ColdPress Express pulls off vegan lobster. Really

You won’t believe it’s not lobster.
Photo: Steve Marcus
Greg Thilmont

When it comes to sandwich titles, the Lobster Imposter at ColdPress Express in Downtown Summerlin sounds a bit mysterious. The menu description is brief and slightly enigmatic: “Vegan lobster. Fresh Dill. Old Bay. Hoagie.” It’s easy enough to picture a mock beef patty in a veggie burger, but what in the deep blue sea does vegan lobster look like?

Thankfully for those who avoid eating animals—and for vegetable-forward carnivores, too— this friendly eatery’s creation doesn’t involve faux crustacean shapes at all. Rather, chopped hearts of palm—the tender insides of once-swaying tropical trees—fill in for Maine’s top export.

The Lobster Imposter’s ($8) main ingredient is an ingenious choice by the offshoot of the local SkinnyFAT’s chain. Hearts of palm have a delicate taste and best serve as a ferry for more pronounced flavors. Here that means vegan aioli jazzed up with Old Bay Seasoning, that venerable blend of zesty spices like celery salt, black pepper and paprika. For a verdant flourish, the lauxbster mix is topped with aromatic dill fronds inside a nicely crusted hoagie roll, rather than a traditional split-top hot dog bun.

Sandwich purists might roll their eyes, but the savory innovation makes for a fresh, West Coast-style take on the opulently rich New England classic. It’s worth a try. Wash one down with some eye-opening Kombatbucha, a tangy housemade blend of kombucha, pineapple, aloe, apple and a dash of cinnamon.

COLDPRESS EXPRESS 2010 Festival Plaza Drive, coldpressexpress.com. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tags: Dining, Food, Vegan
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