Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vegetarian + Steakhouse = Not so bad, actually

This week has been topsy turvy due to my sudden lack of running. (You know you're a hard-core runner when you get sad seeing other people running down the street...even when the temperature is in the high 80's.) It took me until yesterday to stop feeling sorry for myself and to head back to the gym. I'm sure my orthopaedic specialist wouldn't approve, but I really thought I was going to die without some form of cardio. When I suffered a similar injury last year, I never thought I'd run again, but with the help of my great doctor, I was back in great form, and hopefully I can be back on my feet - literally - again soon.

To kill time the other night (it's amazing how much extra time you have when you aren't at the gym for a few hours a day), my meatarian boyfriend and I went to Austins Smokin' Steak House. I went voluntarily, since I'd been sort of an angry monster since my injury. I was already pretty miserable, so I figured a crappy meal at a steakhouse wouldn't make me feel much worse.

My boyfriend, who's often a good sport about going to new and wacky restaurants with me had wanted to go to Austin's for years, so I think he was thrilled that I suggested we go there for steak night - Tuesday - where all steaks are $5 off. (Sadly, there's no vegetarian night.)

I'd previewed the menu online and figured I could get a hearty salad and a baked potato - my steakhouse staples. But once I actually got there, I changed my mind. I saw a Reuben sandwich on the menu, and hesitantly asked my waiter if I could get a meatless Reuben. Instead of looking at me like an alien, he said they could easily accommodate my request and he offered to sub in another vegetable of my choice for the meat. I also asked if he could not grill the bread, since I was afraid of what it might be grilled with at a steak house, and he promised me that it would be toasted far, far away from the meat. Pretty awesome, huh? He also let me sub out the random sides for an extra large baked potato - at no extra cost. And being a man of his word, my food came out perfectly cooked - without remnants of meat anywhere on the plate. Th sandwich was on the smaller side, but it was still pretty good. But the great service and willingness to accommodate a picky vegetarian made up for my slight hunger pangs at the end of my meal. My boyfriend thought his steak was pretty good, so I'm sure we'll be back. Especially since this local restaurant knows how to treat its meat eaters and their vegetarian counterparts.


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