hot sauce to my BLT because the tofu wasn’t well seasoned. I think the trick with this place is to pick a sandwich that would have a lot of flavor without aioli or very salty meat. Next time I’m going to try the Buffalo Blue with habañero sauce. I hope they start making house made vegan spreads, sauces, and aiolis too.
But, wait, there’s more! I had the best cream of broccoli soup of my life at this place. Carefully made with a cashew cream base, perfectly seasoned and topped with black pepper and croutons, this soup is heavenly. I’m not kidding. Would I joke about soup? No. I will be going back for this soup constantly (until Summer gets here at least) and you probably should too. And like the vegan sammies, you’d have no idea that the soup was vegan unless you asked. Secret soup! Last but not least, they have a bunch of great beers – on tap and otherwise. These are all very visible so you’ll have to trouble finding a brew to tip.
The atmosphere is very coffee house, with vintage furniture, big old wooden tables, people playing scrabble and doing on home work. The big front windows let a ton of light, even during these dog days of winter. And of course, what would an indy coffee house deli be without some delightfully quirky art? Scratch has it in spades. Go there. Hang out.