The other other other white meat.

I know, I know. You want to hear all about my trip to San Antonio. Well, keep your pants on. I’m not ready yet.

First I need your help. You see, I have a friend. (I know, shocking.) His name is Jack. Jack is vegan. (Is “vegan” supposed to be capitalized?) Jack wanted me to try this vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant. Not really my first choice, but sure, why the hell not?

We should have walked out as soon as that little, tiny worm fell out of Jack’s silverware. How he convinced me to stay and actually eat something, I’m still not sure. Apparently, I have no standards.

We ordered several different plates to share. One was a salad. It was gorgeous. Plenty of fresh, crunchy veggies. A tangy dressing. The Fritos garnish was interesting, but hey, I love chips as much as the next person.(Maybe more. I really love chips.)

But, in addition to the veggies and the Fritos, there was something else. Something white and chewy with curled edges similar to those on a lasagna noodle. The texture, not like a lasagna noodle, was so, so wrong. I wanted to spit it out. I forced myself to swallow.

“What is that?!” I asked Jack in horror.

“Relax!” he said in a low voice, glancing around to make sure no one was witness to my disgust. “It’s a vegetarian salad. It’s probably, I don’t know, a flower or… something.”

He looked a bit worried. It was probably the worm that did it. I mean, worms in the silverware? God knows what you might find in the food. (I can’t believe we ate there.)

Jack stopped our server as she walked past our table. He asked her what it was. I don’t think she knew the answer either. She was young, just a teenager. It was a family restaurant. You could tell she’d rather be anywhere else but there.

“Oh, that?” she asked. “That’s just, um, like… vegetarian… cow stomach.”

She walked away and Jack and I just stared at each other.

“Did she just say vegetarian cow stomach?” I finally asked.

“I don’t think she knows what she’s talking about.”

“Then what the hell are we eating?”

Jack looked ill. “I’m not sure I want to know.”

Well, I do. I took a picture.

I know. I don’t post a picture in years and when I finally do, it’s of a half-eaten plate of food.

But, please, I’m begging you, tell me what those white tentacle-looking things are.

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10 Responses to The other other other white meat.

  1. rory says:

    Looks like puppy tendons.What happened in San Antonio?

  2. Michellesg says:

    Rule #1 when eating Asian cuisine: never never ever ask what you are eating You don't really want to know.Answer to your question: yes that looks like tripe to me. In other words, cow stomach.Again, never ever ask what you are eating at an Asian restaurant.

  3. Rosemary says:

    Hon, you indeed ate cow stomach….tripe….very common fare in oriental style restaurants. Chewy and rubbery,,,,,,,yep. Google cow stomach.Might I say gross!Ro

  4. Hello! Angry Asian sent me this way to identify your food. It does indeed look like tripe. Vietnamese vegetarian tripe is made from agar agar, a clear or white seaweed product with a crunchy texture. There's tons of faux meats that mimic real meat quite closely. Also, Vietnamese salads are often a contrast of colors and textures so the tripe-like appearance and taste sound pretty good to me. 🙂 The Fritos might be because they didn't have toasted rice paper available?

  5. Debbie W says:

    I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. All I can say is ……. ewwwww, you ate cow stomach.

  6. Lan says:

    yay, thanks WC for clarifying. i knew it couldn't very well be the real deal tripe but i wasn't sure if it was faux meat.

  7. Gayle says:

    It looks like you got your answer! Faux cow stomach!

  8. Kerryanne says:

    Ditto wandering chopsticks :)Also, it is believed by some Buddhists that vegetarian 'meat' should replicate in form actual meat so that meat eaters will feel welcome. And as far as what Michelle said- I don't think that's neccessarily true. There are plenty of great spots. If a place looks dumpy no matter Asian or not, who knows! And if an Asisn place is veggie, there's slim to no chance they're going to lie and sneak meat in…

  9. HonduranBaker says:

    OH MY LORD! hahaha. well at least it wasn't real cow stomach right?? ick. i actually have a story about that. I was at my grandmothers house and I asked (as I was lifting the lid) whatcha make? She replied with YOU DONT LIKE IT! then I looked at it “EEWWW WHAT THE HECK?!?!” In Honduran culture they eat a cow stomach soup… who knew. -L

  10. Spruce Hill says:

    I am not sure I could have eaten that not knowing what it was! Eww!

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