Just like Shake Shack found a way to make a ridiculously decadent mushroom burger for non-meat-eating burger fans, David Chang's delivery-only restaurant Ando has retooled its popular Hozon Cheesesteak into a messy and "meaty" vegetarian alternative. The Boom Boom 'Shroom is part of the brand new menu launched by Ando on Tuesday, which includes a bevy of new sandwiches, bowls and sides, many of which are vegetarian- (and in one case vegan) friendly.
The restaurant said it wanted to make the new veggie cheesesteak as "hearty" as its forebear. Two different types of mushrooms (king oyster and braised shiitake) sub in for the beef, with some support from cabbage, onions and fresh yuba (tofu skin). The ingredients are slathered with hozon cheese sauce (made from chickpeas) and served on a fluffy sesame French bread from Parisi. Look out for the hot cherry peppers; they pack a bit of a punch.
With the exception of the cheesesteak and the caesar salad ("customer favorites," we're told), the entire menu is new. Joining the veggie cheesesteak is a vegetarian version of a Banh Mi with roasted cauliflower and shiitakes and the "Wild Thing," a marinated mushroom-avocado-goat cheese ditty with baby kale, pickled bean sprouts and jalapeños on a multigrain roll. A vegan Ginger Kale Salad rounds out the options for the meat-free.
The chicken parm sandwich has been swapped out for another red sauce Italian classic: the spicy meatball sub with Jarslberg cheese instead of mozz. Like many of Chang and head of culinary J.J. Basil's creations, looks can be deceiving: their "red sauce" is made from tomatoes, galangal, coconut milk, ginger and red curry paste instead of tomatoes, garlic and basil.
Though the Chang-backed delivery-only service Maple struggled before folding in April, Chang and team seem confident that Ando can endure. Most notably, it's serving the kind of food that made Chang's Momofuku fleet popular in the first place. "If we can just make good food and get it to them fast, I think that’s the name of the game," Chang said in a recent interview with Fast Company.