Articles / This (Vegetarian) Sandwich is Delicious Beyond Its Years

This (Vegetarian) Sandwich is Delicious Beyond Its Years

Published March 4, 2024

The Yuba Verde recalls the past, while moving into the future; plus, how to make your own

The Yuba Verde at Superiority Burger. Photo: Instagram/@mikejchau

Years ago, a friend advised me to try the vegetarian hamburger at Superiority Burger, a popular vegetarian sandwich shop in New York’s East Village. I never made an effort to get there, mostly because of the toxic mantras my conscience whispers: “Real restaurants are a hundred years old,” and “Sandwiches are meat on bread.” In 2021, it shuttered. Then, last year, it reopened in a much bigger space nearby that once housed the Ukrainian diner Odessa. Instantly, long lines formed under a new marquee advertising the day’s specials. Last summer, a bartender I knew got me a seat at the counter. Leaning on my forearms, gazing forward, I thought the place looked like it probably always has—like a serviceable old diner—but all around me, there was a new energy.

I ordered a lot. The plum soda was sublime, the malt cake was sublime, the broccoli salad was delicious, the lentils were delicious, and the namesake veggie burger may have been great, but I barely remember it, only because the Yuba Verde sandwich captured most of my attention—it was transcendent. Succulent broccoli raab, yuba (sometimes called soy skins), mashed chickpeas, and more came on a soft, short hero roll with a light, crisp exterior. I was unfamiliar with yuba and thought the sandwich sounded like something from the Wild West. After the first chomp, my whole body relaxed, as if my system had shut down to upload a new program.