This post is a few days late, but I had to share where I spent my last night as a meat-eater before my 40-day vegetarian experiment
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On Fat Tuesday, some friends and I headed to a barbecue restaurant in Brooklyn called Fette Sau -- it's one of our favorite restaurants to visit with friends because the big picnic tables and the roaring fire in the fireplace (or, rather, on the flat screen TV in place of a fireplace) give it a casual, cozy atmosphere where you can share a growler of beer and chow down on some great food.
At Fette Sau, you order ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and other types of meat by the pound and it's served up on big metal cafeteria trays. The side dishes -- baked beans, broccoli salad, potato chips -- are mediocre at best. It's also important to note that once you spend an evening here, your clothes smell like smoked meats for days. Naturally, we thought this would be a great place to have our last dinner before Lent.
These photos are actually from a previous summertime visit to Fette Sau; I was too busy savoring my dinner last week to remember to take pictures. But they were just too appropriate not to post -- especially the guy at the bar wearing the "Vegetarian" t-shirt.
If you can't read the t-shirt in the photo, it reads: "Vegetarian: Ancient tribal slang for the villiage idiot who can't hunt, fish, or ride." This pretty much sums up the attitude of the restaurant, at least judging from their menu, and I thought it was a hilarious juxtaposition next to the giant carving knives that serve as bar taps.
Some of my friends -- along with my parents and sister -- also expressed similar, not-so-nice sentiments about my meatless endeavor. When I announced my intentions during a visit home to New Jersey with my family, their reaction was one of shock and disgust. My mother (who is otherwise a pretty fit and healthy lady) actually said, "I hate vegetables; I could never do that."
I'm not going to say I've never made a joke or rolled my eyes about vegetarians, because I have. But now that I'm trying it myself (and very much enjoying it so far!), I am also hoping to spread a little bit of awareness about how not strange it really is.
Hopefully I'll take away from this experience some great recipes and strategies that I can pass on to my carnivorous family and friends. I certainly don't expect to convert anyone to vegetarianism -- especially because I have every intention of going back to occasional meat eating come April. But if I can even just make a meal full of veggies that tastes good to my mom, I'll consider it a success.
Have you successfully adjusted your diet to include less meat -- or less of anything unhealthy -- and faced criticism? Have you managed to bring friends and family on board with you?