In all honesty, if you had told me years ago that a place named The Steer would someday be a great place to grab a bite for non-meat eaters, I would have thrown you a side eye and given you a pat on the head before dismissing you as most likely nuts. The Steer’s name in and of itself means BEEF for Christmas sake. Well, times they have a changed. As some of you may have already heard (not herd, but that would be a great pun) we now offer some great options for plant-based diners with our Vegetarian Menu. Many items are not only Vegetarian but Vegan, using no animal product whatsoever. Carnivores and herbivores eating out happily together? What’s next? Dogs and cats living together-mass hysteria! Well, ok-let’s not get too dramatic here, but yes it’s true-we want to serve quality options to ALL our customers. We strive to make Vegetarian and Vegan dishes that both meat lovers and veggie lovers could enjoy, because one shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste no matter what one’s dietary preferences are.
So as someone who just loves good food, but has not given up meat, fish, or dairy, I consider myself a tough critic. I love a good real crab cake; one made with tender lump crabmeat, not a lot of filler, and not deep-fried, Can this flavor profile be replicated without using any animal product and still be just as delicious? The Crabless Cakes at The Steer is 100% Vegan and fits the bill. They are made with hearts of palm, shallots, red onion, red bell pepper, toasted nori, seasonings, and our house made Vegenaise (eggless mayo). Once formed into patties, they are dredged in panko, pan seared, and finished with a side of Lemon Caper Aioli. The success in this dish, in my opinion, comes down to two very important ingredients. First is the hearts of palm, which have a similar flavor profile to artichoke hearts, and a very similar texture to crabmeat when shredded. The second key component is the toasted nori (sheets of dried seaweed used in making sushi). It gives the diner the perfect taste of the ocean. The cakes are savory, tender, and meaty- without actual meat, and the Lemon Caper Aioli Sauce is a perfect tangy compliment. So rejoice Veggie Lovers, but good luck fending off your steak-loving companion who will no doubt be going in for a bite.