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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Western Travels

I don't know how many people actually read my blog. I can tell how many page views HumaneFoodFinder gets, but I also know that one page click does not a reader make.

Well I got a great affirmation on our honeymoon and my poorly-planned post-honeymoon business trip to Denver that people know that I try to eat humane food.

When we arrived in Jackson Hole, our friends suggested that we eat at a vegetarian-friendly restaurant called Lotus Cafe.

Our dinner was delicious! We got:
  • Kale-Avocado Salad ~ Steamed kale, fresh avocado, & grapeseed Caesar dressing.

  • Lentil Tacos ~ Corn tortillas filled with Southwest seasoned French lentils, cilantro-lime red cabbage slaw, carrot, scallions, & ancho chile sauce. Served with brown rice, blue corn chips, salsa, & vegan sour cream.

  • Burrito Mole ~ Sautéed red pepper, zucchini, red onion, & Spinach with brown rice & black beans rolled in teff grain tortilla & topped with house made authentic mole. Served with blue corn chips.
Sadly, our dessert (the raw cinnamon roll) was less than delicious. But the rest of the meal was so yummy that it overshadowed the vegan dessert.

And Lotus Cafe stood in stark contrast to The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, which was an ode to the hunters who flock to, and call Jackson Hole their home. With stuffed heads on the wall, a giant stuffed Grizzly Bear and a picture with one of the last known big cats killed in Arizona, this bar (cough... cough... taxidermist business) did not measure up to Lotus Cafe.

While I was in Denver on a business trip immediately after that, I went to another amazing restaurant. My sister-in-law's sister (so... my sister-out-law) took me out to this AMAZING restaurant.

Watercourse Foods is a totally vegetarian restaurant with the best fake meats EVER.

I have often said that being a vegetarian is easy, and that I don't miss meat, except for a few items, one of them being buffalo wings.
While MorningStar Farms and Boca make really great products, Watercourse Foods totally blew my mind.

So we got the
Seitan buffalo wings to split as an appetizer. Then I got the Country Fried Seitan ~ A hearty breaded seitan steak served with mashed potatoes, country gravy and mixed vegetables. As you can probably tell, we didn't have room for dessert.

The only thing that really bothered me about Watercourse Foods, and some other great vegetarian restaurants where I have eaten, is that while they will serve plenty of vegan dishes, their dairy is
not humane.

It boggles my mind that restaurant owners, managers and chefs who are trying to do their best somehow forget about the millions of cows, hens, goats and sheep being tortured for our vegetarian meals that are otherwise local. The logistics of restaurants getting humane dairy may be a bit difficult at first, but there's clearly a niche here for a local food distributor to fill, whether they go through Organic Valley or cobble together a network of local farms.

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