Although I’m a committed omnivore and a lighthearted skeptic of the purported benefits of a strict vegetarian diet, I subscribe to the wisdom of Michael Pollan’s advice to eat less, but higher-quality meat. From a health perspective, I probably consume more animal products than I should. I acknowledge the environmental impact of society’s obsession with flesh. I worry about hormones. Et cetera. Nonetheless, I’ve struggled to make good on numerous resolutions to reduce my meat consumption, and honoring my longstanding pledge to support local, responsible farmers whenever possible has proved more challenging than anticipated.
Truthfully, maintaining this blog has made these goals all the more difficult to achieve. When it comes to sandwiches, meat is king. While it’s true that a few of this country’s most beloved, ubiquitous sandwiches — specifically the peanut butter and jelly, the grilled cheese and the troubling veggie burger — are of the meatless variety, options for our vegetarian friends are otherwise woefully lacking. The presence of any of these sandwiches on a menu, though potentially appeasing for the meat-abstinent, seems rarely intended to tempt anyone else.
*Reviews menu* “Oh, the little leaf icon means veg-friendly, does it? Moving along, then…”
The sad truth is that most sandwich joints don’t put much thought into their meatless options; those that do deserved to be celebrated. In this spirit, beginning today, Eat a Sandwich is celebrating Meatless September. Every weekday this month we will feature a different superb, satisfying and vegetarian-friendly sandwich. Most will be available locally here in D.C., but a handful of our talented, far-flung correspondents are lined up to contribute. Our guiding principle in selecting these sandwiches is simple: Would a meat-eater order this? I can’t promise there won’t be the occasional grilled cheese or Caprese sandwich, but we will make every effort to go beyond the obvious, to seek out the unique, the uncommon, and the inspired, and to give these sandwiches the recognition they deserve.
Follow along. Use the comments or Twitter to let us know what we’re missing. I look forward to your feedback.