It’s happening again. I’m spending two days in NYC hiding from my out-of-control life while my sweetheart works around the clock, and we’re having friendly squabbles over where to eat. We’re in the most veg-friendly city in the entire universe (suck it, PETA, you know nothing), albeit in a bit of a dining black hole stuck here in Midtown, and Jacob’s saying things like “They got me take-out from Zen Palate delivered last night just because it was close by, and it was horrible, as I knew it would be. On the upside, I’ve had lunch at ‘sNice three days in a row.” Which is prompting me to say things like “I hereby vow to never go to a veggie restaurant ever again.” Menus have gotten so much better over the years, but there is still so much veggie burger bullshit that I just want to scream. Things are better, but I want them to be perfect.
So we’re stuck in the same place again: Jacob looks at menus of vegan places, and I look at Chowhound and Zagat to find actual good places where we have to ask a million questions. I dream of Ecuadorian llapingachos and Ethiopian breads. Jacob says we should walk the 40-block round-trip to go to Blossom, I say we should walk an equal distance to go to Kalustyans (I like walking when in NYC!). I threaten to bring him lunch from a hole-in-the wall Mexican place with beans and rice with unknowable ingredients, and he gets a scared look in his eyes.
Here’s the best way I can sum up the problem: I want to eat non-white people’s food made by actual people of color. I don’t want to eat “karma noodles” made by a trustafarian blathering on about the life-saving benefits of rejuvelac. I don’t particularly care that you offer Daiya cheese for your sandwich. I’m glad that you have a $24 homemade ravioli entree with cashew cream sauce, but I can make that at home.
I want authentic food that excites me, made authentically vegan.
I just want the whole world to become vegan so they can cook for me, is that too much to ask?