I’m a pseudo-vegetarian. I believe strongly in the many health, earth and animal benefits of being a strict veggie and at one time even headed towards vegan.
Unfortunately, I also feel that meat and dairy are sooo good. Though being a vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean I have to give up cheese and eggs, I do need to put down the Spam musubi and pass on the grilled ono, served on jasmine rice with veggies and black bean sauce. The horror!
Despite my good intentions and ability to shy away from the kalua pork, I still find the island’s seafood irresistible. What’s a person in my position to do, when you crave for the tastiest of foods, but would like to be a conscientious eater?
Consider Veg Out in Haiku.
I found the place in our dining listing months ago and recently found the time to check it out. The menu is completely vegetarian with vegan options. You can choose from pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, lasagna, Middle Eastern plates, salads or soup.
It’s a small place with about six tables. There’s a cooler in the corner with beverages, a stand near the door with soy and hot sauce options, and under the counter is a slew of reading information about miscellaneous classes and health, even a DVD outlining reasons to go vegetarian.
Whenever I try a new place with a friend, I order as much food as possible without being ridiculous. My companion left the decision making up to me, but hinted at a desire for Greek pizza.
When the smoke cleared, we had four paper plates in front of us. There was the Greek pizza—a disc six inches in diameter holding mozzarella, feta, kalamata olives, tomato and eggplant ($6.50). Then there were the Pad Thai Noodles: spicy rice noodles, tofu, veggies and peanuts ($7.95). And the Falafel wrap, containing falafel, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and hummus in a whole wheat tortilla with tahini cilantro dipping sauce ($6.25). And then there was the Vegan chocolate cake ($4.25), for dessert.
Everything tasted fresh. The pizza sauce was surprisingly light and zesty. The pad Thai noodles were kinda sweet, kinda spicy and very sticky. Neither of us fell in love with the falafel wrap—I think it was the tortilla. It was fresh, don’t get me wrong, but the whole wheat flavor killed the hummus and falafel tastes I desired. But the dipping sauce was divine and we used some of it on the pizza.
After we scarfed the pizza, inhaled the pad Thai and picked at the wrap, there was no room left for the cake. I brought it home with me and once the bloated, ate-too-much feeling passed, finally took a fork to it. Soft, creamy, chocolatey goodness melted in my mouth and I thought, “This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had.”
The cake serving was too much for me to put down in one sitting. So the next morning I brought it to a friend—who is also something of a chocolate connoisseur—to get her opinion.
“Mmmm…” she said, taking a bite. “This cake is like steak.”
“How?” I asked.
“It’s hearty,” She said.
“I know! How do they get that goodness in there and still be vegan?!”
“I dunno, man,” she said. “I don’t know.” MTW