A Letter from Stephanie
We have some big news. In many ways this change is exciting, full of opportunity and potential. In other ways, it is heartbreaking.
We are moving Bartleby’s headquarters from its birthplace in Massachusetts to northwest Arkansas. And not because we don’t love the amazing community here, because we do. Your smiling faces and hungry bellies have made our first two years in operation truly magical. We feel lucky to have so many incredible people who surround and support this project. I never thought this truck would make such a big impact―but wild dreams do come true. Mine certainly did.
Arkansas provides a really unique opportunity for Bartleby’s. There is a robust food truck community already established in Fayetteville, our destination, and the warmer climate will allow us to operate comfortably all year long. We are also looking to grow Bartleby’s menu, and in the heart of the south we can be immersed in the type of culinary scene that inspired our first recipes. The vegan lifestyle is becoming more mainstream: there are vegan options available at many restaurants, and a fully vegan restaurant slated to open over the next few months. Though the popularity of plant-based dining is surging in Arkansas, the demand currently exceeds the supply. Enter Bartleby’s.
Practically speaking, the lower cost of living provides Bartleby’s the opportunity to build out a major headquarters: a location to expand into wholesale distribution, grow our online business, and establish a dedicated storefront. Arkansas also puts my partner and I hundreds and hundreds of miles closer to our families.
While I am thrilled to build a new home for Bartleby’s in a place with so much opportunity for growth, I am equally sad to leave Boston. Boston is home to me, and the birthplace of Bart. I am profoundly grateful to this city and all you devils who have come by to try some nuggz, grab a Deluxe sandwich, or drizzle your meals with our scratch-made sauces.
Near the end of February, we will take approximately two months off to make the move south, set up in our new commissary, secure our location permits, and so forth. We will relaunch the online shop once settled so you can still have Bartleby’s delivered right to your doorstep, wherever you’re located. We also have plans to bring Bartleby’s back to the northeast in a more permanent way, so this isn’t goodbye. I hope to see you at our last few truck shifts, pop-ups, and cooking classes to share some smiles and say “see you later!”
Remaining Boston-Based Service
Bartleby's Seitan School
Tickets are required for Seitan School cooking classes―registration opens January 28. All eight sessions will be held at Food Rev, 3 Marble Street, Stoneham.
Download a PDF version of this letter and schedule:
Bartleby's_Seitan_Stand_relocation_letter_Jan2020.pdf (159 KB)
As the plant-based movement grows, we’ve seen some wicked awesome businesses popping up. Bartleby’s is pretty new to the game (we launched on the streets of Boston in April of 2018), but we’ve already found peers who have similar missions (to do good for our bodies, the animals, and the planet; to make tasty vegan food more widely accessible). Today, we’d like to highlight three amazing providers that approach the vegan life boldly and bravely. They inspire us at Bartleby’s to keep pushing.
THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO WORSHIP SEITAN
Seitan is a great source of protein and can be a delicious part of any meal. It can easily take on different flavors and textures depending on how you prepare it. In our previous post in this series, we covered making seitan at home (it’s actually pretty easy!) and buying it pre-packaged from the store. Once you have prepared seitan in your fridge, you can turn to these fun and fresh ideas on how to sprinkle in that gluten-magic into your favorite meals.
THE WORD, THE PLANT, THE PRODUCT
Seitan originates from Japan and has been eaten for nearly 1,500 years. The word, which likely comes from the Japanese terms for vegetable and protein is pronounced “say-tan,” or sometimes as “see-tan.” Often people say “satan” by accident. That’s okay, because we love devils (have you seen our mascot?) and technically you don’t need to say seitan in order to eat and enjoy it.
Seitan is made from wheat, a plant which might first conjure up images of bread or wheatgrass shots. Seitan is special because it’s made from the natural protein found in wheat (giving it the nickname “wheat meat” or "grain meat"). This protein is known as vital wheat gluten, or just gluten for short. People who are diagnosed with Celiac disease have an autoimmune disorder that prevents them from ingesting gluten without sustaining damage to the digestive system (and this means they are unable to eat seitan). For everyone else, seitan is a good source of protein, iron, calcium, potassium, and several B vitamins, while also being low in fats and low in carbohydrates.
The process of getting the natural protein from wheat is straightforward, if a bit tedious. It’s simple enough that you can extract the pure gluten from standard all-purpose flour at home with no special equipment. Here’s a ten-minute video of a guy washing away the starch granules from regular flour to yield just the protein using just a bowl, a colander, water, and his kitchen sink.
If you’re pressed for time, don’t worry. You can just buy vital wheat gluten to make your own seitan. Bob’s Red Mill makes a wonderful Vital Wheat Gluten and your local grocery might stock it. I’ve seen the Bob’s products at most health food stores, and at the major chain groceries like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Star Market, etc.
You also have the option to buy pre-made seitan at the grocery store. It’s found in many faux meat products and is often the primary ingredient (e.g. Impossible Foods, Upton Naturals, and Field Roast use seitan as the base for many of their products). Sometimes the packaging on commercially available meat-alternatives is confusing because the product is labeled with a traditional meat name, like “sausage.” You know it’s not a sausage, but you don’t know what it is exactly, and that confusion can distract you from enjoying the food.
But now you know: seitan is the hero! Bartleby’s favorite source of natural protein, made from the friendly wheat plant, can be prepared in a variety of delicious ways with different textures and flavors. We’re keen on a savory, southern-fried version that our devils enjoy in our signature sandwiches and nuggets, but seitan works with so many dishes and cuisines. Yum!
Keep following our series and learn how to prepare seitan and make it a part of your favorite meals.