On March 27, vegan Sloppy Joe shop Tidy Ben’s Sloperia will officially open in San Antonio, TX. The eatery features plant-based versions of the messy childhood favorite, which is traditionally made with ground beef simmered in a tomato-based sauce and served inside a hamburger bun.
Tidy Ben’s concept first started out as a ghost kitchen offering takeout and then began holding pop-ups at other eateries and events. Tidy Ben’s offers vegan Sloppy Joe-style sliders in three flavors (BBQ, Fiesta, and Curry) that consist of vegan meat crumbles sautéed with vegetables and smothered in a traditional sauce, and served inside a sweet Hawaiian-style bun. The eatery also offers Sloppy Frito Pie and Sloppy Tots, which feature the vegan meat piled on top of Fritos corn chips or tater tots.
“There is a little bit of nostalgia when it comes to Sloppy Joe’s,” Tidy Ben’s founder Ben Cardenas told media outlet Kens5. “I ask people, ‘When was the last time you had a Sloppy Joe’ and the majority of the time … they say ‘oh it’s been years, I haven’t had it since grade school.”
Tidy Ben’s new brick-and-mortar space is inside the garden entrance of comedy club Jokesters 22 Pub and Grub. Cardenas plans to expand the Tidy Ben’s concept in other ways, including helping to fight food insecurity in San Antonio by offering a pay-what-you-can meal plan.