March 19, 2006

when bad food happens to good people

I went to an offsite company meeting last week in California with my whole company. This was for the most part a very satisfactory experience (except for the whole food poisoning situation, which has been proven to be completely unrelated to the trip), but on our first night there, we all had dinner at a vegetarian restaurant that had been billed to us as just completely fabulous, really great, fantastic food, eat there all the time. (We have a California office, and this place was down the street from it.)

I was trying to keep an open mind, even though I'd checked the internet and figured out it was a chinese-style place specializing in fake meat, which to me is a VERY BAD SIGN since there is a place like that in Boston that is just horrid. Bear in mind though that there is also a chinese-style vegan place in Boston (Allston actually) that is unexpectedly terrific, if a bit low in protein -- we have dined there happily with vegetarian friends, on dishes that treat vegetables well and make them the stars. So I am not anti-vegetarian, I am anti-bad-food. And that's what we got for dinner out in San Mateo: Really Bad Food.

vegetarian spring roll vegetarian restaurant in san mateo theoretically, a potsticker

The spring roll was the one exception -- it was full of nice fresh cabbage and was quite tasty and well fried. Everything else ranged from mediocre to truly nasty. The actual vegetables themselves were pretty good, cooked crisp-tender, but the sauces were pretty lame, and the faux meat was generally icky. The mushroom-based not-beef was the best of the lot, tasting fairly okay if you were expecting mushroom taste rather than meat taste. And the potstickers were just a travesty: thick bready dough filled with nasty things claiming to be vegetables. Just wrong.

Compounding an already bad situation was the fact that there were four of us at the table, all women, all carnivorous, all ravenous from a long flight from Chicago, and all by this time very very cranky. By the time the entrees had arrived we'd already resolved to take matters into our own hands and go out later to the In-N-Out Burger we'd seen next to the freeway on our way from the airport. And so we did, and at last all was right with the world.

at long last, in-n-out

Posted by foodnerd at March 19, 2006 08:42 AM
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