Wednesday, July 30, 2008

toFU** THAT! I'm not going in a VEGETARIAN restaurant!

I missed Tofu.  I say it in the past tense because up until a couple of hours ago I had gone over two months without it.  There is often a stigma attached to going to a vegetarian restaurant and I need to thus look for ways to disguise that the place we will eat will have a lot of options for me and not make the other person feel like their choices are being limited by my pickiness (no seas tan esquisita!).  

Having plans to eat dinner (cenar) with my boyfriend (porteño mío), Dani, tonight, and sick of him saying that there will be a lot of different pasta dishes to choose from, each slathered in olive oil and suctioned together by melted cheese (pero, amor mio, hay raviolis, canelones, tallarines o capeletis!), I decided that we were going to Chinatown.  This is actually just a 3-block section of the Belgrano neighborhood, which we walked as Dani grimaced at the notion that the food would simply not fill him up, saying that Chinese people are not 6'3'' and don't weigh 190 lbs (No me llena, se queja).  Sometimes people have the same reaction to vegetarian restaurants as they do to ethnic restaurants; it's too weird, too different, too. . not what they're used to.  After some eye-batting and caresses he reluctantly followed me into a Chinese restaurant and proceeded to tell the waiter all of his prejudices about their food.  I simply told the waiter that I wanted Tofu.  Shocked, he explained to me what Tofu was, and I patiently let him tell me it was a type of cheese, before saying that I was a vegetarian and eat it all the time in my soy-abundant Madison.  Dani, dismayed, said he wanted something swiney and the waiter kind of decided for himself what he was bringing us (no sé que pedí).

Pero, qué rico!  Oh yea, you like it?  Two giant plates of food came.  Mine, tofu and veggies in a savory sauce and Dani's, pork and veggies in a sweeter, peanuty sauce.  He was full and I was happy to not be eating a pile of unrefined carbs.  In amazement, Dani profusely thanks our waiter, saying that he is definitely going to come back.  So, the lesson:  Try to disguise restaurants with a lot of vegetarian choices, like Chinese(Belgrano) or Arab (Avenida Scalabrini Ortíz, tipo Villa Crespo y Palermo) and everyone is happy.  Meat eaters and tofu eaters sharing harmonious meals.  Now that's zen.

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