vegansaurus!

08/24/2009

Mission Street Food presents the Mission Burger. To get it, you go to the counter inside the Duc Loi supermarket at 18th and Mission Streets and ask for the vegan burger. It sounds pretty amazing: maitake and shiitake mushrooms, roasted kale, edamame, scallions, sesame seeds and fava-chickpea patty, served with avocado and miso “mayo” (with seaweed replacing the egg yolks in the emulsion) on a griddled Acme bun for $7. Ugh DO WANT.
They’re selling every day but Thursday for lunch (which begins at noon and goes until they run out) so you know, go over there and buy them out. In one hour and 15 minutes. I’ll be there I GUESS UGH.
Scooped by the dickwads charming folks at MissionMission again. It’s basically because they get hard for anything that MSF does. The photo is hella stolen from them too. Signed, Sour Sally.

Mission Street Food presents the Mission Burger. To get it, you go to the counter inside the Duc Loi supermarket at 18th and Mission Streets and ask for the vegan burger. It sounds pretty amazing: maitake and shiitake mushrooms, roasted kale, edamame, scallions, sesame seeds and fava-chickpea patty, served with avocado and miso “mayo” (with seaweed replacing the egg yolks in the emulsion) on a griddled Acme bun for $7. Ugh DO WANT.

They’re selling every day but Thursday for lunch (which begins at noon and goes until they run out) so you know, go over there and buy them out. In one hour and 15 minutes. I’ll be there I GUESS UGH.

Scooped by the dickwads charming folks at MissionMission again. It’s basically because they get hard for anything that MSF does. The photo is hella stolen from them too. Signed, Sour Sally.

02/24/2009

On Eating Rabbits  »


Could you kill this bunny?

Would you eat him?

Mission Street Food would! And if you would like to eat some rabbit, MSF will cook you up some “rabbit rillette,” which means the dead rabbit is slow-cooked until its flesh is soft, which is then shredded, mixed with other ingredients, and made into a sort of pâté. The collaborating chef is really into eating like Native Americans did, which can be the subject of another post, when we discuss how Slow Food and locavorism are cruel, ridiculous lies. Today, bunnies.

Rabbits are not protected under the Humane Slaughter Act, not in its first version in 1958, and not in its most recent version in 2002. This means that bunnies who are raised for their meat are not guaranteed the “quick, relatively painless death” that all cows, goats, pigs, and sheep must have before their bodies are cut up for your friends’ and neighbors’ tasty suppers. Rabbits are really sensitive; they scream when they’re in pain. It is the most horrible sound. I wonder if people who kill rabbits for a living have to listen to those screams all day, or if they wear earplugs or something.

Look at Nibbler up there; what do you think it’s like to be faced with a bunny like him and know that your job is to kill him? What might it be like to hold his lifeless body and think, ‘okay, time to cut the face off’? I wouldn’t open that link if I were sensitive to photographs of dead rabbits; I’ve heard they’re quite gruesome.

Obviously rabbits are excruciatingly adorable, and soft, and quiet; they are also totally chill companions whose ideal days include napping under furniture, hopping around their favorite people’s feet, gnawing on a variety of textured items (i.e. cardboard and wood), tasting whatever their people are eating, and getting some pets. Some rabbits are friendlier than others, and more inclined toward lap-sitting and snuggling; others are shyer and prefer to make a blanket-nest next to you while you’re sitting on the floor watching TV.

It’s difficult to make the cognitive leap from “I love my dog” to “I can’t eat cow.” Not too many people have ever had a beloved pet cow. Bunnies are people’s pets, though, lots of people’s pets; can you really look a rabbit in the eyes and eat pâté made of his relations? The disconnect between the inherent violence of eating animals and the natural affection for tiny, big-eyed creatures is remarkable. Could you pet this bunny and eat another?

Rabbits raised for people to eat don’t live in homes with cardboard boxes to chew on and little trucks to throw around. They don’t even get the courtesy of a “quick and painless” death. When treated as livestock, the cutest animals live the worst lives, and are subject to the most painful deaths. Tell your friends who patronize Mission Street Food; see if it makes a difference. A happy house bunny smells of hay, and sometimes when you get up close to him to get a good sniff of fur, he’ll lick your face; like many, many other animals, rabbits show affection through grooming, licking and smoothing each other with their little pink tongues and little furry paws. Are you comfortable eating animals who share the affection for people that we feel for them?

I don’t love all animals, but I believe that they have as much right to live as I do. I’m happy to support MSF when they support vegan and vegetarian causes. After three months of living with an actual bunny, though, the idea of eating a rabbit isn’t as abstractly wrong as the idea of eating a pig—it’s vivid and frightening.

Omnivorous friends, please don’t eat rabbits. When you see dishes made of rabbit on menus, please don’t order them. Think of this photo of Nibbler instead; think of eating this little bun, who follows people into the kitchen in hopes of catching fallen crumbs, and who licks his delicate chops after taking a bite of strawberry to get all the juice off his face. No one who’s spent quality time with a rabbit could eat another. They should never, ever be someone’s meal, nor should anyone with a speck of compassion eat an animal—especially one whose “quick and painless” death is not demanded by law.

01/29/2009

Tonight Only! Vegan Mission Street Food!!  »

Check it out, vegans: the guest chef tonight at Mission Street Food comes from Greens (our nation’s very first gourmet vegetarian restaurant!), and in the spirit of not killing other animals to make our meals, all the dishes at MSF will be vegetarian! What’s more, four are explicitly vegan, and two look easily veganizable—one of which, the king trumpet mushroom on flatbread, we have raved about before. That one is delicious!

A portion of the proceeds tonight will go to Food Not Bombs, a vegan institution, so if you were playing coy about going, there is your Reason: you’re going to support a staunchly pacifist organization that provides vegan meals to the homeless and hungry around the world. You may also be (definitely, of course, obviously) going for the crazy-delicious-sounding menu, but we will not say anything about that. Too much anticipation.

Mission Street Food operates out of Lung Shan restaurant, 2234 Mission Street at 18th, from 6pm to midnight. Come say hello if you see us!

And remember: This is TONIGHT ONLY! Next week, they’ll most likely be back to bacon snow and rabbit leg and whatever the hell else thrills omnivorous chefs, I don’t know. The point is: Vegans, DO NOT MISS THIS.

01/19/2009

Counterpoint: Mission Street Food  »

Last year this project began on the street; flatbread sandwiches served out of a taco truck parked just off Mission. It took off immediately, popular with omnivores and us vegans, thanks to Wonderful Person Anthony Myint’s crispy scrumptious king trumpet mushrooms + roasted garlic + triple-fried potatoes number. Oh it was heaven on flatbread, and even $1 less than the posted price when we asked for it vegan-style, without the creamy sauce. (for pictures, revisit Laura’s review)

After just a few weeks (and only one public fuss), the taco truck line grew too long, and the street food moved to a borrowed restaurant on Mission. This is where they started to lose me. First, they expanded the menu, which ought to have been a boon, but this meant they eliminated their two vegetarian items, and introduced a “meat-smoked rice” dish. The next week, it was rare beef with glass noodles. I kept track of these changes through the Mission Street Food blog.

On the last December night of business, MSF offered their first new vegetarian entree since leaving the street: smoky rice with shiitake, cauliflower, and tofu tempura. This in contrast to the smoky rice fried in duck fat with duck confit AND duck “cracklins.” Had you gone the previous week, you could have enjoyed the return of the mushroom sandwich, or pie with “bacon ‘snow,’” your choice.

Now Mission Street Food leaves me conflicted. I love the idea of a line cook at an established restaurant wanting to create his own menus, without the funding—or even desire, I don’t know—to open his own restaurant; Myint established a little place in his (our!) neighborhood where he could serve whatever food he wanted, and collaborate with other chefs to make fun crazy meals with bacon! and rabbit! and whatever the hell else they felt inspired to make that week. The community-togetherness part is integral to this Mission ideal so many of us love idealize, and the inventive-food part is integral to our stomachs.

Misson Street Food is a project that brings the Mission closer to being that creative, unpredictable, community-oriented neighborhood it’s supposed to be. I would sincerely recommend it to anyone who enjoys tasty plates of murder. But OK, glibness aside, when the MSF crew began eliminating their vegetable dishes and expanding their meaty foods, they disappointed me. I read the menu every week, hoping for something vegan or at least easily veganized, but until recently the best we’ve been given is an occasional side dish. I love my neighborhood, but I do not love it enough to wait an hour to split three orders of the same single side.

Do I think that MSF is obligated to “cater to all of us” and all of our diets? Not necessarily. Still, the Mission is full of vegan-friendly restaurants, and hungry vegan people, so in that spirit of community and neighborliness, it makes sense to offer a vegan dish. Cooking without animal parts doesn’t limit a person’s choices so much as shift your focus to other ingredients—not that I wanted to make that argument, but it bears repeating—and with the variety of dishes the MSF crew has offered so far, I’m sure they’re capable of making some good vegan food as well. Why they haven’t so far, I don’t know; then again, I haven’t asked, either. Clearly the demand from the omnivorous crowd is high enough that they haven’t needed to court us, and if business keeps on hopping, they may not ever have to.

So Mission Street Food is a success! I’m happy for them. Of course, I wish they that they needed vegan community support. I also realize that the vegan community is small enough that our support wouldn’t mean much either way, and I wish that were different too. I wish I had a satisfying, full-time job and health insurance. We all wish a lot of things. In the community spirit, perhaps if we ask the MSF people nicely, they’ll put more vegan-friendly dishes on future menus. They just announced that from now on all MSF profits will go to charity; they are obviously really good-hearted people. There’s no harm in asking, anyway. 

10/16/2008

Review: Mission Street Food cart!  »

Mission Street Food is a most delicious little cart that sets up once a week (details below) to serve you some of the most delicious flat bread sandwiches ever known to man (me + you) or beast (i’ll get to this later). There are three sandwich selections—I expect they’ll expand the menu and maybe even how many nights a week they are out there based on the popularity of their first two weeks—two of which can be made vegan with small adjustments. The $5 King Trumpet is wild mushrooms, triple-fried potatoes (YES PLEASE!), roasted garlic, and scallion sour cream (gross, omit!) on fresh made flat bread. Now, I’m not even a mushroom fan and this sandwich made me sofuckinghappy. It is a must-try. The other is the $4 Mission Melt which is roasted peppers, melted cheese (omit!%

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