Archive for November, 2007

November 19th, 2007

» in which I go on and on

(So I thought I was going to mention this incident briefly and then ask y’all to help me name my horse, but it turned into a big old vent so, you know. Feel free to move along.)

Saturday a bunch of us went to the Bulldog NE. I heart the Bulldog — in fact, I did a quick search just now and am shocked to discover that I apparently have not yet sung the praises of truffle tots here. They may be one of my favorite foods ever. Tater tots, parmesan-crusted and finished with truffle oil. Sinfully delicious. I am a fan of their whole concept, and the vibe of their menu, and in the last month have delighted in their black bean burger and Venezuelan not-dog — a tofu dog finished with mayo, mustard, ketchup, onions, cabbage, and crushed potato chips. It’s a wonderful dog variation, and the Bulldog’s the only place in the Cities that I know of that serves veggie dogs (I’m sure other places exist; I just haven’t found them).

So on Saturday I ordered the Venezuelan not-dog again, and when it came took a delighted bite, and chewed and froze. It tasted real. Really real. I eyed it, and poked at the dog part a bit, and it looked really real too — sort of pinkish and whirled and pulling apart in that way beef hot dogs have. Tofu dogs, if you don’t already know, are shaped like hot dogs but they’re much more processed-seeming — the texture is — mealier, softer, more pureed — more like bologna. And they taste tofuish. This? This tasted like a beef hot dog. I consulted with Jo, and she poked at it a bit, and agreed that it looked just exactly like beef, and after some uncomfortable conversation she (bless her also-vegetarian heart!) tasted it, and agreed it tasted like beef. So I consulted the waitress, who was all Oh yeah, we’ve been getting that a lot, it’s a not-dog, it just looks really real. And I pressed, because hello I’m the vegetarian, I know how tofu dogs are supposed to taste, and she said she’d ask the kitchen and she took the basket and rolled her eyes and went to double-check. Rolled her eyes. Seriously?

And she brought it back a minute later and plunked the basket back in front of me, sort of snotty and triumphant-like, and said They say it is absolutely a not-dog. And off she flounced. So I poked at it a little more, and squirmed and was unhappy, and finally got someone else at the table to try it, and she also agreed it was beef. And I still couldn’t believe the waitress had actually rolled her eyes at me — seriously. Seriously. Like it’s so inconceivable that a vegetarian gets served a meat product in a restaurant, like these things never happen, like it’s not a pain in my ass to have to be so vigilant about this kind of crap — and furthermore like maybe I should just shut up and eat the possibly-beef. So next time she came around I told her again, I’m sorry but we all think this is beef, so she went to get the manager, who was really nice and also said that they’ve been getting that a lot, but then went on to explain that they’ve just switched vendors and doesn’t it taste really real?

And yeah, it does taste really real, which is why I can’t eat it. She offered to have another one made but I thanked her and said no, that I just couldn’t eat it, it tasted too real, and she was very nice about the whole thing and didn’t look like she was even thinking of rolling her eyes at me — but also didn’t take it off my bill, which I thought was a little…well, whatever, I ordered it and didn’t like it, my loss I guess. But I think they should give some warning in the menu or something. I don’t know. The thing about tofu dogs is that they’re not really all that good. Their taste and texture is not fabulous, but they’re a hot-dog-shaped vehicle for tasty condiments like cabbage and potato chips, and there are times when it’s about nostalgia and not taste, and something glorious about being able to order a fake hot dog at a restaurant. Same goes for most fake meat products, for me. They’re not usually my first choice in vegetarian dining, but sometimes I want something called chickn that’s prepared just like the usual thing and looks and tastes almost just like it. Almost. Because it’s creepy if it’s exact. Really, really creepy, and kind of disgusting. I guess the kind of vegetarians who wish they could still eat meat and long for the exact taste and texture and all that would be delighted about this, but I don’t know any of those kinds of vegetarians. (Well, wait. Maybe — Bryce? Not that you long for it, necessarily, but it probably wouldn’t squick you out.)

Anyway, it just seems a little misguided. And makes me sad. I still very much love the Bulldog, and will be hoping for the day they go back to their original not-dog vendor, with dogs that are almost but, you know, not.

November 12th, 2007

» pretties

I know I don’t write very often any more, but you can’t say that I don’t occasionally drop in and bring you the goods:

This video is completely amazing. Now — it’s bullfighting. And I don’t agree with bullfighting. I feel really, really awful for the bull, and I imagine if this weren’t edited the way it is and musicked-over I would probably feel even worse, but — this horse is so. damn. amazing. Can’t get over it. Love the horse. Love. Crazy-awesome horse. I would not normally bring you pain and brutality — wouldn’t normally bring you some random YouTube video at all, actually — but holy hooves is he pretty.