And the kicker?
It was all vegan.
Yup, last night, my boyfriend and I made it out to Millennium Restaurant, which is perhaps one of the most famous vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco. In fact, by the end of the second course, my meat-loving boyfriend was making multiple comments about how if all vegan food tasted this good, he'd be okay going vegan.
And of course I was happy because at a vegan restaurant I didn't have to worry about animal fats lurking in my food. No need to offer a laundry list of things I can't eat: cheese, butter, cream. No need to worry that we'd get three courses with bacon. Instead, we sat back, ordered the tasting menu, and let the deliciousness unfold.
Millennium's success (can we talk about how crowded this place is?) demonstrates that ultimately, we are all happy to eat good, healthy, sustainable food. If it tastes good, that is. Judging by the Yelp reviews (and my boyfriend) a number of meat eaters have been good and satisfied eating at Millennium.
So why are we all stuck in the meat paradigm? Why do so many of us feel that we need to eat meat with just about every meal?
Is it because that's what we know? What we grew up with? Is it just plain easier to cook with meat?
When we think of a vegetarian dish, are we stymied at pasta or a salad?
And how do we change the paradigm so that instead of focusing on meat, butter, and cheese, we focus on vegetables, lentils, and whole grains?