I experienced my first “on purpose” vegetarian entree on Thursday. I was with a group in Denver, Colorado serving through a church and one girl was a vegetarian. Since Denver is full of health-nuts, there are a ton of unique restaurants with interesting cuisine. M found a vegetarian restaurant only a few blocks away from our hotel, so a few of us headed down there to give it a shot.
Up until the time we left I was thinking “what if I can’t find anything on the menu….what if I don’t know what is in the food…” until I realized that most restaurants have a little section on the bottom of the menu with about 3-4 special vegetarian choices. And now, M was going to a place where she has more choices than non-vegetarians. So basically, I needed to get over it.
Plus, it was the perfect opportunity for me to venture out.
We arrive at the restaurant and have about 20 minutes to wait. I look around at the scenery, noticing a theme immediately. “Pro-animal” is putting it loosely. There were rabbits dressed as strong warriors, mice saving other mice from drowning in a river, a group of 60 prairie animals gathered together enjoying each others company, maybe one was even singing, and probably chatting about how great it is to have such a vast group of friends.
When it came to the table, I was nervous. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t facing imminent death, that I was just trying new food.
I took a bite. Chewed. Swallowed. It went down. Phew.
And truthfully, it wasn’t all that bad. After trying most everything else around the table, we all decided that my selection, while daring, was a bit bland, and that seitan could be much tastier when paired with more flavorful ingredients. It actually had a texture similar to heavily breaded fried chicken. It was crispy and crunchy.
And as glad as I was that I stepped up and tried something very very new, it was more meaningful to see M scour the menu trying to decide between her many many options.