Other...but Cool 08/30/2010
One of the hardest things about being a vegan, maybe moreso when someone imposes it on you rather than choosing it for yourself, is how "other" it can make you feel.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a fixer.  I spend so much of my life trying to make sure other people are happy, not inconvenienced in any way, and getting what they need ~ I guess helping others is a bit of what I need too!  I don't mean that in a martyr kind of way, but it's just who I am.  Even to go to a restaurant and change something on the menu (and heaven forbid, send it back) kills me!  It's like I think the waiter or chef will be personally offended if I ask to leave off cheese or recreate an entire cobb salad!  Needless to say, I therefore preface most of my orders with "I'm so sorry, but I'm a vegan for medical reasons, so can I get...". Yes, it sounds ridiculous, I know, but I do it nonetheless.

Well, fortunately, I have found lots of places where I can find the perfect item in the midst of imperfect ones so I can avoid that altogether!

Tonight I met a great friend at Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central Station (one of my favorite places for happy hour...cool, chic and totally convenient for my commute!)  At first we just had wine, but it had been months since we caught up and soon it was clear the conversation (and drinks) would continue, so we needed food!  We requested the bar menu...tuna tartare, crab cakes, paninis...my only option was cut up raw veggies leaving off the creamy dip ~ totally unappealing.  I requsted the regular menu...burgers, seafood, fried or cheesy foods...and then I found it, artichoke and avocado salad.

Ok - stop laughing - it's delicious! The artichoke is just blanched so it has a slight bite and still crunchy texture.  Combine that with perfectly ripe avocado, a touch of olive oil and some fresh lemon?  There's little else I need (at least by way of a good meal.)    Not only was it exactly what I wanted, no one was offended in the making of this dish!  For me, that's a successful meal.  If you're in NYC, go and try it.  You'll see I'm right ;-)


Veg and the City