If recent openings like downtown's Biderman’s Deli and Otherside Deli's brick-and-mortar are any indication, delicatessens have become the Capital City’s hottest restaurant concept. The newest sandwich shop to join the market, however, has a twist — everything will be 100-percent plant based right down to a selection of artisan cheeses.
On March 18, husband-and-wife team Fred Zwar and Kirsten Maitland announced they will be opening Rebel Cheese Vegan Deli & Wine Shop sometime this summer. Located at 2200 Aldrich St., the shop is right by the latest Kerbey Lane Cafe outpost in the Mueller development.
Though a press release didn't reveal much, it did say the deli was partially inspired by Maitland’s upbringing in England, where she fell in love with Europe’s cafe culture. She wanted to bring the same ambience and wine selection to Austin, the city she and Zwar have lived for seven years.
The centerpiece of the operation will be housemade vegan cheese in varieties such as Havarti, cheddar, brie, blue, and mozzarella. Unlike some plant-based cheeses that are essentially quick spreads, the team use techniques usually found in dairy cheese production, including aging.
A variety of craft sandwiches, soups, and salads will also be offered. Highlights from the initial menu include a bagel topped with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and carrot lox; a grilled cheese with sweet pickled jalapeños on sourdough; and a plant-based charcuterie platter spotlighting a mushroom pate.
Thankfully, those hankering to try the cheeses won’t have to wait until summer to taste the offerings. The couple will be previewing their cuisine at various tastings and pop-up events. The next one will be held between noon and 5 pm at the Possum Park Party at 701 E. 53rd St. on April 13.