• the vegan reuben wars: follow your heart

    August 27th, 2009quarrygirlfollow your heart, LA restaurants


    as i’ve mentioned before, vegans have an unhealthy obsession with reubens. i don’t know what it is about sauerkraut, thousand island, and rye bread that gives every vegan i know a hard on, but it never fails.

    i’ve written blog posts on 2 vegan reubens in los angeles before, and each time i’ve gotten comments from people urging me to go to follow your heart and try their reuben. not only that, but three of my favorite blogs named it the best vegan reuben in town. i went to follow your heart over the weekend with super high expectations and finally got my mouth around the legendary sandwich.

    the reuben: thinly sliced wheatmeat, cottage-style tofu, sauerkraut, mustard and vegenaise on oversized rye bread, oven-baked. served with dill pickle and thousand island dressing. $10.75

    the reuben: thinly sliced wheatmeat, cottage-style tofu, sauerkraut, mustard and vegenaise on oversized rye bread, oven-baked. served with dill pickle and thousand island dressing. $10.75

    one thing the FYH reuben definitely has going for it is SIZE. the thing is absolutely ginormous—definitely big enough for two people to share. it clocks in at just under 11 bucks, so i would definitely say you get your money’s worth. the weak side of carrot chips leaves something to be desired, so next time i would consider upgrading and paying a bit more for french fries.

    the vegan version of the sandwich comes with your choice of cottage-style tofu or follow your heart vegan cheese. since i can’t stand FYH cheese, i went with the cottage-style tofu, which was nothing short of excellent. they layered it on nice and thick, and it gave the sandwich a hearty and thick texture that i quite enjoyed.

    the follow your heart reuben is also piled high with slices of wheat meat, rather than tempeh like many vegan reubens, so it has a similar taste and texture to its meaty counterpart. the faux meat FYH uses is awesome as well, just chewy enough and very flavorful.

    the one issue i had with this sandwich, and the only reason i’m not yelling in all caps “OMFG THIS WAS THE BEST VEGAN REUBEN EVER,” is that it was pretty dry. after the fact i was told by foodeater that i should have ordered it with extra thousand island on the side, and i will definitely take her advice next time. something about the combination of the crispy (maybe slightly over-baked) bread and the not-too-moist cottage tofu left me wishing the whole thing was a little more juicy.


    so to recap, follow your heart’s reuben is indeed awesome. is it the best? maybe.

    it’s really fucking big.
    the wheat meat is awesome.
    the cottage-style tofu is absolutely incredible.

    the side of carrot chips is kinda lame.
    the sandwich without extra dressing can be a bit dry.

    overall, the FYH reuben scores pretty high here at quarrygirl.com, with just a few points being deducted for the dryness. it’s nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed though—if the bread were a bit softer and there was a tad more dressing, this sandwich would have been an a+ rather than an a-.

    head on over to follow your heart and check this sandwich out. let me know what you think. i highly recommend the cottage-style tofu and a side of extra thousand island.

    follow your heart
    21825 Sherman Way
    Canoga Park, CA 91303
    (818) 348-3240

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22 responses to “the vegan reuben wars: follow your heart” RSS icon

  • This vegan hates reubens. 😛

    But I’ve had a bite of an FYH one, and yeah, it was fucking tasty.


  • I think the best reuben is at Flore Vegan in Silverlake 🙂

  • i kind of like the reuben a little on the dry size so i don’t have sauerkraut juice dripping down my face when i’m eating it. but the extra thousand island is KEY!

  • haha. maybe the best reuben west of the mississippi. the chicago diner reuben destros this one. and yes… i have had both. not even in the same ballpark.

  • My vote is for the FYH Reuben with FYH cheese (I don’t like the cottage-style tofu). I’ve declared it not just the best vegan Reuben, but the best sandwich ever. I like the carrot chips, too, but I guess that’s because I’m not a fan of fries.

  • i’m glad you liked it! i always have it with some extra mustard and hot sauce. i douse it in brother bru-bru’s. it’s the best out there.

  • I love this sandwich! I try to have it weekly and that means suffering and driving out to the valley.

    Extra thousand island, mustard and some hot sauce and it really kicks ass. I also like it sometimes with their cheese. The fries are also really good.

    Shit, I want one now and have to wait until Saturday.

  • cafe flourish. i was definitely uncertain about avocado being involved but it was the bomb. didn’t hate fyh’s, i just prefer tempeh in a reuben…even though faux meat is more like a traditional reuben for sure 🙂

  • I’m with you, Jennifer…I love the rueben at cafe flourish.

    And the avocado is a nice change of pace.

    I haven’t tried the FYH version, though. Maybe this weekend…

  • They key to a good reuben (besides non-watery sauerkraut) is the thousand island. You must try it next time w/a side of 1,000 island…

  • Damn, I can see from the photos that they burned it. As you know I went later that day and got one too, it was also in the oven too long, though not blackened at the edges like yours. The restaurant was off their game that day, I didn’t have a good experience with the food or the staff, despite the place being half empty.

    It’s still the greatest Reuben in town by far when they prepare it correctly and don’t burn the hell out of it. Cafe Flourish’s is good, though not really like an actual Reuben… and sorry to say this for the fans out there, but the Reuben at Flore doesn’t even come close or belong on a list of top contenders.

  • I love tempeh. I used to LOVE the RFD Reuben, but the last time I had it, it wasn’t all that. The next day, continuing my reuben theme, I got the FYH reuben. It’s definitely a REAL sandwich! It’s the most “authentic” vegan reuben I’ve had (though my boyfriend says it’s not “fatty” enough, since corned beef has lots of fat… ew). I actually had half for lunch the next day. I still need to try Flore’s, though, and Cafe Flourish.

  • i had the fyh reuben and wasn’t a huge fan, maybe it was another off day. i want to try cafe flourish. has anybody made a perfect reuben at home?

  • fyh is my fave ruben yet!

  • I need to check out the one at FYH, but Cafe Flourish makes my favorite so far. Actually, everything I’ve had at Cafe Flourish has been pretty amazing.

  • I have always thought the FYH reuben was the best until I tried Cafe Flourish. It’s smaller than FYH and a bit more money but wow…it was delicious. Flore is now in third.

  • FYH’s is my favorite reuben by far. The carrots are disgusting but ask for the vegan tahini dressing on the side you can dip in and it makes it super tasty. Shit man, I think I got to go in there today !

  • Radical Reuben at The Chicago Diner, por vida.

  • I grew up a few miles from FYH and my Mom used to bring home Avocado Sandwich’s home when I was a kid in the 1970’s. When I moved out at 20 I got an apartment a couple blocks away and ate there all the time. Now I work two miles and eat there at least twice a week for lunch. Thing is I was an omni up until I was 26, the food was just so damn good I didn’t care if it had meat. The reuben is in my top five sandwiches of all time and I have probably eaten 200+ in my life…in all forms, w/organic chedder, vegan cheese and cottage tofu.

    I love FYH….

  • I just got home from eating this amazing sandwich, and I was quite pleased. I did the cottage-tofu and side of dressing (because, as my roommate put it, QG has never steered us wrong) and I was SO happy. It is huge and phenomenal. I’m not even sure I’ve ever had a meat reuben because I’ve been a veggie since I was 8, but I was impressed. I’m now inspired to check out the rest of the reuben contenders…

  • Chicago Diner has the best BY FAR! Truly, no comparison.

  • My omni friend swears by the reuben at Native Foods. I’m not a reuben fan, but if a non-vegan loves it, then it’s gotta be pretty tasty.

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