The Backroom Deli

Rochester, Minnesota


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First off, the Good Food Store co-op is great. They have a HUGE bulk foods section, where you can get just about anything you'd want. They have produce, bread, and all kinds of packaged foods as well.

The only downside is that their produce section is quite small and could use some expanding and care.

Now, as for the awesome deli...HELL YEAH!! Their sandwiches are great and they have a bunch of different options and ways you can customize your meal. Finally, they have a number of quality smoothies to choose from...I've liked all of the ones I've tried so far.

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rating star

We absolutely LOVE this place. We live in Rochester, and this is our 'go-to' place. Among our favorites: the pancakes, the Cajun tofu sandwich, the Reuben, smoothies, the fries, the hummus and pita, the breakfast burrito, the African peanut soup, the oat pecan burger, the BLT, the side salad (with vegan ranch!) the list goes on and on. We have yet to have something from the Good Food Deli that was not absolutely delicious. As one reviewer mentioned, the sides are a little lacking unless you buy something additional but my husband and I are usually pretty satisfied when we leave. If we are still hungry, we can always pick up one of their gluten-free vegan ch chip cookies! We cannot say enough about how much we love this place :). Our only 'gripe' is that they close early on Saturday and they aren't open on Sundays.

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Try the "Awesome Wrap."

Portions seem a little small (where's my side?) with price being a little bloated. Perhaps I am biased. But I'm a tall vegan (6' 2") and if I'm spending $6.39 on a wrap, I'd like more.

Definitely cannot argue against the taste. They have truly nailed something special.
So, definitely worth your time to try it out.

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rating star

UPDATE: The Backroom Deli serves great, cheap, simple vegan food. I had a cajun tofu sandwich ($6) which was fresh and well-seasoned. My friend had a wonderful, delectable buckwheat pancake (short-stack for $6) which was arguably the best-tasting pancake I've ever had. It was thin, soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and just had a wonderful texture and flavor. Backroom is a great little spot to try in Rochester, I just wish they were open later in the evening (they close at 7 p.m.).

I also highly recommend the spicy spelt burger ($5.99) which was not only spicy, but had a great, firm texture on a wonderful bun.

However, I heard rumors that this place will start serving meat. I hope this isn't true, as The Backroom Deli is one of only a few places in Rochester to get smart, tasty vegan food. If they're concerned about increasing customer turn-out, adding meat won't necessarily help; if they want a real market base, they should move to Minneapolis, which desperately needs a non-raw vegan cafe.

ORIGINAL review: This is definitely a solid co-op given the lack of other options in the Rochester area. The prices are reasonable and there's a good selection of mockmeats, soy products and packaged goods. The bulk section has an unusually large variety of beans, pastas, rice and other staples.

My only gripe is that the deli/cafe portion closes too early at 7 p.m. I arrived at 7:15, after a long drive from Chicago, but the deli was unwilling to help me out (so I loaded up on packaged junk food instead).

rating star

Great food, good people. Need some work on the tofu scramble. Scrawny portion supported with lettuce underneath (tsk tsk). Portions seem to flex with the weather or something - sometimes they're generous, sometimes skimpy. Buckwheat cakes rock, curries are awesome. Had a Thai Lettuce Wrap that was fabulous. Bring back Sushi Saturdays!

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I really enjoyed this co-op! The bulk section of the store is wonderful - much better than the larger co-ops in the Twin Cities. Prices were comparable as well. I was excited to see the deli section had GF breakfast and lunch offerings. I would definitely go back again.

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June 2008 - Friendly, fast, all vegan, plenty of tasty options, inexpensive, and located in side the coop so one-stop shopping

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I am not a vegan, but am experimenting with a diet lighter in meats and more veggies. I liked this place...they have good smoothies, awesome wraps and sides. I usually get the tasty Cajun Tofu wrap with a side of no-egg salad. Its filling, the price is right, and most importantly: it tastes good. A+

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