Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Happy October and welcome to the VeganMoFo 2008 kick-off post! I thought I'd begin the festivities with another Follow Your Heart love-fest. Guess what I did, though! I ordered something completely new to me this time. Are you proud? Behold, the Follow Your Heart Chilaquiles:
From the menu: Crisp Organic Corn Tortilla Wedges, Sauteed with Scrambled Tofu and a Zesty Tomato Salsa. Sprinkled with Feta Cheese (Optional). Served with Black or White Beans, Spanish Rice, Guacamole and Sour Cream.
I ordered mine with vegan cheese, no guacamole, and no sour cream, opted for the white beans, and requested a side of grilled banana. What a delicious meal! It was spicy and hearty; a wonderful way to start the day (this was a 10 a.m. brunch a few weeks ago).
I apologize for the hastily and poorly taken photo (not that my photography skills are ever anything to write home about, but this is pretty bad). There's a story behind it! You may recall past posts in which I mentioned how wonderfully supportive my dad is of my veganism and how we always brunch at Follow Your Heart when he is in town. He even has his own "usual" there, although he strayed this time and ordered the amazing pumpkin pancakes with cranberry sauce (wow, those were good!). That's not the story, though.
This time, my dad's wife joined us for brunch. I'll just come out and say it: She's awful at vegetarian restaurants. She'll order something not offered on the menu and it's just plain rude, in my ever-so-humble opinion. This time, she wanted fruit salad, but she only wanted berries in her fruit salad. That's it. The poor, perplexed server explained that they had fresh strawberries, but the raspberries and blueberries were frozen and only used to throw into pancake battery for berry pancakes. So, my dad's wife ordered strawberries with frozen blueberries and raspberries. Yes, you read that correctly. Let's just forget for a moment the fact that Follow Your heart has the very best fruit salad know to humanity: It contains fresh mango, papaya, dates, and more (depending on the season, of course, but theirs isn't simply under-ripe melon is the point). To me, it's stunningly rude to order something that is not only not on the menu, but that is ridiculously picky. For goodness's sake, order plain toast or order nothing but your black coffee (or better yet, don't come to brunch when you know you have issues being polite at a vegetarian restaurant). Don't create extra work for the server who is clearly just trying to do her job with a smile. I mean, seriously, if I can grin and bear it when forced to dine at a steakhouse where I can have nothing more than a plain baked potato, she can order something off the darn menu at Follow Your Heart.
There was a bit of humor in all this, though. When our food arrived, I quickly took the photo of my meal and my dad's wife snapped, "Why are you taking a picture of your meal?" I coyly responded something along the lines of "Oh, it's just a super secret project I'm working on." This response garnered knowing, conspiratorial smiles from the wonderful couple sitting to my left who was clearly enjoying their vegan food and the show at our table. My dad's wife turned to my dad and asked whether he knew about this "super secret project." He dismissively said something about a cookbook project (I don't discuss this blog with my family). Then, the couple at the next table looked on in horror as my dad's wife dumped her partly-fresh, partly-frozen fruit out of the pretty goblet it was in and onto a spare plate that was on our table. There was nothing sweeter than seeing them snicker and roll their eyes at each other when they saw her food. Too bad she won't change her ways. It's funny to me that she's spent time in Thailand and would never order that way at a Thai restaurant, but she thinks it's perfectly acceptable to order that way at a vegetarian restaurant. Oh, well; it's she who is clearly missing out on all the greatness that vegetarian restaurants have to offer! How someone can pass up the magnificent food at Follow Your Heart, one of the most omni-friendly vegetarian restaurants in the world, in favor of frozen berries is beyond me.
I'm going to try my hardest to write almost daily during VeganMoFo and I can't wait to read everyone else's VeganMoFo entries!