Those who know me personally already know that the Haybag is a vegetarian. Well, she eats fish sometimes…so whatever that is, she is. In my defense, when I first met her, she was vegan. I take this to mean I am winning.
It’s not a morality thing for the Haybag, so she doesn’t care if I eat meat. In fact, just to make sure, for our first couple dates I ordered items such as “extra tender young lamb” and beef carpaccio. She also throws-down some wicked-good lamb chops for Easter. The practical implications of the Haybag’s diet, however, mean that on an average day for breakfast and dinner, I eat a pescatarian diet as well.*
Interestingly, I think this drives my love of BBQ. I loved BBQ well before I met the Haybag; but perhaps the scarcity of meat on a day-to-day basis is what drove me to build my own BBQ smoker and obsess over BBQ (Coping? Compensating?). So, paradoxically, we have a vegetarian to blame for stuff like this and this and this.
Sooooooo, last weekend we went to Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Seven Corners (please, God, someone click the link to a vege restaurant from a BBQ blog). The Haybag has wanted to go to this place for awhile now. It’s about 20 minutes away, though, and you have to pass by Dogfish Head Alehouse to get to it.
Now, just for funsies, let’s use the standard beer review format:
Appearance: From the outside, it looks respectable enough. The sign has an obnoxiously large sunflower on it. The interior’s newish combination of Buddhas, bamboo, bright colors, smiling sunflowers, and shoji screens could be best described as modern Asian-American-Prozac fusion. And the clientele included the appropriate mix of hipsters, aging hippies, way-too-skinny dudes, and granola-ey gals.
Smell: It smelled like a bean sprout had farted about 2 minutes ago, and it was lingering. Luckily this faded, or my nose acclimated.
Taste: I had the Thai Tom Yum Goong Soup (yes, I giggled when I ordered) and the Haybag and I shared the Japanese Style BBQ Kabobs and the Mizuni Sansai Udon Noodles. To be quite honest, it all tasted good…especially the soup, which was spicy and lemon-grassy. My least favorite was the fake meat on the so-called BBQ kabobs (they were grilled kabobs). With a couple exceptions, meat replacers either weird me out or piss me off.
Mouthfeel: Everything was done really nicely. But if you eat meat, the meat replacers will have a weird mouthfeel no matter how many times your vegetarian Aunt tells you that they are JUST like meat.
Drinkability…ummm, Eatability: I would eat here again, at the Haybag’s request, without complaint. And it would be my first recommendation to anyone interested in a vegetarian restaurant.
So, now that I undertook an honest and thorough examination of my BBQ soul and made a contrite and repentant confession, I ask for your forgiveness and will engage in such BBQ acts of contrition as are necessary to earn my readers’ absolution.
*It’s OK to eat fish, cause they haven’t any feelings.