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Robin Garr

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:38 pm


Crescent Hill

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

by Robin Garr » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:35 am

Morels smokes serious ‘que … without meat

Soy-protein-based soy curls, marinated and smoked, and grilled, with tasty charred bits contrasting with chewy protein, make a persuasive meat-free alternative to barbecued pulled pork.

Following on his success with vegan takes on popular fast-food dishes like the Farby, an Arby's knockoff made without a molecule of meat, Morels Cafe's proprietor Stanley Chase has now turned his attention to a seemingly even more impossible task.

Behold, Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse, where Chase is creating vegetarian barbecued pulled "pork" and meat-free sausages that one could easily mistake for the real thing. Chase says vegetarian barbecue is a new concept, with similar restaurants in only two other places in the U.S. that he knows of, both very popular on their home ground: Homegrown Smoker in Portland, Oregon, and Monk's Vegan Smokehouse in Brooklyn.

Just over one year ago Chase closed Morels Cafe (except for occasional pop-ups) to focus on his Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. Now that the jerky endeavor has grown into a product with worldwide distribution in Whole Foods and other specialty grocers, its growing staff and production facility has allowed him to devote time to this new concept that he clearly loves.

Chase and Trevor Decuir, manager at Morels, are serving dinners Wednesday through Saturday. It’s takeout only, through the front door of Morels' tiny storefront on Baxter Avenue.

Orders are taken online from the Morels web page using an app that allows choices and credit-card payment. Choose your pickup time and come and get it. Knock on the door, give your name, and wait for one of the crew to hustle out your bag. On rainy evenings they set up a portable shelter out front for socially distanced comfort.

As you’d expect of a barbecue menu, the selection is brief and familiar, with choice of pulled pork ($10) or a bratwurst ($6), plus four sides, a nightly special, and a cookie.

We tried just about everything on the menu except the $3 double-chocolate s’mores cookie, and let me tell you, the barbecue was as good as the carnivore’s version, and difficult to discern from smoked animal flesh.

How do Chase and Decuir manage to make soybean and pea protein products taste so much like something that just came from an old-school pitmaster’s smoker? Probably it’s because they do come from an old-school offset barbecue smoker, which bathes the vegan meat alternatives in cool, gentle smoke from applewood and charcoal chunks burning in a separate oven on the side. ...

Read the complete article on LouisvilleHotBytes,

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today.

Morels Vegan BBQ Smokehouse
619 Baxter Ave.

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