It was my first brunch in quite some time and my first time eating at an all-vegan restaurant. I felt like a televangelist taking his first bump of crystal meth in the bathroom of a gay dance club.
Maybe that is overstating my enthusiasm, but I’m a pork product type of guy, so I couldn’t help but think:
“What the hell is seitan?”
I didn’t say that out loud, just thought it. It concerned me deeply that if the vegans in this establishment learned a meat eater was among them, they might snap and I’d have to hack my way out with a butter knife. That would be a bad scene, man. Never again. (In case you were wondering, I looked it up. Seitan is gluten. I thought picky eaters hated that, too.)
The restaurant had a breakfast burrito on the menu, but I’d rather eat a lithium battery than Colorado green chile (Hatch, New Mexico, for life, baby.). That option off the table, I was torn between the breakfast sandwich — a pile of tofu, fake bacon, mayonnaise and tomatoes on an English muffin — and just drinking black coffee while I pondered why I didn’t just stay home and sleep in.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not piling on the vegans. They are performing a service with their culinary sacrifice. Eating nothing but plants is more environmentally sound, and I’m sure your average cow has dreams that extend beyond getting shot in the head with a captive bolt gun. Personally, I become wrapped in thick layer of rage like a pig in a blanket whenever I get hungry, so a vegan lifestyle is definitely a nonstarter.
So it’s not the vegans. It’s brunch. What the hell is brunch, anyway? Why can’t I just sleep another hour and we can meet people for lunch? You know what’s even better — 3 p.m. lunch. The restaurant is empty. It’s like our own personal dining hall. Pass the salt.
I eventually decided to give the breakfast sandwich a go, and grunted in the affirmative when the waitress asked if I needed more coffee. Really, all restaurants should follow the glorious lead of the International House of Pancakes and leave the pot at the table.
Fun fact: I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. I blame my sedentary lifestyle and the decade or so that I took piggie-making psychiatric drugs. But I am by no means a fat man, until, that is, I enter a vegan restaurant. Jesus, these people are svelte. I felt fat-shamed the entire 90 minutes I was in that place.
Anyway, I ordered the breakfast sandwich. The side of potatoes was pretty good, even though my request for hot sauce was answered with Sriracha. Savages! Does anyone in this town have Cholula? The sandwich, $12, wasn’t terrible although I’d say they circumvented what was likely a lack of flavor with a shit ton (that’s the scientific term) of vegan mayonnaise.
Afterward, I went for a lengthy jaunt to a record store, and wouldn’t you know it, I was hungry 30 minutes later. I drove to Burger King and bought a Whopper with cheese and fries. It was delicious. I’m wearing the paper crown as I write this. It’s good to be king.