Vegan meats galore: Veggie Brothers review! »
Veggie Brothers is a mail-order restaurant that I had always wanted to try (I especially like anything mail-order: Restaurants! Wine! Brides!) but had never had the time to wait for the food nor the money to fulfill their $60-plus-shipping minimum order (because despite what you may be led to believe by television, graduate students are neither rich nor glamorous). That’s why I about had an aneurysm when Veggie Brothers reached out to Vegansaurus and asked us to review the gourmet offerings on their site. I was also excited because Veggie Brothers reposted something I wrote about Lady Gaga’s meat dress on Facebook a couple months ago, and I’m a sucker for the approval that I never received from my parents.
I tried to rope my mother into doing this with me because she will not eat anything unless it is covered in meat and then fried in meat and cheese because “is healthy, Mark! Russians very healthy! You be anemic soon and you die and you feel bad because Mommy warn you!” Unfortunately, my mother was away on another one of her cruises (she goes on at least three a year) so I had to resign myself to forcing Allen to eat with me while we watched Oprah (Allen’s unreasonable demand) by romantic candlelight.
Our first adventure began when it was time to receive the food. One of the downsides to the mail-order restaurant model is that you have to be home in order to receive the food, which is sent packed in dry ice in a special cooler. This may be a problem if you are terrible at planning/don’t have a place for UPS to leave the package/aren’t at home very much. We had to play tag with UPS which actually included me running after a truck and insisting there was a package for me. Unfortunately, there was not. The package was in another truck that I did not have to chase down! As soon as we got the package inside the house, Allen and I immediately proceeded to have the best time pretending we were Dr. Frankenstein while unpacking the food and putting it in our freezer. If shipping is a downside, then the way that these products are shipped are a major plus for me! Dry ice in a styrofoam cooler? Food in reusable plastic bags? I’m there!
Let me be honest with you: I was not expecting much. The directions on each of the bags (and we had six) was to plop the individual entrees (still in their packaging) into boiling water or to microwave them for a few minutes. I’ve had frozen dinners before. They may look good on the box, but once you’ve heated them, they’re just not that great. If you know what I’m talking about, you understand why I was expecting to be disappointed. However, Allen and I bravely soldiered on, putting the food onto decorative plates (I cannot believe we own such a thing) and discussing its merit as we watched Oprah interview someone who had overcome one life-threatening condition or another.
What follows is a detailed review of exactly what Allen and I ate and how we felt about it. We tried to order the most exotic/hard-to-make dishes we could, our assumption being that if the harder dishes were good, then the simple ones must be fantastic. I do not know if this is a fair assumption, but it got me to try vegan Mahi-Mahi, which for me is good enough.