I feel like this photo-heavy post should be subtitled “How to eat vegetarian in the Lawrence/KC Metro.” It’s a huge post not because we’ve been dining out more often, really, but because I’ve been lazy and busy and bad at updating. Hopefully once the semester ends (SO SOON) and our farm share starts up again I’ll have more to talk about in terms of cooking at home. But for now, feast your eyes. We’ve been eating a ton of great food.
I don’t remember when we made this trip to Zen Zero, but we both ordered vegetarian dishes this time (after my fail mistake a few months ago—screw you, fish sauce!) and aside from having to stare at the delicious shrimp chips while our friend chowed down, our food was good. I ordered an old stand-by, the Vietnamese Spring Roll salad, pictured first (vegetarian when you sub tofu for the chicken and shrimp AND ditch the wontons, according to our server) and Ryan ordered the Green Curry.
We’d been dying to try Mexquisito since it opened a while ago—it’s owned by the same great guys who own Tortas Jalisco, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. They have a clearly-labeled vegetarian section of their menu with several options. I ordered black bean tacquitos, pictured first (UH-MAZING) and Ryan got the tacos de papa (potato tacos of some sort) which were SO GOOD. Drool. We can’t wait to go back.
We’ve also been to Moe’s…more times than we probably want to admit. I’m obsessed with their black bean quesadillas.
We’ve hit up the India Palace lunch buffet, and this time they had my favorite on the buffet—Saag Paneer (bottom right in the photo directly below). Chow down time! I also love their Samosas. This time, they didn’t have the Vegetable Korma, which is Ryan’s favorite. Oh well, there’s always next time.
We also hit up the salad bar at Dillons for a lighter dinner one night. I like splitting my box between salad and fresh fruit (see below). The prices aren’t too bad and the stuff is usually pretty fresh (this is at the 6th and Wakarusa location).
Elsewhere in salad-bar-world, we’ve recently discovered Sweet Tomatoes out in Overland Park: OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS PLACE. You walk through the salad bar part first, where there’s a huge variety of prepared salads (last week there was some lemon-pecan thing) and different kinds of lettuce/spinach and toppings, along with some pasta salads and stuff like that, you load up your salad plate and then you pay at the register—AND THEN you get to experience the wonderful, carb-y world of stuff past the salad bar, where you’ll find a ton of soups (always at least one vegetarian! usually more than one!), focaccia breads, baked potatoes, cornbread and sliced bread and rolls, pastas (I would skip these, actually; they tend to be not that great), a small fruit bar, and a motherfuckin’ soft-serve ice cream machine. It sort of has a cafeteria-type feel to it, and you’re often dodging small children and their parents, but this place is legit. The best part, hands-down, is how clearly they label their offerings: if something is vegetarian, it’s clearly-labeled as such. If it’s not vegetarian, it’s not labeled vegetarian. So easy, and their labeling is meticulous. It’s a bit pricey when it comes down to it, so it’s not exactly an all-the-time stop for us, but they have coupons often and sometimes you just want to stuff your face, right? Plus, Sweet Tomatoes has made me a believer in tomato soup, which I swear I never liked much but their tomato soup is not only vegetarian but DELICIOUS. I want to drink that stuff.
And finally, last week Ryan went to our favorite sandwich shop of our meat-eating past and ordered a veggie sub and swore it was good, so over the weekend I decided to give it a shot. And lo and behold, he was right—we no longer feel the need to skip over Mr. Goodcents when thinking about vegetarian options. The same thing that makes Mr. Goodcents better than Subway is what makes it worthwhile to go there and eat essentially a cheese and veggie sandwich: their veggies actually taste fresh and delicious, and they pile them on. I also like their bread a lot and I love the way they dress their subs, with red wine vinegar and a bit of oil and salt and pepper and oregano.
So that’s some of what we’ve been eating over the last few months. At home it’s been veggie burgers and pizza and pasta until the semester ends and things calm down. I’m excited to go back home to Norfolk in a month and hit up all of the awesome vegetarian eats out there, and we’ll be sure to document that as well.