Day 4 restored my faith in Austin restaurants. I had lunch plans with a friend at North, a "Modern Italian Restaurant" at The Domain - Austin's newest upscale luxury outdoor shopping mall (aka Dallas wannabe). Now, one might suspect that an Italian restaurant wouldn't be the best choice for a vegan, seeing as how most American-Italian dishes include copious amounts of cheese and cream. But I took a look at the menu beforehand and saw a couple of salad options that could easily be made sans cheese, and I figured it would be a better choice than California Pizza Kitchen.
But when I got to the restaurant, I found myself wanting something heartier and warmer than a salad. I wanted pasta. After scanning the menu, I semi-unapologetically (really trying to work on not apologizing for my requests, seeing as how there's no reason for me to be sorry) asked our waitress what pasta dishes could easily be made without dairy. She informed me that they actually have a dairy-free marked menu and brought it for me. Yay! I selected a yummy and fresh-sounding angel hair/tomato/basil concoction and ordered it sans ricotta. I also requested the addition of some greens (kale).
Not only did my lunch arrive in all its dairy-free glory, but the manager even came by twice to make sure that everything tasted good and met my expectations. Um, hello! TAKE NOTE, PAGGI HOUSE!!
And, for the record, my pasta was delicious. Fresh, warming and satisfying. I cannot begin to tell you how awesome it feels to know that I can dine at Italian restaurants and eat more than lettuce. :)
For dinner, I made bean burritos, and while they were good, next time I'm going to add more to them - like Mexican rice, lettuce, guac, etc. Anyone have a good Mexican rice recipe?
My friend Matt brought over his dinner that he picked up on the way - Wendy's. Now, I love Wendy's fries, but the bacon burger could not have been more unappetizing. All I could think of was the crap (literally, the fecal bacteria) swimming in that square piece of meat... yuck. He asked, like other friends have, whether I would be eating chicken and cheese again after the 21 days are up. Considering it was only Day 4, I hardly felt that I could adequately answer the question. But I did say this: I will never eat chicken again. His response? "I love my factory-farmed chicken."