All-vegan delicatessen Birch Bark Eatery opened this month in Queensbury, NY. Its menu features burgers—including the Impossible Burger stuffed with a chorizo-garlic cheese and layered with lettuce, tomato, and onion—and sandwiches such as the Reuben, with house-made corned beef seitan, BBQ Jackfruit pulled pork, and BLTs with house-made tempeh bacon. Owner Tania Sharlow, who has 15 years of experience in the food industry, was inspired to open Birch Bark after transitioning to a plant-based diet and trying The Herbivorous Butcher’s vegan starter kit of seitan-style meats. While she worked at Dunkin Donuts, Sharlow began experimenting with making her own vegan meats. “At the same time, I was feeling a huge dissonance between being vegan and still working in an industry whose core products are meat, eggs, and dairy,” Sharlow told VegNews. “I didn’t feel like I was living up to my own moral code by continuing to serve and handle animal products. I started thinking that maybe I could make a business out of making seitan and serving it up.” Sharlow says her restaurant space is currently underutilized and plans to soon display locally sourced vegan products and engage with local activist groups to use the space for community purposes.
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