The Unvegan

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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.

To the consternation of my friend that claimed most tilapia comes from the polluted waters of China, I ordered the Blackened Tilapia sandwich because my waitress told me it was a good choice. It came topped with cheddar on a ciabatta roll with “deli sides” on the side. When I found out what these were – cole slaw and pasta salad – I was ready to say no to the slaw until my friend said she would eat it for me. Knowing it wouldn’t go to waste, I proceeded with my order.

It actually turned out to taste pretty good, with very little hint of pollution. Most importantly, there were no signs of the thing that makes me avoid fish – the fishy smell. Would this sandwich have been better with a chicken breast or a beef patty in place of the tilapia? Absolutely. But at least this was a good option, and moreover, my vegetarian friend informed me that she was back to including meat in her diet. I call that a win.