A positive lunch experience

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Today I went out to lunch with a group of people from work, something I generally don’t do since I’m not terribly close socially with many people I work with, plus I’m pretty introverted. In any event, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant nearby. I was the only one that had eaten there before so they asked me what was good. I told them, “Well, obviously I only have experience with the last two pages of the menu (the vegetarian dishes), but they’ve all be good so far.” Everyone except for one person took a quick glance at the back of the menu and then returned looking through the regular meat dishes.

I was pleased, though, that the one person saw a soup from that page that he thought looked good and ordered it. I asked him afterwards what he thought about it and he said he enjoyed it. I told him, “It makes me happy when non-vegetarians try something with tofu, something outside of their comfort zone.”

He told me that he had never had tofu before. “Were those the fried white chunks?” he asked. I told him they were and explained about how the fried tofu in soups usually just have the flavor in the crust whereas you can also marinate tofu to infuse flavor into it. He seemed interested.

It just impressed me that someone who had never had tofu didn’t shy away from the dish just because there was something unfamiliar in it. It’s one of those small things that makes me realize that not everyone else in the world requires meat at every meal they eat.

5 Responses to “A positive lunch experience”

  1. berrykat

    Before I went veg a friend used to make me pad thai with tofu and I ate and enjoyed it not knowing it had tofu in it. I like tofu now.

  2. Karen

    Nice job. I also like it when friends and/or family members do the same thing you wrote about. It’s validating – and I guess I’m ever hopeful of their “conversion.”

  3. Diane

    Note from a West Coast omnivore: I don’t think you’d find your lunch experience so unusual in California. Vegetarians are a dime a dozen, perhaps, so menus might have more choices but many people I know, including me, do eat meat but think nothing of vegetarian/vegan entree several times a week. Myself, I make what I have in the fridge, be it pot roast or roasted vegetables and tofu. And I’d approach a lunch menu in the same way. Whatever looks good.

  4. Shelly

    That’s funny…I live on the West Coast (or left coast if you prefer) too, and I don’t know all that many vegetarians, and only one vegan. I have a hard time sometimes finding menu items that are truly veggie.

    One thing I have found helps, though, is to take vegetarian items into work when we have our potluck lunches. Over the years that I’ve been doing that, our lunches have become steadily less meat intensive. More and more of my co-workers are bring veggie dishes, not just because they like them, but because they want the few veggies in the building to be able to share them. At our last potluck only one person brought a meat dish in, and most of it went bad in the company fridge and was eventually thrown out.

    Progress is progress, no matter how small. :)

  5. abracapocus

    fried tofu seems to be the foot in the door with omnis. i can think of two people off the top of my head that are omni but will now order certain tofu dishes over meat based on trying some off my plate. i figure, it’s a start.

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