vegansaurus!

05/26/2009

Gluttony, reviewed: Southern Comfort Dinner at Millennium  »

We sure ate a lot of food last week, you guys. First, a rundown of just what we had.

Vegansaurus’ SoCo menu (with photos by Laura!)
breads and herbed butter
nachos with “cheez whiz,” guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and jalapeños; side of fried green tomatoes
iceberg wedge with strained tofu “egg,” cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, honeydew melon; thousand island dressing
choice of entree (all with sides of coleslaw, black-eyed peas, steamed veggies with margarine)
sausage sandwich with fried mushrooms, mixed greens, red onions, tomatoes, mayo and mustard (x2)
"shake & bake" seitan étouffée over white rice (x2)
choice of dessert
chocolate muffin with cream frosting (x2)
strawberry muffin with gummi bears (x2)
plus cherry ice cream and various toppings, including chocolate syrup, whipped soy cream, chocolate-covered peanuts, strawberry syrup, and sprinkles
drinks
mint julep (x1)
trailer fizz (rum, cola, whipped soy cream) (x3)
strawberry-watermelon vegan Jell-O shots (x4)
Rolling Rock (x1)

How did it all taste? Firstly, the nachos (one dish served two) were Tex-Mex PERFECTION. I come from a long line of cookers and appreciators of fine Tex-Mex cuisine*, and in a blind taste-test not one of my relatives could’ve told the difference between Millennium’s vegan Velveeta and the real thing (not that Velveeta is “real” anything, but you know what I mean). They were so good, in fact, we fell upon them and demolished them before anyone thought to take a picture. Whoops. Trust me, though, they were amazing. Oh, and the fried green tomatoes! Delectable. I couldn’t have imagined them tasting any better than they did.

The wedge salad I thought was pretty good; the melon was a little weird, but method used to give the tofu the texture of “boiled egg white, crumbled,” was astonishingly successful, so despite the inherent grossiossity (some might say “ass-nastiness”) of thousand-island dressing, I quite liked the salad. Joel had to eat my cherry tomatoes, though. They’re like little eyeballs. Ick.

While the official Millennium menu offered four entree choices, the other two (“meaty” tamales and a shepherd’s pie) didn’t intrigue the Vegansaurus table nearly so much as the sausage sandwich and the seitan étouffée**. Thusly did we order two of each, and  thusly did we eat them up. The black-eyed peas were disappointing bland, as were the steamed vegetables, though one assumes the vegetables’ blandness was intentional. The slaw had a nice zip and a very good crunch, which contrasted nicely with the (again, intentional) gumminess of the white rice that came with the seitan. Altogether it was a very good plate, and the leftovers made a satisfying late breakfast the next morning.

I was told that the sausage sandwich was very excellent, but despite having sampled it I cannot testify to this, as I was at this time well into a fugue state of consumption and unable to taste food. At this point I would like to hail Laura and Jonas for their ability to finish their entire plates after coming directly from a vegan dessert sampler. This, friends, is digestional fortitude.

The drinks were, in my opinion, fair. As I do not care for mint juleps (they revolt me), I can only relate Joel’s report of their high quality, unchanged from last year. This year the bar also offered a trailer fizz, which sounded disgustingly good—rum, cola, whipped soy cream—but in fact was not what a person looking to fit as much food as possible into his/her stomach should’ve been drinking, as soda is full of carbonation, and carbonation fills one’s  stomach with air, which makes much less room for food. It was good for a few sips, but best left to people less sensitive to bubbles than me. The vegan Jell-O shot was also new, so in the interest of research we all ordered one. Turns out they were fancy, Millennium-bar-style vegan Jell-O shots, meaning they weren’t artificially strawberry-watermelon flavored, they were made with actual strawberry and watermelon pulp and juice. They tasted great! but the texture was all wrong for a Jell-O shot. Still, an A for effort.

Finally, the dessert bar. Where there were brownies served universally as a chocolate ice cream base last year, this year we were given a choice between chocolate, strawberry, and spelt muffins, sight unseen, to go underneath cherry ice cream. Presagely, Laura and Jonas saw fit to order the chocolate muffin; like idiots, Joel and I chose strawberry, which turned out to have vegan Gummi Bears in it. AWFUL. The ice cream was all right, and the toppings were as good as I  remember them being last year. However, it was and is quite difficult to enjoy a dessert after such a massive meal as the SoCo dinner and its three big courses. Life is hard, you know? Really hard.

I think it would have been a better meal without the introductory bread, and with an optional dessert. I might’ve split a dessert with Joel, say, and eaten just as much as I did of my own. Ultimately, it was a fantastic meal, especially the nachos and the entrees. GOD, the nachos. I am still dreaming of them nearly a week later. Next year, I advise only eating more slowly (at least for myself), and reading the menu carefully to avoid such mistakes as ordering muffins with Gummi Bears in them.

*Seriously, I thought carne guisada was a traditional Mexican dish until I finally had reason to look it up, oh, two weeks ago.
**I believe it was an étouffée. If anyone can offer a correction, edits will be gratefully made.

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