Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eating with a Vegan

So, one of my good friends on board with me on the mothership is a pseudo vegan (kind of like I'm a pseudo celicac, who knows, I may be a real celicac?). Anyway, other than the occasional ice cream, or dessert, she eats only vegetables and grains, sometimes cooked. And has since she was about 2.

About once a week or so we break away from the mothership and scavenge for food somewhere other than our lovely cafe by the lake. I thought it might be interesting to give a little review of restaurants in the northern 'burbs of Atlanta. We will rate them for overall quality of the food, ambiance, and experience, as well as, how friendly they are to our imposed diets.

So, today the Veg and I went to JP Sushi this restaurant came at the recommendation of a "creative" friend at the mothership who scorned our current close and quick sushi place Sushi Haru.

I decide on the sushi lunch, at $12.95 it was a little pricey, but when it came it was a ton of food (soup, salad, 8 piece California roll, and 8 pieces of nigiri), more than I would have gotten from Sushi Haru, but also more expensive. Sushi Haru has a sushi bento box for $9.95 (soup, salad, 2 piece california roll, 4 pieces of Nigiri sushi, spring roll and this awesome pickled salad, it is a good size for a lunch with lots of little tastes). The Veg got the tofu udon, I think it was around $9, or so. Those veggies always eat cheap!

So, to better inform you of our lunching experience we are coming up with a list of questions, here is the first edition, including our answers: The Veg in purple, me in green.

One word to describe your meal at JP's: (you can explain why, if you want)
Wasabi! It is the kind of place where they stick a little bit of wasabi inside the sushi. While this can be good, I like to know in advance so I don't add additional wasabi to my soy sauce (yes I know I shouldn't be eating soy sauce, but this little bit of wheat doesn't seem to bother me)
Vanilla: Nothing about my meal set JP's apart from comparable sushi joints.

What did you enjoy most about your lunch?
The texture of the udon noodles; it's hard to get them soft enough for easy slurping, yet firm enough for biting.
I think the miso soup, it was really good and the tofu had a great silken texture.

Was there anything you hated about your meal?
The inari was a little too sweet and I wished the rice inside had some vegetables or sesame seeds mixed in, but "hate" might be a little strong in this case.
I agree, the inari, was rather dessert-like. I'm glad I didn't get the udon

On a scale of 1-10, how was the veganess/celiac-friendiness of JP's?
5. Though to be fair, I only saw the limited lunch menu and I didn't ask about vegan variations of other dishes.
7. As long as you stuck to sushi, there were a number of choices. Other than that, it didn't look like there were a lot of options.

If you were going to take a celeb (living or dead) to JP's who would it be any why?
Hmmm... i'll have to think on that one...
I agree, it wasn't "out of this world" or totally awful, so I'm not sure who I would take.

Was the food worth the price?
Not quite. I paid $9.95 for a bowl of soup and 2 pieces of inari, and I can get a plate of hibachi, soup, and salad from Sushi Haru across the street for $6.95. If the soup were out of this world, I might have said "yes".
I would have liked a cheaper sushi plate as well, I could have easily had enough lunch with half of the sushi...I wonder if they would offer a half lunch?

Is there anything you would have changed about your experience?
Not off of the top of my head Ditto.

What type of lunch place is it:
A. Dine and Dash - short on time and short on money
B. I've got an hour between conference calls and need a good lunch (the Veg agrees)
C. I've worked my ass off this week and I deserve my lunch and a little bit of a splurge
D. Jan, hold my calls, I'm not coming back in this afternoon and spending like I have an expense account

All in all the Veg gives it 1.5 chopsticks and a half a bowl of satisfaction. I give it 2 chopsticks and a half a bowl of satisfaction.

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