The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Burgers and Dumplings at Village Tavern
Scottsdale Culinary Fest 2018
Breakfast in a Brew Box
Finz to the Left, Finz to the Right

‘Meat’

Catching the Butcher and the Rye

Sweet sweet candy.
Sweet sweet candy.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Catcher in the Rye, so when I heard there was a new restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh (as of November 2013) calling itself Butcher and the Rye, I was immediately interested. The place does take its name from the book, but rather than be some sort of gimmick, the restaurant is essentially devoted to meat and whiskey. And it’s from the people behind Meat and Potatoes. So, yeah, this was my kind of place and a perfect spot to take my wife for her birthday.

Strange Meats: Guinea Fowl

Tastes like chicken.
Tastes like chicken.

You know that whole “tastes like chicken” thing that was popular back when The Matrix came out? Yeah, I thought it was annoying too. However, when it came to eating guinea fowl (also known as bush chicken), I was eager to put that old adage to the test. My opportunity to dine on this fowl came in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and perhaps the best part of eating guinea fowl for dinner was the fact that I saw flocks of wild guinea fowl wandering the grounds of the restaurant earlier in the day.

Triple Meating at Union Pig & Chicken

Union Chicken.
Union Chicken.

Down in East Liberty is a barbecue joint that has been infused with a fair amount of hipster twist. It’s called Union Pig & Chicken, and its minimalist tables and whiskey/bourbon oriented bar do a good job of selling that intersection of barbecue and hipsterness. The menu is full of meaty offerings that go beyond the animals known as pig and chicken, but I suppose Union Pig, Chicken and Cow simply didn’t have the same ring to it.

Eating Lion

Eat me.
Eat me.

Usually the food we eat is relegated to the herbivore variety. There is simply something appetizing about eating animals that eat plants, as opposed to those that eat other animals. This probably came from the fact that herbivores were more plentiful and easier to catch, but a restaurant in Tampa, Florida has other ideas.

A Bright Spot at Lola’s

The balls of Africa.
The balls of Africa.

Although they border each other and both speak English, South Africa and Zimbabwe couldn’t be more different. Granted, my only basis for comparison are Cape Town and the town of Victoria Falls, but you know, they seemed pretty different. Essentially, Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe are poor. Like dirt poor. As in, so poor that their own currency has no value and they use American dollars instead. So with all this poverty, we were surprised to find a tapas restaurant called Lola’s in the middle of Victoria Falls.

Succulent Segovian Swine at Restaurante Amado

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Looks Kosher enough to me.

The Spanish town of Segovia is famous for a few things:

Its Roman aqueduct — still standing since it was constructed in 50 A.D, it consists of 163 arches made of 20,000 granite blocks and not a drop of mortar.

The Alcazar — the castle which inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland.

And Cochinillo Asado, a roast suckling pig that’s supposed to be insanely tender and flavorful.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Unvegan Hero

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He also says “Go Blue!”

Back in 1997, when Titanic came out, I never thought I would look at Leonardo DiCaprio in a positive light. Never mind his acting chops, I was an awkward 13 year-old and jealous of all the attention the guy was getting.

Of course, he turned things around and started churning out awesome movie after awesome movie, shedding the teen heartthrob persona for one of a serious actor.