September 26, 2010 § 2 Comments
As we slid into the vinyl booths across from each other, I glanced at the menu, knowing what was to come next.
“I think I’m going to get a burger.” I told him, almost more as a question. I arched my brows and gave an awkward smile. His look was priceless; clearly my statement had pleased him. He had been trying to get me to eat meat again since we became friends a year ago. I had only been vegetarian for a year and half, but it may as well have been a lifetime. I vaguely remember the taste of meat, and don’t bother to consider it a food source anymore.
Until now. “Yes.” he responded, grinning with delight. “It’s about time.”
I perused the paper menu that had been placed before me. The options were overwhelming. As a vegetarian, I had been accustomed to ordering the single meat-free option or one of the few modifiable options on the menu. My eyes went straight to the burgers. Chicken, turkey, bacon, none of those sounded remotely appealing to me. All I wanted was a juicy burger.
“Get this one,” he said, pointing to a Swiss Cheese and Mushroom burger. I shook my head, then drifted toward the usual vegetarian wrap that I ordered.
“Maybe I should just get the Portabella wrap,” I reasoned, looking up at him. “I don’t know if I want any meat.”
“No. Get a burger.”
I selected the Cabo burger, a 1/2 lb. burger with avocado. It sounded like an appropriate segue between vegetarian and omnivore. The waitress approached our table, anticipating our order with her small white pad. I hesitated, pushing him to order first. When it was my turn, I looked at him instead of the server.
“I’ll have the Cabo burger. Ranch on the side.”
As she left to put the order in, I immediately experienced regret. What if I hated meat? What if it made me sick? He reassured me the best he could, but as a mostly-meat-eating male, I hesitated to trust his judgement.
When our food finally arrived, I was hungry. I poured a slight amount of ranch on the bun and set it on top of the burger. I gave him a nervous smile as I picked it up and he reached for his iPhone to capture this momentous transition into omnivore life. The first bite was glorious. I knew this wasn’t an award-winning burger, but to me it was incredible. I didn’t taste the avocado on the first bite, only the slightly grilled bun and the medium well burger.
Looking back, the burger was probably overdone, but to me it was the most succulent and flavorful meal I’ve had in a while. I loved being vegetarian, but I knew it was over with that first bite of my Cabo burger. I intended to only eat half of the giant burger, but I ended up consuming the entire thing in my relish. It’s been two days, and I haven’t eaten meat since that night. I probably won’t be a daily meat-eater; that kind of commitment doesn’t sound appealing yet. The thought of dry chicken breasts and lunch meats terrorize me.
For now, I’ll just be a semi-veg.