Friday, March 15, 2013

Firehouse Deli in Gaithersburg, MD

Note the Vegan sign!
Located at 6 Montgomery Village Ave., Firehouse Deli is tucked away in an unassuming corner of Gaithersburg, MD. It's on the ground floor of a nondescript office building that also houses a realtor and a bank. What strikes you about the storefront first is the large flashing lighted sign in their window that reads "Vegan." (And also "Gyros" at times.) Yes, talk about a tractor beam.

Inside the deli, you'll find a friendly owner and attentive staff who really bend over backwards to help their customers. And they do a brisk take-out business at lunch, although there are some seating options inside and inviting outdoor tables. If this deli was in downtown DC, there would be lines out the door and around the block.

The deli menu is a little confusing for ordering in terms of the vegan options. (With so many choices, it might be overwhelming for the non-vegan options too.) However the deli displays good signage to indicate that these options exist. And they have an extensive, up-to-date pdf list of vegan choices on their website.
Vegan reuben with pickle
I ordered a vegan Reuben, that was full of mock meat (Cedar Lake Vege-Corned Beef) and melted vegan cheese (Teese) on rye with extra sauerkraut. This messy and delicious Reuben compared favorably with the tempeh one that I had at Sticky Fingers in February. It also came with a pickle, natch.

There was another cheery "vegan" sign in the dessert case. So I got a chai cupcake, made by a local Gaithersburg bakery, Caked Up. (They feature a cute naked pear logo on their packaging.) The cupcake was nicely spiced and not cloyingly sweet.

The deli has many beverage options available, but I stuck with the free water. They also have fresh fruit, hummus, and chips. You could score a decadent picnic lunch and head off to explore the non-office park spaces of Gaithersburg.    
Chai cupcake from Caked Up

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