Monday, April 4, 2011

what do vegetarians eat at sporting events?

Wizards v. Cavaliers
Nats v. Braves

I spent most of the weekend doing something kind of atypical for me - watching sports.  I am all for getting together in a social setting to watch exhibitions of athletic prowess, but I certainly wouldn't choose to spectate all weekend long.  But, it just so happens that we're in that crazy time of year where there's a plethora of sporting events going on, with some seasons winding down and others starting up again.  So, I got together with some friends and bought nosebleed tickets to watch some of DC's "professional" sports teams.

Friday night was spent watching the Battle for First Pick at the Verizon Center.  Thankfully, the Wizards narrowly beat the worst team in the NBA.  I love The Wiz, but really, step up your game, boys.  Your apathy is sickening, and almost had me wanting to cheer for the Cavaliers. (I actually kept getting confused because I went to UVA, so I am pre-wired to cheer for the "Cavaliers").  I was also upset because I am now 0 for 2 in attempts to actually watch wonderboy John Wall play a game of basketball.  He was injured when I went to the Wiz-Heat game back in December, and Friday night he was serving a one-game suspension.  #dobetter.  Saturday evening I was on the edge of my seat during the Final Four games and shed a few tears after VCU's Cinderella story came to an end.  (Not really, but has anyone seen this video?  Gave me the chills.)  Sunday I went to the third game of the Nationals opening week against the Braves.

Last night after the Nats game, I was telling a male acquaintance about my 40-day endeavor, and he asked me how, as a meat lover, I had been able to do it.  I do get this question a lot, but boys, for one reason or another, always find the promise really shocking.  I am generally able to answer quickly and honestly, because the truth is that it really hasn't been that difficult, especially compared with how hard I originally thought it was going to be. 

However, when faced with the question last night, I waffled a bit.  It's not that the whole experience has been hard, but coming off of a weekend of sporting events, the inconvenience of going vegetarian was at the forefront of my mind.  The sports world is not vegetarian-friendly in the least!  On Friday, I didn't see any real vegetarian options at the Verizon Center - the ladies and gents I went with chowed down on BBQ sandwiches for dinner, and truthfully, I almost resented them.  Luckily, I had anticipated that there would be few options, so I ate before I arrived.  If I had wanted food at the Nats game, I would be limited to peanuts and Cracker Jacks instead of a half-smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl or a burger from the Shake Shack (yep, it's coming to Nats Park this summer!)  My experienced begged the question: What do vegetarians eat at sports venues?  Are they reduced to cheese pizzas and soft pretzels?  Do they sneak in their own snacks?

My favorite vegetarian eats this weekend both were on Sunday, and neither of them came from my kitchen.  I really try to eat out as little as possible, but I have a bumpin' social calendar so some things can't be helped.

1.  Sunday brunch at Justin's Cafe before the Nats game.  I loved this place!  Justin was formerly the manager at one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, but he recently opened up this gem two blocks from Nationals Park.  I had the King sandwich, a delicious panini of grilled eggplant, zucchini, tomato, roasted pepper, and baby spinach, served with a sweet basil mayo.  If I could offer one suggestion, it would be nice if there was some kind of cheese on the sandwich, possibly a mozzarella or a goat, to bind the ingredients together in a gooey melt.  Complementing my sandwich quite nicely were crispy and cinnamony sweet potato fries and a few spicy Bloody Marys.

King Sandwich from Justin's Cafe (sorry, I ate half of it first)

2.  Sunday night, I ordered the Vegetable Lo Mein from my favorite Chinese place in DC - Full Kee.  If you haven't been to this place, you NEED TO GO.  I went with three guys (who all ordered meat), but we did also share a plate of the spicy squid.  I had a mild tantrum when I saw that the "Vegetarian" egg roll actually had pork in it, but luckily the boys took it off my hands.  This was post-Nats game but before our futile attempt to buy tickets for the Lil' Wayne concert at Verizon Center (a really stellar idea we got after seven hours of Sunday Funday.)  Needless to say, the scalpers laughed in my face when I tried to offer them $100 for two tickets.  They were asking $120 a piece for the nosebleeds....

Not sure what I have coming for you on the blog this week....I was supposed to go to the grocery store yesterday, but I accidentally didn't get back home until 10pm.  Oops.  Have a good Monday and I will certainly serve up some delicious vegetarian fare tomorrow!

P.S.  While I was lazily watching sports all weekend, Whitney was busy crushing the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.  Congrats, Whit!

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