Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby I (don't) Like It Raw

For my manager's birthday, on her request, our small department of four headed to Rawbert's, a cleverly named vegan raw food restaurant due to the owner's being named Robert, or "Rawbert," as the cafe's website says his equally-as-clever friends call him.

Upon stepping through the door, I crossed myself, said a little prayer, and figured at least I'd have something to cook the veggies with if I spontaneously burst into flames, having only hours earlier scarfed down an egg sandwich with about four slices of bacon and two sausage patties.

We were quickly greeted by a young orange waitress. If it hadn't been for everyone's height, I would've sworn we'd inadvertently stumbled upon Oompa Loompa land. All the waiters had bright orange faces, no doubt as a result from downing too many carrot juice shots. Say what you will about my rum swilling, at least I don't get mistaken for the Harvest Moon when I go out at night. A pirate, maybe, but I think we can all agree that getting mistaken for a drunken pirate is way cooler than getting mistaken for the moon, even a great big orangey one that happens once every four years during the fall equinox.

Upon receiving our menus, one thing that stood out was how every entree was wrapped in quotes. Diners had the option of choosing between such scrumptious delights as Guac and "Chips," Quesadillas with Jack "Cheese," Squash "Ravioli," and Spaghetti and "Meetballs." I appreciated how "meetballs" was written not only in quotes but incorrectly as well. Just in case an errant carnivore such as myself should happen to wander in and miss the quotes, the misspelling of meat would quickly confirm that what you were about to eat would taste terrible and nothing like an actual meatball and would, in all probability, cause you much digestive distress after eating such a monstrous aberration to the sanctity of cooked cow. Worse yet, every entree was accompanied by Buddhist-like deep thoughts, such as "How do I Awaken?" and "How am I Sensational?" I was tempted to write, "By eating slaughtered cows" in the margins.

I ordered the mocha "frappe" with cashew milk, which was a little concerning, as I hadn't known that cashews had teats. But it was the least intimidating item on the menu as far as I could tell--I mean, how badly could a bunch of orange vegans screw up a coffee drink?

Pretty badly, as it turned out. At first I thought I'd been served the runs in a cup. It was a gruesome brown color, the likes of which I hope to never see again. Froth bubbled up to the top, like some sort of witch's brew that might just turn me into a frog, or worse, a raw-food vegan. I held my nose and took a sip. Cashews, as it turns out, pump out really shitty milk.

Seeing as it was my manager's birthday, however, I had to be a good sport and down the foul concoction. I was nervous and uncomfortable, though, and to break the tension, I started babbling about the one comfort and light of my life, that which I can depend on even in my darkest of days to make me happy again ... yes, I started talking about bacon. I talked about the different varieties, how I needed it every day and how when I went to bed, I dreamed about it at night and counted the hours until I would see it again in the morning, how I yearned to smother it in chocolate ... I was talking about it so passionately it became borderline kinky. The lone vegan sitting to the right of us who was reading a book called--I kid you not--Green for Life, kept looking at me like I was talking about killing all the puppies and rainbows in the world.

As filling as my cup of fake coffee was, a fellow meat-loving coworker and I hightailed it out of lunch and hit up the Wendy's across the street, where we relished its ingenious new invention: the Baconator. As we exited the fast food chain--or, as I call it, church--I could've sworn I saw that lone vegan--eating his alfalfa sprouts and "nausage" patty--staring out the window at us enviously, salivating ever so slightly.