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Issue Date: July 2014 Issue

A Dish We Love: Phuel Tofish

Sam Twarek

We'll be the first to admit the thought of eating undercooked, underseasoned tofu is enough to send shivers down our spine. We'll also admit from personal experience that cooking it to the proper texture is something that takes skill and patience. That's why we were apprehensive about ordering Phuel Cafe's Phuel ToFish ($8.95) when we learned the soybean curd was neither breaded nor deep fried - surefire signs we were about to get a soggy, limp sandwich. What we dove into was a delicious, sauteed slice of tofu, marinated in a mixture of nori, kelp leaves, Baja seasoning, habanero chilis and soy sauce. Served with house-made tartar sauce, cucumber, tomato and alfalfa sprouts, it all comes on a stone oven bun. The texture of the tofu hit that elusive sweet spot of having a bit of bite on the outside and being wonderfully smooth and rich on the inside - vegetarian bliss. While the name suggests an imitation of a fish sandwich, this dish scores points for originality with ample textures and tangy, full flavors. Vegetarians and meat-eaters can rejoice: The ToFish is a catch that even carnivores will feel great about devouring. 1350 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216-795-5175,

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