When an unassuming grocery store in Eagle Rock attracts more than 16,000 Instagram followers, you know it's doing something right. But it’s not what’s on the shelves at Organix that’s drawing thousands of fans. In the back of the shop, just past the handful of picnic tables, lies a deli where meatless magic is made. The vegan deli churns out next-level comfort food. 

“We’re not fast food,” owner Andrew Perez says. “We often get grouped with fast food because of the ambiance in here and being a deli rather than a restaurant.”

The plant-based burgers, burritos, tacos and other items are well worth the almost certain weekend wait. “We do make everything from scratch,”  Perez says. “Each order is made to order, so it takes a while. When we’re jam-packed on the weekend, it can take up to 45 minutes sometimes.”

Assembling the pulled "pork" goodness; Credit: Natalie B. Compton

Assembling the pulled “pork” goodness; Credit: Natalie B. Compton

The Organix deli’s crown jewel is probably the Puerco, or pulled “pork” sandwich: a mass of marinated, slow-cooked jackfruit, BBQ sauce, slaw and pickles piled on a ciabatta bun. 

“I was really into barbecue growing up, so that’s where this guy came about,” Perez says. “I was a huge pulled pork fan for many years, so we put our heads together, vegan-ized it and came up with this thing.”

A 10-step process goes into preparing the jackfruit, a massive tropical fruit with a toothsome texture that's become a popular meat substitute. Perez's jackfruit probably would be great on its own, but the house-made barbecue sauce takes the sandwich up a notch. 

“It has a lot of heat elements,” Perez says of the sauce, “but you wouldn’t know it because we actually downplay them with vinegar as well. It’s got about three or four different types of chilies; it’s got blackstrap molasses.” 

The trio of smoky sauce, juicy pickles and Carolina-style slaw seems to satisfy vegans and carnivores alike, earning the sandwich the nickname “the Veganizer” from Andrew’s friend and Instagram giant @VeganFoodShare

The Puerco is always a solid choice, but the menu is filled with other options that successfully channel greasy-spoon diner fare. The deli's take on the BLT comes with house-made coconut bacon. Towering burgers such as the Mac Daddy (a veganized Big Mac) and the Lombardi, a vegan chicken burger with house-made ranch dressing, carry some serious weight.

The burritos are also giant and delicious: The Poncho is packed with marinated mushrooms – chargrilled to imitate carne asada – black beans, quinoa, grilled onions, bell peppers, fresh avocado and chipotle aioli. Pair your vegan insanity with sweet potato fries or panko-crusted zucchini fries.

The menu is already stacked, but Perez promises more to come.

“We’re always developing new stuff,” he says. “We’ve had customers come to us with suggestions, and we’ve made that up and veganized it. We just have fun and play around with the classics.”

1731 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 254-0284, organix-la.com.

LA Weekly