Monday, June 20, 2011

Eating out with Dad on Dad's Day

I don't like being preachy about meat-eating to anybody. I do enjoy a good conversation about it when others do, but generally I try to go more subtle. So, when my Dad chose a Lebanese restaurant for a Father's Day dinner, I knew that meat was going to be all over the place. He and his wife are huge meat eaters. My Dad's more open to vegetables and nutritional education, but his wife is very much into meat and doesn't have much of a concern for the effects. I thought I'd use the opportunity to try and slickly order some tasty veggie bits and see what their reaction would be.

The place is called Cleo, on Vine and Hollywood in Los Angeles. It's some celebrity chef's venture, and although I'm not normally big into that kind of stuff, this place was really good! Their vegan options were basically nil. But, the veggie options were good. It works like a tapas bar. There are a bunch of $6 mini-plates everyone shares that come out sporadically, made to order. I ordered artichoke/olive/pepper/cheese flatbread, grilled artichokes (amazing!) and asparagus, and baba ganoush (eggplant). They ordered hummus, kibbeh (ground lamb), lamb shank, lamb kebab, chicken kebab, saffron rice. I had a small bite of each kebab, and they were damn good (sorry, i can't lie about this. Believe me, i would love to hate the taste of meat). My Dad had 1.5 asparagus, a couple artichokes, and a slice of flatbread. The only veggies his wife touched were the dips.

So, I guess the experiment went as expected. They likely would have eaten zero veggie items had I not ordered them, but in the end they only picked at them. And I suppose I did the same with the meat. Next time it's my turn to choose the spot we're going to Real Food Daily (all vegan). I wonder what will happen then? I'll let you know. He lives out of state, so it'll be a while.

Happy Father's Day pops. I plan to slowly get some veggies in you, like it or not!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Walking around like my kitchen don't stink

Well, it doesn't.

One thing I think I neglected to mention since recommitting to being as close to vegan as possible, is that I cook 99% vegan at home. And one of the hugest benefits is that without meats and dairy, my trash and sink do not stink! For the first time in a long time, I cooked chicken at home recently, left the package in a tied up plastic bag for a few hours, stepped out, and when I returned home I was horrified at the awful stench! It seems much cleaner, safer, and fresher being meat-free at home. Also, I can pick up a knife or plate from the counter if I'm running low on dishes, and not worry that there's salmonella or e. coli bacteria on it. My funk-free kitchen is a huge plus.