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vegan omelet

  • articleMarch 29, 2022
  • make any omelet vegan with this one weird trick

    Okay I could not be more excited to share this menu hack with you.

    So I haven't been out to a restaurant for two years, because I have been living my life in fear of the coronavirus, and also I have been living my life in respect of other living beings.

    Now that vaccines and boosters are a thing, and current variants seem to be pretty mild, and because cases are plummeting, I have been "buying the dip" as it were.

    The "dip" is relative safety and comfort, and I'm "buying" it by enjoying meals in restaurants.

    Anyway, this weekend we were going out to a diner on the corner for a light breakfast but when we got there the line was out the door, which is never okay for a diner to be honest. There are several breakfast places here in town that are guaranteed to have lines snaking around the building and I'm always like, what are you waiting in line for guys? Eggs and pancakes? Guess what, you can get that literally anywhere. There is no reason for you to wait 90 minutes to be seated for eggs and pancakes. Ever.

    So with that opinion firmly rooted in mind, we noped out of there and went to a fancy brunch spot around the corner which---spoiler!---also serves eggs and pancakes, but which isn't for some reason hyper-fetishized. It's just a nice spot with a patio that serves breakfast food.

    No line, no wait, we sit down, and I eye the menu, and if you'll allow me a brief tangent during this already rambling article, I'd like to share with you an observation about pre-post-pandemic vegan restaurant food. (I expect you'll forgive me because this is the first part of this article that is actually about vegan food. But also I'll try to hurry up and get to the point and not take advantage of your patience.)

    I don't know exactly how to talk about this stage of the pandemic. It's not post-pandemic by any means. People are still dying out there. But we're definitely in the aforementioned dip. It's not over, but we're past the beginning, and we've before the end. So I'm going with pre-post-pandemic.

    Anyway, pre-pandemic, vegan menu options around here were bountiful, plentiful, and varied. You could go literally anywhere and get a good vegan option.

    There was a disappointing trend in some places where they tried to combine as many dietary restrictions as possible into a single dish. That is, it's not uncommon to see the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free option all be the same thing. Which is mostly fine.

    But by and large, like I said, it was a good time to be vegan. You could get banging eats wherever you go!

    Now, in pre-post-pandemic land, the restaurant scene is not the same as it was pre-pandemic. Lots of my favorite places have closed and will not reopen. And of those that have reopened, some of them seem to have done so with a slightly more restricted menu: it seems to me that there are slightly fewer vegan options out there.

    Or maybe not. I've only been out to eat like six times. And that may not be an adequate sample size.

    So we're at brunch. There's not really anything for me on the menu but an impossible burger, which I appreciate but I didn't want one for breakfast, or the old classic standby: assemble a plate of random sides. Potatoes and fruit to the rescue.

    I asked the waiter if he had any "plant-based" suggestions, and he suggested the cheese omelet. Which kind of let me know what I was working with here. I explained, oh, no, no eggs no cheese, etc. And he was like, ah, then the burger... wait, what about the aioli, it has eggs in it. And I got to explain again, yeah, no eggs.

    Which is all fine. Whomst amongst us hasn't had to explain their dietary preferences to a server before?

    Then another server came out with our coffee and asked if we had any questions about the menu, and I said yeah! Do you have any vegan recommendations? And she said, ummmmmm, yeah I'm new here? Let me go ask your actual server. And I said, oh no, please don't do that. I just asked him.

    So I was sitting there looking longingly at this green chili veggie omelet on the menu. It had mushrooms and sauteed onions and roasted tomatoes and all kinds of groovy things. And I was trying to figure out a way to order it without eggs.

    Behind me was a long table of women having a bridal shower, and I overheard one of them ask their server for a vegan option, so I decided to drop eaves really hard and hear what they had to say.

    They said, actually you can get the veggie omelet with no eggs and no cheese, and have the breakfast potatoes as a base so that it is kind of a veggie potato hash.

    Perfection!

    The bridesmaid ordered that, and when my server came back, I ordered it too. And when it came out, it looked amazing, and it tasted even better, and I am here to tell you that this is the ultimate vegan breakfast menu hack!

    Try it next time there's an attractive looking omelet on the menu: just order that bad boy as a breakfast potato hash.

    I tried it out again later that same weekend at home. I whipped up an omelet for my vegetarian human, and made the same thing for myself with potatoes, and it was a winner!

    As with most vegan food, I'm convinced, the secret of a good meal is to just have normal food. Pizza? No need for gross vegan cheese. Just have a normal pizza with no cheese. Omelet? No need to be fancy or use some kind of egg replacement. Just have it with normal food. Impossible burgers and beyond burgers have their place, but for the most part there's no need for fancy meat replacements. Just have normal food.

    The name of my vegan cookbook will be "Supervegan: In praise of normal food".

    Epilogue:

    The bridesmaid got her veggie hash before I did, which makes sense because she ordered before I did. And the server was so tickled and told her, "You'll never believe this but somebody at another table over there just ordered this exact thing! Haha, what are the odds!"

    I was tempted to tell her that it wasn't a coincidence, that I eavesdropped and then stole the idea, but ultimately I didn't, and instead just let her believe that it was all a funny, random coincidence.

    photo credit: omelet by H. C.