Her Bivore


Last night, before catching the latest Harry Potter movie, Dr. M and I had dinner at Herbivore, a vegan restaurant that recently opened in Berkeley. I've eaten there twice now and Dr. M has eaten there three times. She likes it more than I do, though my reduced enthusiasm has less to do with the quality of the food (which is actually quite tasty despite the lack of animal suffering) than with the fact that a substantial percentage of the menu is off limits to those of us whose immune systems interpret peanut proteins as toxins.

The service has been fabulous both times I've gone, both efficient and friendly. Both servers I've encountered also did all they could to determine whether my preferred entree involved peanuts. Last night, our server was an attractive, tattooed, riot grrl type who was probably more than a few years younger than I am. When she brought the check back for my signature we had the following conversation (Dr. M was in the restroom during all this):

Her: Can I see your ID, s-[unintelligible]? [Note: My credit card has "See ID" written on the signature block.]
Me: [Taking out ID.] Did you just call me "sir," or "sweetheart"?
Her: Sweetheart.
Me: Good.

Something tells me that if I had called her "sweetheart" the encounter wouldn't have gone as well. But I might try that the next time we go, especially if the server is a dude.

By the way, here's my one-line review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

Emma Watson can't fucking act.


i've been to herbivore in SF and i was going to say that the portobello mushroom burger is a-MAZING!, but then i went to check and sure enough it's got peanuts.

...hang on they have 2 of them on the menu and only one has peanuts. i'm pretty sure i had the peanut free one on focaccia bread (instead of the french the menu says).

The problem is that they use peanut oil to prepare a lot of things. I've been told to stay away from all of the noodle dishes, and last night the server talked me out of the ravioli because it may involve peanut oil. So even if the menu item doesn't list peanuts as an ingredient, there still could be a problem.

Also, I don't like mushrooms.

wait, how do you make vegan cream sauce?! I am confused and disturbed at the same time....

and any kind of fruit pie made without butter is unacceptable.

C, consider for a moment the humble soybean. Tasty bean, complete protein, yields a milklike substance which can be made into absolutely everything in the universe, including deliciously creamy sauces.

Also, butter is just a fat, and the vegetable kingdom contains an almost unlimited number of tasty fats. Some of them leave butter very worried indeed.

For those who do not have peanut allergies, Herbivore is more or less God. Their breakfast makes me want to cry tears of joy.

There's a very important Constitutional Law case about "filled milk," or milk in which the milk fat has been skimmed out and replaced with vegetable oil.

Interesting. What was decided thereby?

It's constitutional for the government to make filled milk illegal. Which is important because, prior to that case, it probably wasn't constitutional for the government to make filled milk illegal. If you're interested in the longer version, the case is United State v. Carolene Products.

It also established the idea of different levels of constitutional scrutiny depending on the type of law being challenged.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on July 13, 2007 8:30 AM.

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