Sunday, January 25, 2009

Carnivore Bikers

I've been trying to get back on my vegetarian diet. I fell off the vegi-cart, so to speak, over the holidays. But I've been successfully back on the vegi diet for almost a month now. It's hard. Especially when you're hanging out with bikers.

Now if you've  never had the experience of riding from biker bar to biker bar with a group of friends, it's not exactly a tour of healthy living. Cold, cheap beer, fried foods, and lots of meat. Meat on sticks, deep-fried meats, meat smothered in onions and peppers, meat in a bun, grilled meats, bar-b-qued meat. It's a carnivore's delight. 

So I had a hard time trying to find something on the menu at most of the places where our little Saturday afternoon tour led us. Luckily, it's Florida, so there's usually a fish sandwich or some shrimp to be had. (I know, eating seafood isn't exactly strict vegetarian, it's pescatarian. But I figure fish eat other fish, shrimp are really just bugs and shellfish are just bi-valves. Does a scallop have a brain?)

To clarify, I try not to eat anything with two or four legs. Fish don't have legs. Shrimp have more than 4 legs. So that's my philosophy. 

But when you pull up to a diner that was converted from an old gas station in the middle of North Florida where the closest town is named for a potato - Spuds - you won't find tofu on the menu. 

We met up with my cousin and some of his riding buddies in St. Augustine on Saturday at a place called Hurricane Patty's. Great food! And lots of seafood options. So I was happy. 

Then it was off to Palatka. A pit stop on the way to the before-mentioned gas station-turned diner, and unless I wanted a meal of coleslaw, it was just not happening. 

Next stop Palatka and a place on the river that I can't remember the name of now. While my cousin and his buddies continued on their quest to sample the hot dogs and cheeseburgers of every establishment in their search for the best of each, I had a shrimp sandwich. 

We've got Bike Week coming up, and I'll have to pack some granola bars. Typical bike week fare includes pork chops, sausage, corn dogs, burgers, barbeque sandwiches, hot dogs, fried bologna sandwiches and something called a cow patty. Don't ask. 

I can usually find an ear of corn on a stick and some boiled peanuts. But it's not exactly a vegetarian-friendly event. 

Don't know why deep-fried tofu on a stick hasn't caught on with the bike-week crowd . . .

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