It always seems that there’s an unspoken rule in the suburbs that there is only allowed to be one vegan/vegetarian establishment per 10 miles (if we’re lucky). Thankfully for me, this wasn’t the case in Norristown, PA.
Not even one mile down Ridge Pike, as I’m now drooling thinking about eating kathi rolls when I get to my moms, I spot the word “vegan” on a sign in a small strip mall. I, probably too abruptly, pulled into the turning lane and straight into the parking lot. I saw the place up close and immediately recognized it; how could you forget a place named Gangster Vegan Organics?
I’d heard of this place around the time they opened in 2014 and most likely made a mental note that was eventually lost. The aesthetic of the space was welcoming and simple – enough room for a few patrons to sit down, but felt more to me as a vegan “fast food” type. Your attention will be immediately drawn to the chalkboard wall art and the hip-hop/rap inspired juice collection that pulls you in as soon as you walk through the door.
It’s indescribably refreshing to see a place so original. With menu items such as “Kalefornia Love,” “Notorious,” “Dirty South,” and “2 Live Crew,” they really brought the right vibe to the whole experience, and you feel it as soon as you walk in.
I have to be honest though, I was more than a little nervous to try the food as I skimmed the menu and saw that their burgers are on dehydrated onion bread. First of all, in my ignorance, I have no idea what dehydrated bread is. After realizing they are 100% gluten-free, I really had no hope for that bread. I’m not against eating gluten free substitutes. I just rarely, if ever, eat gluten free bread because I can’t find one that I enjoy. That being said, the food otherwise sounded impeccable. Specifically catching my attention was the SWIZZ BEETS (beet burger).
“Mesquite BBQ Dehydrated Beet Burger on Dehydrated Onion Bread. Topped with Romaine, Red Onion, Carrots, Pickled Cabbage, Homemade BBQ Sauce, Cashew Nacho Cheeze”
I wish that words or a picture could do the deliciousness of this justice. Top 5 sandwiches I’ve ever had. EVER. And I love sandwiches.
I’m a sucker for anything BBQ, and I have truly missed those flavors since giving up meat. The combination of the smokiness from the beet burger, the creaminess of the cashew cheeze, and the crunch of the slaw was an experience I wish I could relive over and over (which I plan to do soon).
I mentioned earlier that it pegged me as more of a vegan “fast food” type of place. That’s partly due to the fact that I had my food in less than 10 minutes. I was famished at this point, so they absolutely get brownie points for efficiency on top of providing a quality, well curated menu.