J. Selby’s is an up and coming plant-based restaurant (meaning their food will contain zero animal products) that plans to open in St. Paul in early 2017. I’m fortunate enough to know Matt Clayton, the owner, as well as my friend Casey from Two City Vegans who runs the social media marketing for J. Selby’s. Chef Rick Berdahl hosted a small menu tasting at his house over the weekend, and I eagerly accepted an invitation to join.
[Disclaimer: In this post, I’ll mention words like “beef” and “cheese” but they’re meant in the plant-based sense, not the animal sense.]
I live about ten minutes away from J. Selby’s, so I’m itching for them to open and was thrilled to enjoy a sneak peek. The photo at the top of the post is their Chorizo Nachos Con Queso which I found vibrant and appealing. The chorizo is soft and spiced well but not spicy, and the cheese is melty and perfect. I wouldn’t mind having the cheese as a dip on its own even.
Chef Rick also prepared a fresh batch of guacamole. Well, two really. One was chunky and one was creamy so everyone was happy no matter their preference. I prefer chunky myself; it’s the perfect appetizer.
We taste tested two sandwiches, starting with a gluten-soy combo BBQ beef topped with coleslaw and piled on fresh, homemade bread. Talk about comfort food!! It had some sweetness to it that reminded me of Korean kalbi seasoning that I grew up eating.
My favorite flavors of the night came from the Buffalo Sub: buffalo soy curls and ranch. I’m not huge on buffalo seasoning, but the ranch was spot on and cut the potency of the buffalo perfectly. I like the soy curls, too. They’re not too soft and have a nice chewy texture. I may have dipped some chips in the extra ranch just so I could keep enjoying it.
Matt made a delectable chocolate chip cheesecake for dessert topped with raspberry jelly with a chocolate cookie crust base. Soft amazing, chocolate chunk cookies made for a fabulous follow up dessert.
I’m so excited by what I tasted! I like that the dishes are full of flavor but aren’t overly complicated and fancy. They’re obviously trying to bring us approachable food that can appeal to a variety of people.
J. Selby’s will be a fast casual, family-friendly restaurant, and their location fits the needs of the neighborhood that Matt selected (at the corner of Victoria Street and Selby Avenue in St. Paul).
Fun fact: Jeremiah W. Selby, Selby Avenue’s namesake, was a potato farmer in the mid-1800s which helped Matt settle on the name of the restaurant. The more you know!
169 North Victoria Street
Purchases through Local Deals help support One Girl, Two Cities.