The Unvegan

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Strange Strips at George’s on the Cove

Where’s the fried stuff?

For my last meal in San Diego, we headed to La Jolla. I didn’t know much about La Jolla beforehand, but it ended up being a pretty cool little part of town. We did a little walk around The Cove and saw some pretty tasty-looking live seals. Sadly, these guys were not for eating, so instead we ate a place called George’s at the Cove.

George’s didn’t have a very unvegan-friendly menu (I should also make it clear that they had a burger on their menu that looked pretty good, but after the zoo and Hodad’s the day before, that was out of the question), but it did have an awesome view. Which is great, but you can’t eat a view. Because it doesn’t taste good. Filled with vegetarded dishes, I finally found something I could eat on their “sides” menu. It was called Cayenne Dusted Grilled Chicken Strips and this “side” came with arugula salad, fries and a parmesan garlic dipping sauce for the fries. I don’t know about anyone else, but this was the first time I had ever seen a side dish come with its own side dishes. This was strange to me, but I was okay with it because it meant I was really getting a full meal. The one thing I wasn’t okay with was the arugula salad. When I ordered I asked them not to worry about given me the salad and then I waited for my side meal to come.

Seeing double.

When it arrived, I was amazed to find they had given me two full baskets of fries. Instantly my trouble with unvegan options on the menu disappeared. It was replaced by a love of a place that gives out free fries in exchange for arugula, without even asking! But none of this would matter if the food wasn’t good.

I started with the chicken strips and found them to be pretty good. It was strange to be eating unbreaded and unfried chicken strips, so they were really just small breasts, but pretty tasty. They were like a better-cooked, more flavorful version of what I’ve grilled at home before. They weren’t terribly spicy from the cayenne, but still good.

The fries were cut in the regular thickness, but somehow had the sort of taste and texture that you get with thin-cut fries. I think it had had something to do with being fried for a little while longer, but it had a good effect. They were nicely salted and all my eating companions seemed very appreciative of my bonus fries.

Even though George’s at the Cove first seemed like a disappointment based on their limited options, they ended up turning things around and making an unvegan like me feel welcome. The food wasn’t anything amazing, but it did make me rethink ordinary chicken strips.