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Pairing Vegan Pastrami

There’s some irony in the fact that Worcester’s champion vegans, Nicole and Victor Broushet, met in the Meatpacking district. Then again, unsuspecting pairs are everywhere if you bother to take a look. Feast your eyes on 6 Waldo Street, the latest vegan hot spot in the city of Worcester.

The Vegan Nest opened its doors last fall, not long after fellow vegan proprietor, Chickpea, closed its doors indefinitely. And, while I may have been skeptical at first about promises of artisanal charcuterie at an establishment where nothing says moo – I have nevertheless developed a strong affinity for vegan pastrami sandwiches.

The Vegan Nest’s hot pastrami melt begs for a spicy lemonade. Lining up fats and acids can be tricky with seitan and the like, but this flavor duet hits the mark. Like most pastrami sandwiches, The Nest’s iteration is layered with spicy brown mustard. Unlike most pastrami sandwiches, the Broushets make their own plant-based meat, then slather it in aioli and melty vegan mozzarella.

Few things boast enough acidity to cut through the richness of hot pastrami like fresh squeezed lemon juice. The Nest’s spicy lemonade offers a subtle cayenne top note balanced by a dash of maple syrup for the ideal dose of heat, not to be outmatched by the might of brown mustard.

Regular customers, deemed “nesters,” likewise suggest ordering superfood smoothies, bagels with vegan cream cheese, queso blanco, and bbq jackfruit. You’ll find beverage offerings equally compelling, including moCa, a Maya Nut beverage that is non-GMO and eco-friendly. Take a guilt-free cherry pie spritzer and a piece of mind for the road – The Vegan Nest is about more than just cuisine, it’s about inspiring healthy living in Worcester.

With Belmont Vegetarian to the north and Loving Hut outposts to the south and west, it’s nice to finally have a vegan option right downtown. The Vegan Nest’s family friendly space is bright and community focused, providing prepared foods for the downtown workforce in addition to a sit-down environment for a leisurely breakfast and lunch.