A Vegetarian’s Lament: 5 foods I miss the most

January 12, 2010

There are gives and takes to adopting the vegetarian lifestyle.  Now, let me clarify: I am more of an ethical omnivore, which by my definition means I eat meat when I know where it comes from and how it was raised, but since I eat a meatless diet about 350 days a year, I usually just go by “vegetarian.”  We all want to label everything and everybody, and I am in no mood to explain my actual diet and justification to every Jane that I encounter; add to this that I’m really a pescetarian because I eat fish (and if I’m confessing, eggs and milk, too) and it only gets more complicated.  So let’s keep it simple: I’m a crazy vegetarian.
  
I’ve been an ethical omnivore/mostly vegetarian for almost a year, and I enjoy it.  I have to cook more creatively, I have to pay closer attention to my diet, and I am more healthy for it.  It has been such a good experience that I plan to continue.  But there are some things I miss.

So, after wasting nearly two minutes of your time, here is my list of the fleshy foods i miss most:
 
The Reuben.  I love the mixture of salty corned beef, crunchy sauerkraut, homemade (real) thousand island dressing, melted swiss cheese, and slightly toasted rye bread.  Hungry?  I know.  Add some good fries, and you have a meal easily worth the coma that follows.
 
Burnt ends.  Between bread or on a plate, nobody does ’em like Jack’s Stack.  Oh, they’re greasy and crispy all at the same time.  And because I wouldn’t consider having one without the other, I’ll lump baked beans with the burnt ends.  I do miss them both.
 
Buffalo wings.  I was sitting at the bar at McCoy’s Public House when the guy next to me ordered some wings.  The smell of them was so enticing that I actually contemplated ordering them, having forgotten that I don’t eat meat.  No, it wasn’t in breach of my vegetarian oath that I considered ordering them–it was because my stomach spoke so loudly and authoritatively that my mind, for at least a moment, thought it to be a fantastic idea.  I had another beer to console myself.
 
[See a trend here–these aren’t especially healthy foods.  And they are much better with beer (there’s no point to that, other than the fact that i like beer).]
 
Hamburger.  You knew this had to make the list.  We all have our favorites.  I’ve found veggie burgers and fish burgers that act as very solid substitutes, but I will always miss a great hamburger.
 
Bratwurst.  No, I’m not German, but I love the bratwurst.  I want it with some chunky stone ground mustard and as much kraut as you can fit on the bun.  No Johnsonville for me, though.  If you’re from KC, it’s gotta be Scimeca’s.  Did I mention that my brother married a German?  My niece and nephew are part German, so that makes me at least an 1/8th, right?
 
That’s the list.  My next list will offer the best vegetarian alternatives I’ve found in my little time as an ethical omnivore.  Stay tuned.

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5 Responses to “A Vegetarian’s Lament: 5 foods I miss the most”

  1. sara said

    mmm. good list.

    what about pulled pork from OK joes????

  2. mr.eggsandsoup said

    Well, I am a little embarrassed to admit, but I’ve only been to OK Joe’s a couple of times, and both times were after learning of Smithfield Foods and industrial pig farming. So…I avoided pork.

  3. Rachel said

    I’m looking forward to your alternatives list!

  4. Tameri T. said

    What about bacon? I miss bacon frequently, but roast turkey is the greatest loss I think.
    Visit me when you get a minute; http://www.t2fish.blogspot.com, my exploration of pescetarianism.

  5. mr.eggsandsoup said

    I have never been a big fan of bacon, but I know I’ve seen bacon from farm-raised pigs. Also, I’ve had some tempeh bacon (I think it was called Fakin’ bacon, or something) which was fairly good.

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