Mary Brown’s Tatters

It’s been a long time, but I had some Mary Brown’s fried chicken and tatters for supper tonight (with a gravy-like substance on the side).

mary browns logo

I’ll probably stroke out in about two minutes, but it’s worth it. There are times when a week’s worth of salt and grease are just what the doctor ordered.

Vegetarian Fast Food

Me, I can’t usually eat ’em ’cause my girlfriend’s a vegetarian, which more or less makes me a vegetarian; but I sure love the taste of a good burger.

– Pulp Fiction

My wife’s a vegetarian, so I’m in the same boat as Jules. As a result, we’re limited to restaurants that serve meatless dishes, which isn’t easy. Most places offer salads or stir-fries, but they get boring. Here are brief reviews of common places to eat with vegetarians in mind:

  • Tim Hortons: they’re EVERYWHERE in Canada, known for their coffee and associated lingo: single-single, double-double, etc. You don’t even have to say “coffee” when you order it, just “A medium single-single” or “A medium one-and-one” will do. They started offering soups and sandwiches a few years ago, but only recently offered a vegetarian sandwich. I don’t like their bread; it smushes together when you bite into it, squeezing the contents out the side. I hate that. They have donuts, of course; nice, lard-laden donuts.
  • Subway: a favorite of my wife’s because you know you can get a custom made submarine sandwich. Always a safe bet, although they could use more vegetable variety.
  • Pizza: these vary widely, with some serving the standard fare: onions, green peppers, mushrooms… Then there are those with an excellent variety: pesto, Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, etc. When we find one of those pizza joints, they become a favorite.
  • Chinese food: many places substitute meats for tofu, which we were surprised to discover.
  • Chicken and Ribs chains: Swiss Chalet, Don Cherry’s… these are chains that server mainly meat dishes like roast chicken and ribs. They sometimes offer pasta or Mexican dishes that are meatless, but not often. Don Cherry’s has a good vegetarian selection, Swiss Chalet doesn’t.

We rarely go the other popular fast food restaurants.

Fast Food Restaurants Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes provides a good overview of vegetarian options at many restaurants.

I Eat Slow Food

A controversial (to the fast food industry) movie is coming out soon: Super Size Me:

Why are Americans so fat? Find out in Super Size Me, a tongue in-cheek – and burger in hand — look at the legal, financial and physical costs of America’s hunger for fast food.
[The director] also put[s] his own body on the line, living on nothing but McDonald’s for an entire month with three simple rules:
1) No options: he could only eat what was available over the counter (water included!)
2) No supersizing unless offered
3) No excuses: he had to eat every item on the menu at least once
It all adds up to a fat food bill, harrowing visits to the doctor, and compelling viewing for anyone who’s ever wondered if man could live on fast food alone.

One movie critic concludes:

it’s pretty clear that Spurlock’s [the director] goal is not to convince everyone in his viewing audience to stay away from McDonald’s. (The experiment hasn’t turned him into a vegetarian, although he avoids admitting whether he plans to eat any fast food in the near future.) Instead, he wants us to have a concrete understanding of what we’re eating. The issue may be serious, but the tone is lighthearted, and that, more than anything else, makes Super Size Me a palatable cinematic entrĂ©e. Especially when enjoyed with a big carton of buttered popcorn and a double-sized cup of Coke.

I wonder if the director was inspired by Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.

Too fast food

Fast Food NationI finished Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal last week. It describes the influence the fast food industry has on aspects of our society: food quality, labor laws, eating habits, animal production. It seems to be well researched and it’s easily digested (haha); I read it in less than a week. In his afterword added for the paperback edition, he defends critical reviews of the book when it was first released, noting that his critics have failed to point out any factual errors. His extensive Notes section details where he gets his facts, admiting he used his own opinion in many cases, but the notes don’t reference directly back to where he wrote about it earlier, making them difficult to appreciate. It would have been engaging if he formatted the notes as footnotes instead. I’ve read some reviews say you’ll want to become a vegetarian after reading it. That’s not the case with me, although I am more conscious about what I buy now.

I’ve never rated a book before and it’s about time I started, goddamn it. I have to come up with a rating system similar to games, though. I’m thinking ratings based on: Appearance – how attractive the book is with its cover and illustrations, whether it’s easy to read (font size, etc.); Style – is it like a text book (low rating) or informal and clear (high rating); Rereadable – whether it’s worth reading more than once; Literate – how well it’s written (grammar, spelling, etc.). Any suggestions?