Ben sat aside a pub in Liverpool, head in hands, sobbing. I sat down next to him, with the intention to cheer him up. Instead, I shook my head in disapproval and lamented. “We need to get something to eat. If we can’t all agree on a place, we can just split up and meet later. I’m over it.” By this point, we were all exasperated and starving. The three of us had scoured several menus across Liverpool’s docks for over an hour, and it took us an unusually long time to prepare ourselves to face the sun light after a long night out at Psych Fest.
Nathanael and Ben wound up at Pizza Express… the same franchise they could visit in anywhere in England. I went my own way, and queued up for what felt like an hour to order a gourmet veggie burger and Panko breadcrumb crusted onion rings. It was well worth the wait. I gleamed with happiness when I showed up at their table with my doggie bag full of food. Fortunately for me, I couldn’t share a single bite with either of them since Nat’s a celiac and Ben’s a vegan.
Moments later, as I was shamelessly chowing down on my burger, their witty waiter showed up to our Prosecco laden table with two pies and remarked, “Oh, I’m sorry to interrupt you.” Who’s the gluten free pizza going to?” With a mouth full of food, I pointed at Nat and then the waiter dropped off Ben’s cheese-free vegan pie topped with a few vegetables. He looked at me, smiled and asked if my burger was good. I nodded yes while I chewed my massive bite of the over-sized burger. Luckily, he left the table before I finished. At this point I was rather embarassed.
We could have avoided this embarrassment had we gone to the vegan restaurant I lunched at the prior day. Vegan restaurants are one of the few places where vegetable lovers and those that eschew gluten alike can readily find a meal that’s not sub par or lacking of an essential ingredient, like burger buns.
As an avid foodie, with more hospitality experience under my belt than I’d like to admit… I can be quite picky. I often end up eating at home with Nat since it’s often times easier than searching online for a restaurant we can both eat at without breaking the bank. Luckily, I spent a year in culinary school before dropping out to live, learn and earn in San Francisco. I spent my first year in this windy city dressed in chef whites with my hair tucked in a silly black beret cooking for a health foods store atop the steep hill. After a year of sweating profusely in a kitchen full of men for less than a dollar over minimum wage, I lost inspiration in the kitchen. Clearly, with those credentials, I’m not a top chef. I’m not particularly talented either. I’m just hungry, and I like to eat good food without shelling out last weeks shabby pay check for a few good meals.
When I met Nat, I had a whole new dilemma on my hands. No, Nat’s not vegan. Nor am I… but had he been vegan, I would have been prepared, and know what cook. Nat has celiac disease. He can’t eat wheat, and doesn’t like to eat meat (although he does at times). He’s also allergic to nuts amongst a varied list of other odds and ends.
Don’t worry though! This food blog isn’t dedicated to Nat’s peculiar diet. It’s not going to be another vegan food blog either. I love vegan food, don’t get me wrong. I’m beginning to like a lot more gluten free food as well! We eat many vegan and gluten free meals together… but we don’t all the time. We really enjoy concocting new recipes in the kitchen, but sometimes we make our own meals separately.
You’ll be able to find recipes for gluten free food with and without animal products. You will also be able to find vegan meals, along with pescetarian meals, and lacto-ovo vegetarian meals. You might find some strong drink recipes as well! We also plan to write some restaurant and bar revues along the way. Whatever we do, we’ll do our best to keep everybody in mind when we write our recipes and reviews.
We hope you like it!
– Stephanie Rush-Underhill