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Frequently asked questions

Where can I find you?

We have a schedule! And you can look at it! We sling seitan regularly from our big blue and orange truck, serve at special pop-ups and festivals, and also participate in select events―and all of that is listed on our calendar.

How do I order food? Gimme dat sauce!

We have pre-packaged nuggets, crispy cutlets, and scratch-made sauce available in compostable containers. Visit our Shop to browse our offerings and to place your order. Items are available for delivery within the 48 states, or for pick-up from our commissary in Stoneham.

How do I reheat my nuggets (or cutlets)?

Our frozen seitan nuggets and cutlets travel well, and reheat well! We recommend using a toaster oven or regular oven to reach peak crispiness (not a microwave). We've found that some of the frying oil is released upon reheating, so you might like to press a paper towel of over surface of the cutlet, or blot the edges of your nuggets to soak up the released oil and excess moisture. To heat: Place your nuggets or cutlets on an ungreased sheet pan, and warm in a 350-degree oven. Nuggets will take about 5-10 minutes, and cutlets about 15-20 minutes. Flip over once about halfway through. You're looking for the seitan to be heated all the way through, and the outsides to be crispy and crunchy. Serve immediately, with your favorite sauce, boss!

What's your deal?

Bartleby's slings southern-fried, wickedly good seitan in the streets of Boston. We operate a big, blue and orange food truck and also offer pick-up and catering from our commissary in Stoneham, MA. All our food is vegan (100% plant-based) and is free of most major allergens: dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts. It is kosher-friendly, and can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. We make all our seitan and all our sauces completely from scratch. Our cutlets and nuggets are battered by hand. We’re committed to serving incredible, hellishly good fast food. Come stuff yer face, and see why we’re certain that being bad can feel good. ​ See Our Mission page for additional details on our guiding principles.

Who is Bartleby?

The name Bartleby is pulled from a short story by Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street.” You might also recognize the name as a character from the cult-classic film Dogma. We think “Bartleby” is unique and fun to say. The representation of our Bartleby as a little devil is a play on words, and a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of how many people mispronounce “seitan” as “Satan.” Bartleby is bit rebellious, a bit mischievous, and wickedly clever. He doesn’t have any bad intentions, but is itching to rock the boat. If we’re going to serve vegan fast food, we have to shake things up a bit! ​Bartleby's spirit is inspired by the rambunctious son of one of Stephanie’s friends. He’s smart, curious, and ready to push boundaries. He was just a toddler when we launched our food truck, but it was already clear that he’s going to do big things―just what we hope for Bartleby.

What is seitan?

Seitan is wheat flour with all its starch granules washed away, leaving only the strands of pure gluten (wheat protein).

Why cook with seitan?

Seitan has a satisfying juicy, chewy texture. It is versatile, and can be baked, steamed, fried, roasted, braised, stewed, etc. It can be cooked to a dense, tough consistency, or to a lighter, spongy consistency. There are endless possibilities! Bartleby’s has tested dozens upon dozens of different cooking methods to find the version that pairs best with the fried crispiness of our sandwiches and nuggets.

Erm, fake meat?

Nope, not "fake meat." It's real food. Seitan has been consumed around the globe for nearly 1,500 years. It has long been a popular part of Buddhist vegetarian cuisines in China, Japan, and Vietnam [1]. ​In the west, the popularity of seitan as a protein alternative began to grow in the mid-20th century, during the rise of vegetarianism. It is now a prominent player in many plant-based diets, and available to consumers in most supermarkets, health food stores, specialty markets, and cooperatives.

Why don't you accept cash?

Bartleby’s Seitan Stand is a cash-free food truck. Operating cash-free is a safer option for our team, and not having a cash box or a safe on the truck means more room for people and food. It helps us place orders more quickly, which means we can feed you faster. We accept all major credit credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), debit cards, and Apple Pay. If cash is a must for you, we will accept it, but we aren’t able to make change, so please make sure you have small bills and coins on hand.

Do you do gift cards?

We sure do. They are digital and available in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $65. These eGift Cards can be redeemed for food purchases at the truck, for any purchases through our online Shop, and to cover the cost of registration at our Seitan School (that's the $65 mark). Redeeming eGift Cards for Seitan School Registration: Because our sessions sell out so quickly, we ask you to complete and pay for your registration via Eventbrite, and contact Bartleby's after your order has been processed. Send an email to info@bartlebysfood.com with your Eventbrite registration and your eGift Card information, and we will reimburse you for the cost.

How does seitan stack up nutritionally?

Seitan is made from Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG), which is low in fat, low in carbohydrates, and high in protein. It contains no sugar, no saturated fats, and no cholesterol. VWG contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, and potassium, plus several B vitamins [2]. It also contains more than the RDA of eight of the nine essential amino acids, which are the basic building blocks for our organs and tissues [3]. The only amino acid that presents in a lower amount is lysine, which is easily found in other foods (like the tomatoes on our sandwiches and in our salads). ​After breading and frying, one of our seitan cutlets has an estimated 10g of fat, 31g of carbohydrates, and 17g of protein [4].

Should I worry about gluten?

If you have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten, then yes. Gluten (wheat) is included as one of the eight major allergens; if you have a gluten/wheat allergy, you should avoid it. For the rest of us? Gluten is awesome. It’s delicious, and has many excellent nutritional properties (see above). Of the three most popular protein alternatives, seitan has the highest protein levels per serving: about four times as much as tempeh, and a whopping nine times as much as tofu [5].

How does eating seitan support a healthy environment?

Scientists have studied the impact of our collective diets and food systems for decades, and shown that the consumption of fewer animal products yields fewer negative effects to our environment. Plant-based foods emit fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during their production as compared to animal-based foods [6]. Analyses show that when compared to beef, seitan has dramatically lower impacts on the environment, particularly in regards to land use [7]. Shifting toward a plant-based diet is “an efficient strategy for countering biodiversity loss and climate change” [8]. And here at Bartleby’s, we believe that shift is tasty, too.

What is your origin story?

Owner and Founder, Stephanie, has lived a plant-based existence since 2014, when she became a vegetarian. She became vegan two years later. A native of Florida, she saw firsthand the destruction of our ocean’s coral reefs as a result of massive over-fishing. That exposure helped her understand the importance and fragility of our ecosystem. Stephanie has held various roles in food service and retail, her prior role as Manager of the VO2 Cafe in Cambridge, where she worked for three years. After many restless nights dreaming about her own food truck business, and ways to bring delicious, affordable vegan fare to the city, Stephanie took the plunge. In early 2018, she bought a truck, tested dozen of recipes, built a team, and sent Bartleby's into the streets.

Do you think you're better than I am?

Hell, no! We’re not holier than thou. We love to indulge. We love fried food. Comfort food. Junk food, even. We love over-eating, having cake for breakfast, eating the whole bag of chips—and not just on #WickedWednesday when Bartleby asks. We want to make it easy for you to get some delicious, convenient food that doesn’t harm any living being in the course of its production. Historically, people didn’t have many choices, we ate what was available. Today, we have better tools to make food in a better way. It’s better for you, better for the animals, and better for the planet.