Last month, Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner—a 24-hour New York City mainstay that has been in operation for more than 55 years—added a vegan Reuben sandwich to its menu. The new option ($18) is made with Unreal Corned Beef, a vegan meat created by California-based Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli. “I was definitely hesitant at first,” Sarge’s owner Andrew Wengrover, great-grandson of founder Abe Katz, told GrubStreet. “But it’s 2020—we live in a whole new world, so I finally said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Last year, on an episode of Shark Tank, newly vegetarian investor Mark Cuban invested $250,000 in Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli in exchange for 20 percent of the business—an episode that Wengrover watched before receiving a call from owner Jenny Goldfarb to pitch her vegan corned beef for his menu. “New York has always been my biggest prize,” Goldfarb said. “But Jewish delis are tough. Many haven’t put anything new on the menu in 100 years—and it’s not like there’s a new turkey club or matzo ball.” The vegan corned beef is also available in the grab-and-go section of 58 Whole Foods Markets in the Southern Pacific Region, at select locations of Quiznos in the Denver, CO area, and on menus at at Los Angeles’ best-known delis, including Canter’s Deli, Factor’s Famous Deli, and Art’s Deli. Reuben sandwiches made with Unreal Corned Beef were also served this week during a special Vegan Night when NHL team the Dallas Stars took on the Carolina Hurricanes at the American Airlines Center in Dallas—which is also the home arena of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA team owned by Cuban.
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