Where it all Began (aka: Seaweed, Tofu and an Unfortunate Surprise)

A few years back, we realized that we didn’t have a whole lot in common, but we were determined to have fun with our differences. What better way than to start a blog about our dates? A massive wrench was thrown into our plans (we may discuss this at a later date) that pushed this idea to the background. Here is a throwback to where it all began #tbt

Here in Ottawa there are a number of vegetarian options for restaurants, a simple Google search revealed 627 results, vegan revealed 161. We were surprised by this number. Yelp helped narrow down our options and we finally settled on Green Earth Vegetarian Cuisine on Preston St. That being said, a few ground rules we set for this blog:

  1. The other person will choose what you eat
  2. For all blogs: No discussing anything about the experience (impressions, opinions, fears/expectations, etc.) until each perspective has been written and posted that way there will be no outside influence on the views detailed
  3. Don’t chicken out! 
He Said: I wasn’t nearly as nervous about trying vegan as I expected, then again, I have had baked seaweed with brown sugar before which was delicious. How much different could vegan be? Green Earth is deceivingly small on the outside, inside it was dark and a bit like walking into someones home to eat dinner. The atmosphere was a tad eclectic being mostly Asian decor, violin/opera music, and random quotes on the wall, but it was cozy and peaceful. In fact, all of my nervous energy left as we sat looking through the menu. 
I was tempted to be mean and order something outrageous for Sharyl-Lynn but I was worried that she’d pick something with mushrooms for me if I did that. If God wanted us to eat fungus, I think it’d have a more appealing name, but I digress. She ordered the Grilled Veggie Teriyaki with Golden Rolls for me, with a side of Summer Rolls. For her I ordered the Hawaiian Fried Rice and the Rainbow Soup. 

The first thing I have to say about the food is this: Vegan’s prefer the look of meat to tofu. They must, otherwise my Teriyaki with soy protein would have looked like it sounded….awful. Instead, my meal looked fantastic and my first glance made me worried that we had chosen the wrong restaurant since it looked like sliced steak in my bowl. The Summer Rolls had soy protein and tofu in it and the soy protein looked like ham…disturbing since it also looked like steak a course later. I was surprised that it was served cold, initially this threw me off but the peanut sauce it was served with saved it. Sharyl-Lynn in the meantime was scrunching her face as she tried to convince herself to swallow some Rainbow Soup (Mixed veggies, tofu, soy protein, shiitake mushrooms, and roasted seaweed), I was ready to bust a gut laughing, but knowing from experience that this might not be a good idea, I waited. “It smells,” she told me, so I offered to try it first. I’m a texture-eater and I hate soup, so the consistency was a big issue for me, but then – I just realized there were mushrooms in it…. GROSS, so much worse now! The seaweed gave the soup its flavour, unfortunately, it also gave it its smell. Sharyl-Lynn couldn’t get past the smell, she took one spoonful – now she tells me it was three – looked at me, and threw up a bit in her mouth I think… then she swallowed and had some Coke… I was killing myself trying not to laugh as she was desperately trying to keep it down! About two minutes later she said one word, “Nope!” followed by, “Where’s the washroom?” and then she was gone. That’s when I noticed that the man sitting behind her looked like Prince Charles from the side.

When she returned we ate our meals and then ordered dessert: Cheesecake and Thai Banana Rolls, which is another thing I noticed, vegans like their rolls. My meal was fantastic! I honestly believe that I could eat vegetarian about 80% of the time if I had options like the ones on Green Earth’s menu. I would miss meat, but I don’t feel that heavy after eating…and there’s always the fun had at the expense of seeing Sharyl-Lynn try something new (she should tell you about the first time I “cooked” rice for her…what a woman).

She said: Okay, so our first challenge was really interesting. I must admit I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Walking into the restaurant I was thinking to myself ”You know what, it’s not like I will be eating anything strange like intestines or frog legs, it’s just vegetables right? No harm.” Well, I was wrong. 
We decided we should have a full three-course meal. I started with an appetizer called Rainbow soup. It sounded really good and contained Mixed veggies, tofu, soy protein, shiitake mushrooms, and roasted seaweed. So what was it like you may ask. Well, don’t. It was so hard to swallow. I thought that the smell was the worst part so I forced down a few spoonfuls. It tasted like I was swallowing lake water or maybe sewage, blech! It had what I would like to call rubbery fake ham – which by the way what’s the point of making fake skin for your fake ham? Wouldn’t you think you would want it to look as little like an animals since you don’t want to think about how cruel ham is while you’re eating vegan? Once I gave the soup as much of a chance as I could, I gave the other guests a show with their dinner. My eyes popped out of my head as I booted it to the washroom. I am pretty sure it was the seaweed that was a little overwhelming. 
On to the main course, which was not as daring and was easier to tolerate. I had Hawiian fried rice (Fried rice with pineapple, carrots, peas, shitake, red bell pepper, mushrooms and soy protein.) Which was exciting because I LOVE pineapples, unfortunately they only put about 5 pieces in the entire meal. The rice was okay but a little bland. The soy protein just looked like a white chunk and had no flavour; it almost seemed pointless to bother with. 
Don’t forget about the dessert. I knew that my good friend sugar would help me enjoy this meal if it was a last resort. I decided to have the cheesecake which, by the way was made with vegan cheese which is a weird concept. The cheesecake was good, it had a very rich flavour and was a very satisfying end to the evening. 
I find it funny because for about the past 2 years or so, I was wondering if I would be able to become a vegetarian; after tonight, I would have to say: “Bring on the bacon!” It’s definelty interesting to try vegan, and I give credit to anyone who is a vegan because you would have be so careful about everything you eat and always looking for something to add some flavour becuase tofu, and fake meat have no flavour. Matt seemed to do a lot better than me on this challenge or he at least made it look like it, because he finished everything that was in front of him. So bring on challenge #2.
Speaking of challenges, we would really appreciate any feedback and suggestions of things that we could/should do. We don’t want to play it too safe and might be biased in our choices of things to do, so send us your suggestions! Leave a comment here, or Facebook us if you have us on your friends list and we’ll see if we can do some of your suggestions! 

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