Monthly Feature
Fictitious food critic Terry Luther is back!

Hello friends! Do I have a food critique to bring your way. Let me just start by saying that as a food critic I’ve eaten a lot of really weird, gross stuff. I’ve eaten bird shit… I’ve eaten cat shit… but professionally speaking, I’ve eaten some terrible stuff too. For example, I’ve eaten bird shit while traveling through Zanzibar – it was a local delicacy. I’ll be glad to spare you the chore of ever eating this yourself by saying there is no secret, hidden flavor here you’d never luck into out of fear for eating something as seemingly disgusting as bird shit. It in fact tastes exactly like you think it’d taste… like cat shit, which I can also attest to tasting really really gross. Why am I talking about such an unappetizing topic as my lead into this month’s Bone to Pick? Because this week I boldly went where no Luther had been before! Before you ask yourself “but I thought Luther’s, as a lineage, were fearless?” let me go ahead and end the suspense early: I went to, supposedly, the best Vegan restaurant in America.

Where is this place? Surely it’s in San Francisco or New York, right? It has to be… well, screw you for being a locale-ist. “Blah” {the name of the Vegan restaurant} is actually tucked away into a pastoral, hilly setting in the wheat fields just outside Omaha, Nebraska. It was started by one Tim Vonn, a Cornhusker alumni who came of age during the Cornhusker’s glory days of being a perennial college football powerhouse. He noticed that the huge offensive linemen were always referred to as “corn-fed” by TV announcers and had his Eureka! moment – why not start a vegetarian eatery that actively marketed itself as “corn-feeding Nebraska’s next generation of Cornhuskers!” It eventually morphed into a Vegan restaurant over the years and has been a staple of Vegan “best-of” lists ever since. So much so that, according to Vonn, scores of Vegan’s make an annual pilgrimage to his restaurant once a year. If you are ever passed by an electric or hybrid car with the bumper sticker “I Brake for Blah” then you have briefly encountered someone who has willingly given up their taste buds so a cow isn’t subjected to the longest known human torture of an animal – milking.

Needless to say, I didn’t have high expectations for “Blah”… was I right, though? Had my own preconceived notions of how miserable a Vegan dining experience would be be so strong to prevent me from finding a hidden gem amongst the tofu? I have good news fellow foodies – I was one prejudiced idiot.

“Blah”’s signature dish is their Eggplant Napoleon. I have to say, this was one tasty treat. It was obviously eggplants, stacked with Tofu Ricotta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Couscous topped with Red Bell Pepper sauce and steamed Broccoli. I ate about half of this dish and found it somewhat compelling. My prejudice was starting to wane, however slightly, when I realized what this dish was truly missing. Fortunately for me I had some bacon bits stashed away in a zip-lock bag in my pocket. A quick dash of this over the top of the Eggplant Napoleon really sent this meal into the taste bud stratosphere. I couldn’t have been happier with how well the chef prepared this dish from the arrangement of the extraneous vegetables and overall presentation of the dish itself to the top layer of steamed broccoli. This top layer of moist broccoli really helped my bacon bits to stick to the stack of non-meat versus just tumbling off to the side when I quickly and discreetly sprinkled them on top. There’s nothing some well-placed bacon can’t save and for that I am thankful!

My stash of corned beef came in handy during dessert. Oh yeah, I passed on “Blah”’s dessert offer and ate a bag of corned beef in my car on the way to the airport.

All in all I’d give “Blah” 0 Terry’s on the Terry scale {the amount of dishes I’d eat in a week from Blah versus my wife’s cooking} – you’re back on top Baby!

Join me next month when I take on food… as in man versus food. Specifically Terry Luther versus some tough as nails food.