One of the things that I find difficult while traveling is finding vegetarian choices at restaurants. Even soup, rice and sauces are not safe from meat stock. Forget about salad. You can't always be sure that the Caesar dressing doesn't have anchovies in it or that the spinach salad doesn't have bacon. I totally give up on cheese not having animal rennet in it.
When I asked the waiter at the restaurant that I choose for Sunday nights dinner in Charleston, South Carolina whether the mushroom risotto had meat stock you would have thought I was speaking a foreign language. Sure, his accent pegged him as an Aussie but I don't think my question was that hard. Mum-me; would that have baffled you? They were nice enough about the whole thing as they searched out the chef. Who had to come out of the kitchen to reassure me that the mushroom risotto was indeed vegetarian. I can not tell you how many chefs I've met this way.
I started with the bruschetta. The one a one o'clock was a tomato compote. Pretty good. Not great. The piece at five o'clock was baba ganoush. It was the best of the bunch. Or it may be that I love baba ganoush. The piece of crustini at ten o'clock was chickpeas or garbanzo beans with arugula. It was pretty good if you didn't mind that the chickpeas decided to escape. They rolled all over the plate. I gave up trying to get them to stay up and resorted to eating them with a fork.
This picture does absolutely no justice to this dish. Wild mushroom risotto. It was fantastic. There are almost no words to describe how utterly wonderful this was. It totally melted in your mouth. I'm going to be trying to recreate this one because it was that good. I promise that when I get it perfected I'll be passing it along to all of you.
So far (it's only been one day) Charleston has eclipsed San Francisco for food for vegetarians. At least for me. People of San Francisco please don't feel slighted I just never came across veggie friendly food that was outstanding like this risotto. I'm here for another 3 days and it will be hard for me to try other restaurants because I loved this so much.
Have any of you come across a mouth watering meal that you'd go back for again and again?