Friday, August 8, 2008

everything's changed

Last time I posted was right after I returned to SF from SE Asia. Wow, where does the time go? Well, I helped a friend of mine open a Mexican restaurant in North Beach called Don Pisto's. To the left are some of the amazing pulpa tacos with onions and homemade tortillas. I just can't get enough octopus and squid these days, especially in taco-form. I have also been thoroughly enjoying the restaurant scene since making the leap to an omnivorous lifestyle.Of course I still love my veggies, and completely support anyone who wants to help the world by going veg. I just realized that I NEED meat. I'm not just saying that either. I struggled with this realization for about a year before finally caving in to my body. I dreamt about burgers. I would salivate at the words "steak" and "bacon". And it doesn't stop there. Suddenly, I will try anything, from virtually any animal. I think that travelling probably started me on this adventurous track--especially when you are in the middle of a lake in cambodia and all there is to eat is some stringy and meaty thing that has been hanging off of someone's front porch for the last week. Turns out that one was a water snake. I also think that my travels made me realize that vegetarianism can be viewed as extrememely elitist in poor countries. If I even tried to refuse whatever was fed to me on my trek through Laos, I caused extreme confusion and the people assumed that I was being rude and didn't appreciate their hospitality. Don't get me wrong, vegetarians can definitely survive travelling in crazy places, but I found it much more fun to simply try everything.

And I have brought this credo back with me. Since being back in SF, I have tried almost everything meat-related that I had: a)never tried before/heard of before or b)missed desperately from my childhood. Let me tell you, my palate has never been the same! From quail to sweetbreads to bison to antelope to frogs legs to escargot to the basics like bacon wrapped hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches to crazy things like fois gras, bacon ice cream sandwiches, pig's ear ambrosia, a pig's head (including brains, tongue, cheeks...), goat fries, etc...

I know that it may seem that I'm going a bit overboard, but for someone who has just awoken from what seems like 13 years of being half-asleep in vegetarian pajamas, I think this splurge is well deserved. Plus, I think that all those years of vegetarianism give me some karmic leeway. Oh yeah, I suddenly have a sweet-tooth too. Like, I scour our cupboards for a lost cookie or peanut butter cup when I can't sleep at 2a.m. I NEVER liked chocolate before. What's happening to me? I think I am growing up and realizing that I can't spend my life only eating healthy things because it gets boring. It was fine before, when I turned a blind eye to the wonders of meat and chocolate, but now I know the truth, and I cannot pretend that I don't know how fantastic they are--and how necessary to my happiness.