Archive for February 21, 2012

Mexican Restaurant Shell Game

I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, and not a great fan of “cheesy” Mexican restaurants, either.  I’m sure there must be some good ones, but the one I went to last night was not.

It was a “social” get-together of a business group I belong to and since it was relatively close-by, I thought I’d go.  I figured I HAD to be able to find something vegetarian there, right?  Well, no.  Not right.

They had four “veg” dishes listed, all covered in cheese and sour cream.  (Talk about cheesy.)  Granted, I’m not perfect, but I haven’t had dairy cheese in ages, so I didn’t want my food covered in cheese.  I could easily have asked them to take it off, leaving nothing much on the plate, but I continued to flip through the menu and came across Quesadilla Vegetarian.  Ok, a quesadilla full of vegetables, and no cheese.  Great!

Meals came, eveyone was chit-chatting back and forth, and eating, and….  what’s that?  Something weird in my vegetarian quesadilla.  A chunk of mushroom?  What the heck IS it?  Meat!  A chunk of meat.  But, too late.  Lets just say it was already “gone” by the time I realized what it was.  I haven’t had meat in 9 or 10 years so I didn’t realize what it was right away.

It really felt like a shell game.  No meat in the veg meals?  But there’s cheese.  No meat or cheese in the quesadilla, but there’s a chunk of meat.  What else are they going to hide, and where? 

It seems counter-productive for restaurants to be so lazy about vegetarian meals.  If they actually came up with reliable and tasty vegetarian meals they’d attract more customers.  Duh!

What if I’d had a shellfish allergy and a piece of shrimp “snuck” into my meal?  Then, why is meat sneaking into vegetarian meals?

Annoying, frustrating, and sad.   I’m sticking to REAL restaurants! 

Once the TV show is up and running, how about a “Pretty Veggie” restaurant, where you know all the food is vegetarian?  Yes! 


I’m So Excited…. I Just Can’t Hide It….

I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!

OMG, the Marketing “Dec” came from Public Television yesterday for the TV show, and I am SO excited, but I AM trying to stay in control.  I can hardly believe this is happening and I’m almost afraid to be too happy for fear it will go up in smoke.  I think I’m going to knock on the table (it’s wood) to make sure the luck stays around!

The thought of this show actually going on the air, not only being that it’s my own show, but the fact that it’s something important to me and others, is overwhelming. 

I grew up on Public Television and it pains me that they’ve had some difficult years recently.  More and more funding has been taken away from them, making it necessary to obtain funding for new programs through underwriters.  I will be doing the same for my program.

Being the first and only vegetarian cooking show on the air is a huge deal.  Vegetarianism is becoming more popular for ethical and health reasons and the success of this program is important.  I take it seriously and with the support of underwriters and the guidance of an amazing marketing executive and an award winning producer who has been chosen for me, I plan to do my absolute best to make it a GO.

Potential underwriters….   I’m gunning for you!  If you’d like to be part of this nuclear reaction, with all sorts of marketing opportunities available to you, just let me know.  I’m counting on you!

“Pretty Veggie” Mindy



Nope, not channel surfing with the remote, or putt-putt-putting slowly through the channel so as not to create a wake….   I have no way to explain this except to say I must be channeling my mother.

A few weeks ago I had a HUGE craving for hot dogs, beans, and sauerkraut. Not something I ever liked, but my father did.  Actually, I never really liked hot dogs, but loved sauerkraut, and Heinz Vegetarian beans.  So, what did I do?  I bought a bunch and ate it for DAYS.  Talk about strange cravings, and so sudden!  Must have been channeling my father.  No other explanation!

Now, I’ve got a craving for sausage and peppers.  Again, something I’d never think of making.  Interesting, though, my mother used to make it a lot when I was growing up.  Sometimes “straight up” and other times in a red sauce.  Sometimes on pasta, and sometimes on a delicious sub roll.  I must be channeling my mother this time!

My parents grew up in a mixed Jewish and Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, so my mother learned to cook Italian before Eastern European Jewish, and I grew up on Italian food.  (Yup, I’ve mentioned before that the Rabbi, who lived across the street, dropped in out of the blue one day when my mother was making sausage.  She threw a towel over the pot and did her best to ignore the delicious aroma.)

I spent my first few years in Brooklyn and we soon moved out to Long Island, but I remember the food festivals we’d go to, particularly the San Gennaro Festival in the Little Italy area of NYC.  I remember the crowds, the smells, the foods, and in particular the sausage and peppers (and fried zeppoles).  Coming up soon, a super “sausage” and peppers sub!

Memories of Brooklyn, and definitely…. channeling my mom this time!

“Pretty Veggie” Mindy