Vegetarian adventure in rural USA

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On Sunday about eight of us ate at a pub just across the border before returning from a retreat.   The inside of the pub was spread for a Thanksgiving brunch buffet, complete with two huge stuffed pheasants swooping within inches of the fried taters and biscuits, with two or three more standing watch in a corner.  A wolverine peered viciously from beneath the buffet as well. The walls were adorned with at least 12 different antlered creatures varying from moose to a terrified-looking whitetail.

I hadn’t eaten in the company of such a host of taxidermy since working at Rondeau Provincial Park in Ontario, but we took a table and started with some beer.  As we ordered, my husband Curtis was pleased that there was actually a vegetarian choice on the menu – a garden burger.  This may surprise you, but vegetarians like variety.  So when regular people have eight choices of toppings for their burgers, and vegetarians are treated to some ketchup and (unless you’re at White Spot) a piece of tomato, sometimes vegetarians want a piece of the good life and ask for a specialty burger with a veggie patty substituted.  This time, Curtis requested his garden burger with Hawaiian toppings.

When the server brought the plate to the table, we all suppressed giggles as Curtis discovered the veggie burger topped with the expected pineapple – and about 400 grams of deli ham!  Curtis valiantly tried to pick it off, but after a few minutes of effort, the ham was overflowing onto the plastic table cloth, and he still hadn’t excavated the burger.  Finally when the server returned with more of the orders, he had to ask for a new one.  She really didn’t see this offending ham as a problem, but finally agreed to bring a new burger not covered in meat. [To her credit, she didn’t even try to recycle the bun on the second burger.]

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