Day 171: Cali, Colombia
It’s a pretty strong statement isn’t it? Although I have a carnivorous blog title, the truth is that I don’t eat a lot of meat. A few years ago I joined the David Suzuki nature challenge and committed to eating meatless one day a week. Turns out that isn’t much of a sacrifice and at home I often had several meatless days a week.
To date my vegetarian experiences have been somewhat unfulfilling, in Central America the beans were cooked with meat fat (admittedly I enjoy that), in Popayan the vegetarian buffet was devoid of any spice or flavour and recently at a Hare Krishna restaurant I had a gluten steak that was so rubbery no one would be fooled into thinking it was meat.
But my neighborhood in Cali is arty and hippie-loving and I thought vegetarian could be a good bet. I discovered Mononoke a few blocks from my hostel and while the set lunch at $3.50 is slightly more expensive than the standard restaurant I decided I could splurge.
Lunch started with a cream of blanquillo (fish) soup which didn’t knock my socks off, but no soup in Colombia has really been impressive. The main course arrived with a brown rice and quinoa mixture – which is unheard of in these parts, accompanied by salad, mashed yellow potato and chinese cabbage stuffed with zucchini, spinach, onion and tomato and then topped with cheese. I was surprised to be served dessert as most set lunches do not include it but the meal ended with fresh pineapple served with coconut milk.
I walked out of Mononoke feeling like I had an energy boost that would rival a Red Bull rush.