Spring in a Northern Town: A Tale of Patience

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 

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Signs of spring growing in my back yard!

Spring in Northern Minnesota can be a very elusive thing, and that is why I love this quote by Charles Dickens. It feels like he is perfectly describing the type of spring we experience here. Looking out the window at the bright sunlight illuminating the landscape, one would expect a warm temperate day to greet them upon setting foot outside. However, the cold chill of the wind will quickly snap that dreamer back into reality. It’s only 38 degrees on The Iron Range today, and with the windchill it feels like 33! Brrrr! A quick look at the ten day forecast shows that today’s high will only be 40 degrees, and in contrast to that, the high for next week will be 61! This is a story I know all too well; it is the fickleness of spring. It’s that time of year when you just don’t know how to dress. It can be hot one minute and cold the next. In times like these layers are a Minnesota girls best friend!  You never know what to expect- but it is Minnesota, so maybe we should expect the unexpected. Well, weather wise anyway 😉

I am hopeful that spring will get here soon, and stick around for awhile. That is what spring is all about, right? Hope. The chill of winter dissipates, and green growth fills in the spots where snow once stood. The long cold nights eventually become shorter and shorter, soon to be replaced by the endless summer days we all remember as kids. I know warmer temperatures will be here soon, but until then I am patiently waiting for spring to grace us with her presence. So, while I await the arrival of spring- and since the premise of this blog is Vegetarianism, I would like to share with you what yummy vegetarian delight I had for lunch today.

Salad with apple cider vinegar dressing, homemade bread, fruit salad, and Yogi Tea.

Salad with apple cider vinegar dressing, homemade bread, fruit salad, and Yogi Tea.

It was a pretty simple lunch to throw together!

The salad is Earthbound Farm Organic Zen Blend. I bought it at our local Superone Foods in Hibbing. I added some chickpeas, radishes, celery and topped it off with some apple cider vinegar. Voila! A delicious, easy and nutritious salad – and Vegan to boot!

Freshly baked rye bread

Freshly baked rye bread

The bread is Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Rye Bread Mix. I also purchased this at our local Superone foods. I made it in my bread-maker, and it turned out fabulous. I recommend this product to anyone who has a bread machine. It is super easy to use, and makes for a delicious finished product. It does contain non-fat dry milk, so the product is unfortunately not vegan. I also added a little peanut butter to the bread – delicious!

Leftover fruit salad from Easter

Leftover fruit salad from Easter

The fruit salad I made to share with my family at Easter dinner. I used blackberries, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, kiwi, and banana. The dressing for the salad was made with Jello brand Vanilla Pudding mix, the juice of one whole lemon, the juice of one whole lime, vanilla extract, and almond extract. This salad is vegan because Jello brand vanilla pudding doesn’t contain gelatin.

Oh, Yogi Tea - you are so wise!

Oh, Yogi Tea – you are so wise!

And of course some hot tea to keep warm on this cold Minnesota day!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Please leave a comment below – I would love to hear from you!

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The Rhythm Deli: Vegetarian Lunch Options

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2301 First Avenue

Hibbing, MN 55746

218-293-4545

Website: http://www.therhythmdeli.com/

One of my go-to places for a quick vegetarian lunch is the Rhythm Deli. Located on First Avenue in Hibbing, the Rhythm Deli is a nice little eatery that offers a number of meat-free options.The menu is reasonably priced and includes Sub Sandwiches, Wraps, Paninis, Salads, and Take “n” Bake Pizzas. Since this is a vegetarian blog only the meat free items will be reviewed. However, a full listing of the Rhythm Deli’s offerings can be found on their website or by clicking here.

The Rhythm Deli is located in the same building that used to house The Pizza Mill and Sub Station. Growing up on Hibbing’s West Side back in the 80’s,  I have many fond memories of walking down to the deli’s predecessor during the summertime with my family. We would pick up freshly made pizzas, and bring them home to cook. These are memories that can be found in the simplicity of a warm summer’s night and the first bite of a freshly baked pizza. Slice of nostalgia, anyone?

I sometimes miss those days, but the Rhythm Deli still offers take and bake pizzas as well as a plethora of other options to choose from.

 

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The Vegetarian Offerings:

None of these options are marked specifically as vegetarian on the menu.

  • Avocado and Cucumber Wrap – Avocado, cucumber, green onion, spinach, cheese and ranch dressing combine to make up this delicious wrap.
  • Caprese Panini –  Basil, tomato, and mozzarella panini with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
  • Greek Salad – Greek style salad with romaine lettuce, onion, tomato, black olives, cucumber, green peppers, banana peppers, feta cheese, and a Greek dressing.
  • Caprese Salad –  Salad version of the Caprese Panini except that it also includes avocado and is made with romaine lettuce (panini bread not included).
  • Sub Sandwiches – You can design your sandwich. Just ask them to hold the meat, please!
  • Take “n” Bake Pizza – The Pizza is put together while you wait, so you can request the toppings you would like. There isn’t a vegetarian pizza listed specifically on the menu, but they will make one upon request.
Avacado & Cucumber Wrap with Chips

Avocado & Cucumber Wrap with Chips

The Review:

On this particular trip to The Rhythm Deli, I ordered the Greek Salad and a single serving bag of Sun Chips. I got my order to go, but there are some tables by window to sit at if you choose to eat in-house. The service was very fast and efficient.  I only waited what seemed like a few minutes, and then I was on my way.

Greek Salad and Sun Chips

Greek Salad and Sun Chips

The Greek Salad is by far my favorite offering at the Rhythm Deli. It is comprised of romaine lettuce, onion, tomato, black olives, cucumber, green peppers, banana peppers, feta cheese, and is topped with a tasty Greek dressing. The first time that I tried the Greek Salad I was a little weary of the banana peppers. I had previously only tried the tangy yellow pepper on pizza, but I must say that it makes the salad. It’s a delicious combination!  The salad dressing comes on the side, which I love because you can add as little or as much as you would like. Unfortunately, the picture above doesn’t do the salad full justice since I ordered it sans tomato. However, the salad tasted great -the lettuce was fresh, the veggies delicious, and the feta cheese, sprinkled delicately over the lettuce was just the perfect amount.

The Pizzas:

I recently ordered a Take “n” Bake Pizza from the deli for the first time. Having asked if the pizza sauce used was meat-free, and after receiving a reassuring “yes” I decided to order a cheese pizza with banana peppers. They quickly put together the pizza while I waited, and then I brought it back with me and baked it in the comfort of my home.

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The Pizza was wrapped up neatly and adorned with the deli’s logo and cooking instructions.

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I baked the pizza according to the directions. The large slices of cheese melted nicely over the banana peppers.

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The finished product turned out great! It was a rainy day – so a warm slice of pizza fresh out of the oven was just the thing!

 

All in all, I highly suggest the Rhythm Deli if you find yourself in Hibbing and in search of some meat-free lunch options.This is one of my favorite places for lunch because not only is the service fast and friendly, but they have a number of healthy meatless menu choices.

The Rhythm Deli on Urbanspoon
Have you visited Hibbing recently and eaten at the Rhythm Deli? What did you think? I would love to hear your opinion!

Erbert And Gerbert’s: “V” for Vegetarian

Subs, Soup, and More….

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  Hibbing Location
4130 9th Ave West
Hibbing, Mn 55746

Located in the Hibbing Marketplace

If you happen to find yourself on the Iron Range and are in need of a quick lunch, might I suggest giving Erbert And Gerbert’s of Hibbing a try? Erbert And Gerbert’s or “Erbs & Gerbs” as I like to call it is a great little sub shop located in the Hibbing Marketplace that boasts a wide array of sub sandwiches, soups, and chips. However, considering this is a vegetarian blog, the meat free items will be the main topic of focus.

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The Subs:

Erbert And Gerbert’s offers two Vegetarian Subs on your choice of wheat or white bread; The Pudder, and The Jacob Bluefinger. The green “V” symbol on the menu designates that these items are vegetarian.

  • The Jacob Bluefinger is a classic flavor sub. Provolone cheese, tomato, avocado, lettuce, and mayo combine to make up the filling of this delicious sandwich. I usually ask to have a pickle added to my sub when ordering the Jacob Bluefinger.
  • The Pudder is your typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It comes with creamy peanut butter and your choice of strawberry jam or grape jelly. If cheese is something you exclude from your diet, The Pudder might be a good choice… Plus you can’t go wrong with PB&J!
  • FYI ~  Erbert and Gerbert’s is known for scooping out “The Guts” of the bread and placing it directly on top of the sub sandwich. This extra part of the bread can be used for dipping in their delicious soups… or just eating plain – either way it is nice that the remainder of the bread doesn’t go to waste. They even have an online mascot called “Mr. Guts!” You can view his webpage here.
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“The Guts” of the bread!

The Soups:

Similar to the sandwiches, the vegetarian soup options, are designated with a “V” on the menu. Unfortunately, none of their soups appears to be vegan. I’m hoping someday they might decided to add a vegan vegetable soup to their lineup, but until then here are the vegetarian options:

  •   Cheddar Cheese and Broccoli – Vegetable stock soup with broccoli and cheddar cheese.
  • Tomato Basil Parmesan- Tomato, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and Worcestershire are the main ingredients. I contacted E&G support regarding the Worcestershire sauce on the ingredient list. Traditionally Worcestershire is made with anchovies, and I wanted to be sure that this version was 100% vegetarian. I received a lightning fast response from their menu director stating the sauce is indeed vegetarian. I was very impressed with the fast and friendly reply! 🙂

 

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Cheddar Cheese and Broccoli soup along with “The Guts” of the bread

 The Review:

 This Particular visit to Erbert and Gerbert’s I choose the Jacob Bluefinger sub, Broccoli and Cheddar cheese soup, and Salt and Vinegar chips. I stopped in and ordered my food to go, but you can eat-in, or they do deliver as well. However, the atmosphere is quite nice for a fast food establishment. The service, as usual, was fast and friendly, and in no time I had my food and was on my way.

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The sub was delicious, the bread tasted fresh baked, and the soup was hot and comfortingly satisfying – just the thing on a cold Minnesota evening!

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All in all I do suggest trying Erbert and Gerbert’s Hibbing location when visiting “The Range” and looking for a quick vegetarian bite to eat.

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 Don’t forget to grab a bag of chips…

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…or to try one of their giant pickles!

Please check out Erbert and Gerbert’s website for more information.

Have you eaten at Erbert and Gerbert’s? What did you think? Please leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you! 🙂

Erbert and Gerbert's on Urbanspoon

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