The Herbivorous Butcher is the first vegan butcher shop in the U.S.

Located at 507 1st Avenue NE in Minneapolis is the perhaps the most unusual butcher shop you will ever enter, The Herbivorous Butcher. Unusual, yet unique, in the fact that this is a vegan butcher shop.

Now I know what you are thinking? Vegan butcher? Yeah, right. Well, I have to tell you not only are Aubry and Kale Walch (yes, Kale is his real name) making some amazing “small batch made from scratch” products, but these two butchers and their staff are crafting some spectacular “meats” and vegan cheeses that pleased even this meat-eater.

Started at the Minneapolis Farmers Market in June 2014, the sister-and-brother dynamic duo recently opened up a stand-alone shop after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.

While their menu rotates weekly, you will typically be able to always find their vegan Italian sausages and their BBQ ribs. The first time that I strolled into The Herbivorous Butcher, I became entranced with their Korean BBQ ribs. In addition to their ribs, I also picked up a few Italian sausages.

The Herbivorous Butcher

The Herbivorous Butcher also has a great choice of sliced deli “meats” for sandwiches, but make sure that you check out their choice of vegan cheeses. Having spent a fair amount of time smoking cheeses myself, I was very intrigued with the smoked gouda vegan cheese. I’ve seen vegan cheeses before in supermarkets, but they looked rather unappealing.

However, why I was intrigued with the vegan cheese is due to the fact that I don’t mix meat and dairy products, which brings me to another key point about The Herbivorous Butcher, they are certified as Kosher Pareve.

What this means is that their products are considered to be neither a meat nor dairy products, therefore for someone like me who doesn’t eat meat with my dairy, I can now enjoy an Italian sausage smoked gouda melt for the first time. Which is exactly what I ate when I came home from The Herbivorous Butcher.

To prepare our Italian sausage smoked gouda melt, we simply sliced up the Italian sausages and threw them into a skillet with some extra virgin olive oil. After several minutes of browning our Italian sausages, we then placed the smoked gouda into the skillet to melt upon the Italian sausages.

The Herbivorous Butcher

At first I was skeptical that the vegan smoked gouda cheese would melt, but after a couple of minutes in the skillet we had perfectly melted vegan smoked gouda cheese adorned on top of our Italian sausages. Within five minutes of cooking and into a tortilla wrap, I was enjoying my very first vegan Italian sausage, smoked gouda melt.

I know you are burning to know how it tasted and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed it. Although I am definitely not vegan, at times I prefer to be called a “selectitarian.” I certainly prefer to eat a healthier lifestyle, but I also like meats, cheeses, fish and vegetables. Personally for me, “selecting” a balanced diet, coupled with awesome vegan options from The Herbivorous Butcher, makes me feel healthier and better about what foods I am putting in my body.

So since The Herbivorous Butcher appealed to my poetic nature (i.e., “small batch made from scratch”), I thought it would be √†propos to end my review with a couplet poem:

So the next time you are roaming town
head to this butcher just north of Downtown,
for vegan cheeses and vegan meats
The Herbivorous Butcher does make great eats.

The Herbivorous Butcher is open Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 7pm; Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday from 11am to 4pm and closed on Mondays. Do me a favor and follow them on Twitter here, like ’em on Facebook here and see drooling pictures of their products on Instagram here.