[SNED] Meatless District :: Hail Seitan!

Sunday 13 August, 2017

My friend Stoker is going back to the UK on Tuesday, so we went out for a farewell meal at Meatless District on Bilderdijkstraat. Meatless District is a vegan restaurant. Like most places in Amsterdam, it's not cheap, but it serves gorgeous food and I guess you get what you pay for.

I used to be a big fan of the whole fancy burger thing; fancy burger consumed with fancy fries in an upmarket pub. When I was a meat-eater. Back in the day, when I tacitly sanctioned the the destruction of the environment and torture and murder of innocent creatures for profit. Before I got my plant-based halo.

And tonight I tried my first proper vegan burger in my first proper upmarket vegan restaurant, and let me tell you this: it was genuinely mouth-watering.

But I started with something called Chipotle Jackfruit.


If the picture makes it no clearer, it's a corn tortilla with pulled jackfruit, pickled red onion, Granny Smith apple, corn, chilli and sprigs of what-have-you. I actually shared the dish with Stoker (who's a big lad) and while I remember it being very tasty — maybe even very very tasty — mostly what I remember is that there was very, very little of it. Plus it was a tad on the poncey side for my taste. You can take the boy out of Sunderland after all, but start pooling jus on his plate and he might just spit in your eye.

So to the burger.

I guess a lot of people approach a vegan burger hoping that it tastes like meat. I'm not really bothered, so long as it's awesome. However, this one kind of did taste like meat. I think. Or maybe it was more that it gave the impression of being meat. Is there a difference? I don't know. I guess mostly it was a textural thing. As well as being an incredibly tasty burger, this meatless seitan concoction was also so succulent and so sinewy and so mouthwateringly luscious (without bogging up the bread) that if I'm being honest, I fell a little bit in love with it. Seriously. Even as I was devouring it, I wanted it. It was really good, and every bit as delicious as any number of dead things.

The sauces by the way, played a massive part in elevating the whole thing. At one point, with a delicious cocktail of ketchup, fake mayonnaise, fake melted cheese and the blood of seitan running over my lips and into my beard, I thought I might weep with pleasure. I'm exaggerating slightly, I confess, but during the meal, I must have mentioned at least three times — involuntarily mind you — how good it was. Which is definitely a thing.


I'd already had a bit of a go at this by the time I remembered to take a slightly blurry photo. But you get the idea...

As for the sweet potato fries, they were fucking gorgeous. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, perfect, exquisite, delectable. Then I had the banana pecan ice cream with spice cake, which was also pretty great. And I also had two fine beers because I'm a bon viveur and I know how to enjoy myself. They were also splendid. The burger, however, was exceptional.

All in all, a fine meal, worth every cent, with mostly attentive service from staff who  were charming enough to pretend to be consistently amused by many many mentions of Satan.

To conclude, the food at Meatless District is so good that by the end of the evening, I kept returning to this: we really don't need to kill things to eat well.

I mean, I know lots of people rely on animal agriculture to make a living, but … well, they really don't have to. I mean, why don't we just automate everything, phase out money and futile toil, weed out the sociopaths, be nice to each other and evolve? Yeah?

Hope that helps.

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I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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