Ditching Vegetarianism? Five Meaty Ways to Sell Out

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Photo: Misha Grosvenor
When I think back on my golden years in college, I remember all of the good times that I had with strangers friends. Days spent camping out for seats at basketball games, grossly misusing credit cards, and repeatedly surviving untreated alcohol poisoning are all fond memories. I was cool back then, really cool... OK, not that cool. I wore vintage clothes, listened to obscure bands, and, of course, I was vegetarian.

I ate free vegetarian lunch provided by the Hare Krishnas. I inhaled carbs like it was my job and tortured my family every holiday season. Life, like my ghee-saturated lunch, was good.

Over time, my new vegetarian diet turned me into a doughy, malnourished mess; mainly
because of poor food choices, poverty, and, admittedly, my own laziness. Despite surviving mainly on Kraft macaroni and cheese, tofu dogs, and Guinness, I managed to stick to a vegetarian diet for a nearly a decade before returning to my current status as a shameless, bacon-loving meat wench.

My return to the dark side came after being left alone in a room with an unattended box of Publix fried chicken. One tiny bite of tender white meat led to another, which quickly led to a disgraceful interlude involving myself and a plate of biscuits with sausage gravy. Needless to say, my days as a vegetarian were over.

Recently, on a car ride with some vegetarian friends, the subject of ditching vegetarianism  came up. One friend, Nate, expressed his desire to go on a massive, meat-eating spree this summer. Fortunately for Nate, he lives in New York  so his options for where to go are endless -- Peter Luger's Steakhouse, Katz's, and Burger Joint, to name just a few.

An important question was raised -- if someone wanted to go on a meat-eating spree in South Florida, where should they go?

Disclaimer for Vegetarians: Before you get your broccoli in a bunch, post lengthy comments extolling the virtues of vegetarianism, and or/cite statistics from Wikipedia, I'd like to state for the record that I am in no way suggesting that anyone ditch their vegetarian diet. In fact, I applaud anyone who can stick with it. Unfortunately, I am weak, easily persuaded, and have a regrettable penchant for fois gras.

That said, this a list that has been compiled in case any vegetarians out there (not you, of course) are flirting with the idea of eating meat again and/or have recently found themselves alone in a room with a box of fried chicken.
 
 
5. Rock 'N' Roll Ribs -- Baby Back Ribs
Any meal that requires you to tote Shout wipes could possibly be good. Ribs that require you to tote Shout wipes and tolerate listening to Iron Maiden songs for the duration of your meal has got to be good.    
 

4. Betty's Soul Food Restaurant -- Meat Loaf
It doesn't get any meatier than a loaf of meat. Yes, one can make a decent veggie loaf, but
let's be honest: All of the quinoa loaves in the world will never hold candle to a slice of
meat loaf with macaroni and collard greens.
   
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Photo: Misha Grosvenor
   
  
3. Che Grill Food Truck -- Gaucho Burger
Eating layers of meat is one of my favorite pastimes. The Gaucho Burger is a beef patty topped with ham, bacon, a fried egg, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Naturally, it had to be on the sellout list. Since it's not on Che Grill's regular menu, if you happen to catch the truck on a day when the Gaucho Burger is being served, consider it a sign.   

2. Dixie Pig BBQ -- Pulled Pork Sandwich
Truthfully, I've never met a pulled pork sandwich that I didn't like, but a pulled pork sandwich from Dixie Pig BBQ, slathered in its gold mustard sauce, will never be turned away from my dinner table.
  
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Photo: Misha Grosvenor


  1. Publix Fried Chicken
Since Publix fried chicken was the key to my undoing, it should come as no surprise that it tops the list.
 
Veggies -- If you were to sell out, what restaurants or dishes would top your meaty wish list?
Carnies -- What restaurants or dishes would you recommend for vegetarians looking to sell  out?


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB

Location Info

Betty's Soul Food Restaurant

601 NW 22nd Road, Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
splash
splash

Guinness isn't vegetarian so i guess the author of this post was never one. 

Angeline
Angeline

I don't think a real vegetarian that doesn't eat meat because of animal rights issues would be tempted by meat, because the mere thought of eating the flesh of a creature would be repulsive to them.  

Jarred
Jarred

Primo beef burrito from Burrito Brothers. Haha. On a trip with Christine and Sarah, Chili's baby back ribs are what did my vegetarianism in. I like food too much to be a vegetarian. It's too limiting.

Eric Barton
Eric Barton

Bacon is what converted my vegetarian wife. I'd cook it while making eggs or salads, and the smell would drive her crazy. It was crumbles at first, then strips Then we were on to chicken breast, pulled pork, and just recently, porterhouse steaks. Sweetbreads from Michy's, one of my favorite meals ever, is the next frontier.

Lizardpeanut
Lizardpeanut

Let me recommend some great food to tempt carnivores:  Health is Wealth has some fabulous pizza bites made w/ soy cheez that you couldn't tell weren't the real thing.  They also carry spinach bites.  I've ordered cheeseless vegetable pizzas before from regular pizza restaurants.  I had a sandwich for lunch with tofurky roast beef, veg cheez, tomato and guacamole on an onion roll.  And, tofu is easily mixed with guacamole, tahini/hummus or vegan nayonnaise to make a delicious egg-less salad.  Rediscover nuts, as almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans are richly fattening without all the cholesterol that your doctor warns you about.  There are tons of other good ideas, but not enough room here.

It may be that most people, vegetarian or not, have a craving for some particular food they remember from childhood.  Who among us is perfect?  No one should ever consider vegetarianism a punishment, nor is one a failure for eating some cheese in a restaurant meal, when the veg selections are scant.  But eating less meat, egg and dairy is good for your health, the environment and animals.  There's just no getting around it.  So, every meal or dish you eat that doesn't contain animal foods is a positive thing.  

Don't call yourself a vegetarian, if the pressure that puts on you is too great.  Just because you got a craving once for a piece of chicken doesn't mean your vegetarian lifestyle has come to an end, after a decade of abstaining!  Unless you've given up on your goals, a bucket of chicken is a silly excuse.  Do you not believe in animal rights, your own health or a cleaner planet anymore?  Was it just too hard?  Because, usually meat-less foods are the cheapest offerings on any menu.  Is it too hard to save money?  There are people who spend hours clipping coupons out of the paper to save 10 cents on hot dogs, but won't go to the trouble of asking for a pizza w/o cheese or ordering eggplant parm instead of veal.  If you became veg because of Hare Krishnas, think again.  It's not the 60's anymore.  Do this as much for yourself as for animals.  Not only are vegetables cheaper, but it'll save you tons of money on blood pressure meds, insulin shots and statin drugs.  Think about it.  And step away from the bucket of chicken!

Cathy
Cathy

I understand that eating vegan/vegetarian is sometimes a bore, however, if you ever want to try REALLY GOOD vegan/vegetarian fare give VeggieXpress a try.  They are a new food truck and it is AMAZING. 

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

I would hope not but candied bacon is pretty hard to pass up!

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

I can put down a CPB from Burrito Bros. like a champ!  Ribs are such a great way to go out. On another note, the thought of you, Christine, and Sarah on a trip together is scary but in a good way! Where is the footage?

Laine Doss
Laine Doss

Was she a vegetarian because of animal cruelty issues?

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

Nice addition! I recently got into sweetbreads after inhaling an indulgent sweetbread risotto while eating my way through Madrid last year.

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

Excellent tips whether you're a veggie on the edge or a carnie looking improve their health (or take a break from the pulled pork).Thanks for contributing!

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

Good to know! I actually really do enjoy vegan and vegetarian dishes but I couldn't resist putting together a sell out list. Thanks for the tip!

Misha
Misha

Thanks Melissa! Wow! How could I have left out bacon?!

Jarred
Jarred

I wish I had it. They were stoked after I finally caved. When the food first came out I couldn't touch it. When I started though it took me about 2 1/2 minutes to eat it all. Haven't looked back since. 

Melissamccart
Melissamccart

Also the short rib Benedict at steak 954 is primal. I think if you are going to defect from vegetarianism though it should be someplace a little seedy, or unexpected, at least. A meat temple is too obvious.

Cathy
Cathy

These guys are great they are always changing the menu and inventing new dishes that are satisfying and you dont miss the meat!!

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

Oooh! If only there were a meat temple, a smoked meat temple. That would be dangerous. I am a Benedict fiend so I'll have to try the one at Steak 954.

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