By: TAYLOR WALDRON
Web Editor, Staff Columnist
Last Friday, two Midwest vegan food providers popped up in Downtown South Bend at The Hibberd to present their unique takes on some classic comfort foods, but with a vegan twist. SteMartaen and Water & Wheat Cafe banded their plant-based powers together to put on an awesome display of creative cuisine.
SteMartaen is based out of Chicago, Illinois. They specialize in vegan catering, pop-ups, and small-batch vegan cheese. According to their Facebook page, they specialize in “plant-based food with flavor.”
SteMartaen had vegan mac and cheese, collard greens, hot wings, and cheesesteak sandwiches. The food was bold, flavorful, and unapologetically comforting. The mac and cheese could have easily fooled even the most devout dairy consumer.
Water & Wheat Cafe is based out of Coloma, Michigan. They describe themselves as a test kitchen and they experiment with a variety of flavors.
Water & Wheat showcased their vegan fried chick’n, buffalo chick’n wrap, chick’n bacon ranch wrap, and a variety of pressed juices. Their food was spicy, savory, and had a great mouthfeel.
The venue was packed with all seats taken as local foodies made their way into the pop-up to try what the vendors had to offer. The customer demographic was a wide range of people and very diverse. For the entirety of the event, the venue was packed and busy.
“I love being vegan,” said Kate Luce, local vegan and comfort foodie.
As more people start to eat plant-based and become vegetarian or vegan, it is important that unique options like those offered by SteMartaen and Water & Wheat are available in our area. These vendors remind those who might be suspicious of satisfying vegan food that it is possible to achieve bold and savory flavors from plants.
For more information, visit the Facebook pages for Water & Wheat Cafe and SteMartaen.