01 September 2010

Hal and Al's vegan sushi

Every Tuesday night, Hal & Al's in Merion Village features a different tasting. Typically, it offers a full line of beers from a particular brewer, and participants get to take home a glass. Instead of focusing on beer this week, the tasting debuted vegan sushi from the Hal & Al's kitchen.

The kitchen at Hal & Al's has been reviewed here before. They feature a wide variety of vegan comfort food, including fried avocados, vegan hot dogs, Luna burgers, tacos and burritos. Sushi is a change of pace. The kitchen is considering whether or not to feature sushi as a permanent menu item or a semi-regular special.

For $10, the tasting offered four different maki roll pairs, sushi accoutrements, a glass of Tiger beer from Singapore and an excellent "Parsons Avenue: The gateway to Hal & Al's" pint glass. There were three pairs of uramaki (rice on the outside) rolls and one pair of hosomaki (seaweed on the outside) rolls.

The rolls were a fairly simple cucumber roll, a pepper and scallion roll dotted with toasted sesame seeds, an avocado roll drizzled with red pepper Veganaise and a fried avocado roll. The cucumber roll was fairly pedestrian, but the other three were well made and delicious.

Tiger is a complement to the sushi. The continental pilsner adds a clean, bracing finish to the sushi rolls.

The other benefit to trying the tasting at Hal & Al's is that after the tasting is finished, the night can continue by tasting the rest of the smaller batch beer selections. The new Saison du BUFF project beers are amazing and worth a try. Saison du BUFF is a collaboration between the unholy trinity of American craft brewing, Dogfish Head, Stone and Victory. The three brewmasters collaborated on a recipe, and then brewed the beer separately at their own breweries.

Saison du BUFF is a Belgian saison-style ale flavored with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The layers of herbal flavor in the Dogfish beer were deeper and more complex than the Stone beer, which was slightly more understated. The brews were more similar than different, but it was interesting to compare the two takes on the same recipe. Hal & Al's didn't carry the Victory version, but it's probably worth searching out based upon its pedigree and the quality of the other two brews.

Hal and Al's vegan sushi


Robyn said...


Although the idea of vegan sushi is a great idea- those dont really sound or look very appetizing - taste good?

Loving the idea of a veggie blog :)

deraj1013 said...

The pictures turned out a bit funky because it's a dark bar. I really liked the fried roll with the asparagus. It was served with house-made wasabi. I don't think it's as good as veggie sushi at places like Blue Ginger, but considering its price, I thought it was pretty tasty.

deraj1013 said...

This now weekly on Thursdays. Check the Hal and Al's calendar on their website.