The Unvegan

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Doing the Impossible at The Counter?

‘Fish’

Fish and Pie at The Villager Pub

Potted pie.

There are a few things I like to take pride in when it comes to food. The first is that it’s hard to pressure me to order something once I’ve set my mind on something else. Call it stubborn, but it’s gotten me this far. The other is that I basically avoid fish at all costs. Yet, in two sittings I managed to break both of those rules at The Villager Pub in Charlevoix, Michigan.

Feasting at Y Thao Garden Restaurant

Peacock!

Sometimes life gives you a difficult decision. And sometimes there is no “right” choice. Case in point: On what felt like basically the hottest day ever in Hue, Vietnam, we were given the choice of eating in a somewhat touristy restaurant with air conditioning or an “off the beaten path” restaurant without. We chose the former and found ourselves at Y Thao Garden Restaurant. And of course, within minutes of setting food, having not eaten a bite, we all felt like we had made the right decision.

Blackened Out at Penn Avenue Fish Company

Blackened with cheese.
Blackened with cheese.

Many times I have stated on this meat blog that I am not a fish fan. Yet, when it comes to grabbing lunch with a group that includes a vegetarian I am willing to compromise. Thus, I found myself at Penn Avenue Fish Company in Pittsburgh’s Strip District staring at a menu chock-full of just about every variety of seafood. It was a difficult time for me, but damn if I am not a nice guy for making the sacrifice.

Feeling Snappy at La Cambija

Burrito perfecto.
Burrito perfecto.

As we made our way across the entire island of Puerto Rico toward Rincon, we realized we would be arriving a bit later (because the island is filled with “highways” with stoplights every mile or so) than normal dinner time on a Sunday. This was concerning because we needed food and thought we might have trouble finding a place. Fortunately, La  Cambija was open until 9:00 and we arrived at 8:30.

On Top of the Pitt at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto

Scallops stuffed with crabbies.
Scallops stuffed with crabbies.

Perched in the top of a building on top of Mount Washington and featuring a bar design that hasn’t been updated since the seventies or was intentionally painted to look that way is Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. Monterey Bay features one of the best views of Pittsburgh’s three rivers and downtown. It also features fish in a menu that even made me believe seafood could be a viable food source.

Fishing for Tacos at James’ Beach

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Scone heads.

In the movie, I Love You, Man, a pivotal scene occurs when the Paul Rudd character and Jason Segel character bond over fish tacos at a place called James’ Beach. Jason Segel’s character declares them “the best in the world,” which is quite a claim. Fortunately, James Beach is a real place in Venice and last weekend I took a bike ride with my lady and her lady to see just how great those fish tacos were. Jason Segel hadn’t led me wrong since Freaks and Geeks (except for Bad Teacher) and I hoped he wouldn’t this time.

Frying Up the Sea at Parkers’ Lighthouse

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Ok, I guess I’ll eat fish.

Parkers’ Lighthouse in the Shoreline Village of Long Beach is not an actual lighthouse. Also surprising was the fact that during my time there I met not one person named Parker. It is, however, a seafood restaurant overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. So, for the third time in just two days, I found myself staring at menu full of fish and finally I gave in.

Sinking into Hara Sushi

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It’s uh, yeah it’s sushi.

I’ve never understood the point of expensive sushi. When you get down to it, they’re all pretty much using the same ingredients with similar results. So when I ended up grabbing dinner at Hara Sushi in Santa Monica, I was a bit excited. Why? Because their sushi is always half-priced. And, they have a happy hour until 9:30 pm with some pretty cheap beers. So for once in my life, sushi sounded like a good time.

On the Water at Brophy Bros.

unvegan brophy bros.
Very bro-like

Walking into Brophy Bros. in Santa Barbara, based on the name, I expected some sort of frat house with waiters walking around with sweaters tied around their shoulders and referring to everyone as “Bro,” “Brah,” and “Brosef.” Instead, I found a seafood restaurant. Not sure which I would have preferred, as I seem to be finding myself at seafood places quite often lately, and I am not enjoying the pattern. Nonetheless, I rapidly found the most unhealthy dish on the menu, Fish ‘n’ Chips.

Not Quite Sushi at Kaya Sushi

If it weren't for those tomatoes...
If it weren’t for those tomatoes…

When you walk into Kaya Sushi, there is a massive glass waterfall blocking your way. Do not be deterred, though, because you can easily circumvent this waterfall by walking to the left or right. If you make it past, you’ll find yourself in the posh new sushi restaurant in El Segundo.

The place had an apparent brush with Korean as well as Japanese, since the lettering in their logo was distinctly Korean and there were even a few Korean items on the menu. Their sushi roll list was quite extensive, but I managed to find the least sushi-ish dish on the menu for myself.