Saturday, August 13, 2005

summer tour 2005:first communique:subway is not that sweet: minneapolis to omaha, points between

apologies to the thousands of readers waiting breathless for this first communique from the tour. wireless access is spotty through the nation's wesern states, and a combination of road fatigue and alcohol prevented more timely postings when such access was available. by the way, and this is directed to those of you working the front desks of hotels, maybe in richfield utah, wireless access is not the same as an ethernet connection, and the latter is not worth paying extra for. which brings us to the theme of the summer tour: "fuck you, fuckers!"

the first meal on the tour was awful. it was at horizons, a sort of gas station/food court in mason city, iowa. now, once upon a time i was in a band that played a show in a basement in mason city, and as a result made some friends from that unfortunate little hamlet, and i have to say, mason city is as depressing now as it was in 1998. it seems as though there are a lot of young people, which would be great, if there were any culture to speak of, but there isn't, so unless you're into ATVs or tall bangs or, i don't know, meth, you're pretty much fucked. we ate at subway, something we'd been anticipating for a long time (the road trip being the only suitable excuse for such morally questionable, if nostalgic, purchases), and it was nasty. too many jalapenos, not very filling, and would it kill people to not make a beeline from the urinal to the door, bypassing the sink altogether? is handwashing that reprehensible an activity? some people can't get enough of it, i understand, and that's a whole medical deal in and of itself, but to abstain entirely? i feel as though northern iowa could be covered in a thin layer of fecal matter and no one would ever know. no one but me. ick, dude.


we arrived in omaha late, eleven or so, and ate homemade spaghetti (sautee onions and boca crumbles in olive oil over medium heat. halfway through season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and basil to taste. add a small amount of chablis or other cooking wine. set aside. add noodles to salted, boiling water, cook until soft. drain, rinse with cold water. return to pot. add fake meat and onions. add a jar of muir glenn pasta sauce in your favorite flavor. stir. eat. see how easy that was? that's because you're getting ready for a trip and feel like being lazhe
woke up hungry in omaha but too late for the continental breakfast the econo lodge was offering. made bad coffee in the room, ate some amazing (and expensive) fruit salad that my wife had packed, but still found ourselves hungry. unfortunately for us, the vegan resources we were able to find online for omaha suggested that there's no such thing as a vegan breakfast in that town unless you're eating it in someone's house (and, further sadness, we don't know anyone in omaha, not even the members of certain hipster bands that we like). so we swallowed our lumps and decided to drive to mcfosters natural kind cafe for lunch (they open at eleven).

mcfosters is the kind of place that would do really well in madison, wisconsin, and definitely has that whole hippy deal going on, maybe not so unlike the heartland cafe in chicago. and that's fine, right? but while i understand that certain life choices might cause others to view me as being somewhat hippy, let me go on record as hating that shit with a passion. especially if it means that i'm going to have to listen to an entire fucking dave matthews band album whilst eating.

our waitress was very friendly but rather inattentive, which probably seems contradictory but was the case nonetheless. i ordered the charbroiled eggplant sandwich, and it was fantastic. the eggplant had that yummy char taste to it, accented nicely by the presence of just the right amount of balsamic vinegar. the watiress was kind enough to inform me, upon my request, that mcfosters' soy cheese contains casein, a milk protein, and as such is not vegan, but probably very tasty and melty. in a dual blunder, however, she and i both forgot about the pesto, which turned out to contain parmesan. so, you know, hopefully you're better about asking about stuff like that than i am. i have assertiveness issues, which is why this blog suits me just fine.

oh, but before the food even came i started in on a cup of really great fair trade coffee, which, oddly enough, came courtesy of just coffee, a fair trade cooperative from none other than madison, wisconsin (it's an isthmus, which...nevermind).

mcfosters also has the perfect americana french fries, which were great in the westbrae fruit sweetened ketchup (catsup?), but even better in the remains of the balsamic with the addition of some chipotle tabasco sauce.

my wife ordered an avocado sandwich, which was nothing too dazzling or creative, but was very good all the same, and really, isn't that all anyone wants in a sandwich?

so, all in all, mcfosters is kind of an odd place, but a place i would return to when passing through omaha. it's just a shame that there aren't more vegan/vegetarian options available in that town.

UPDATE: a return trip to mcfosters on the way home revealed the excellence of both the mornay, which can be made vegan if cheese is omitted, and has a very strong wine flavor, and the curried tempeh with green vegetables. not only that, friends, but the onion rings are vegan. VEGAN ONION RINGS! it had been a long time since i'd enjoyed an onion ring.


Anonymous xemcats said...

Hahaha...I found your blog through google blog search. I'm vegan and live in Omaha and frequent McFoster's all the damn time. It's really the only place to go here for variety. There's lots of restaurants with a few vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, but McFoster's is where it's at, apparently.

Next time give the tempeh reuban a whirl. =oD

7:33 PM  
Anonymous xemcats said...

That would be reubEn, of course.

Now I will take my obsessive compulsiveness away from this post and put it to better use.

7:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home