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Restaurants & Bars 8

Best vegetables?

Das Ubergeek | May 9, 2009 02:57 PM

I'm sure this is a case of blinders on the horse, but lately I have been craving a place that knows how to cook a damn vegetable. I love vegetables, eat lots of them at home, but when I go to restaurants, they're always just depressing. Either they're religious (i.e., they've had the Hell boiled out of them) or they're grilled and they all taste of char. Even vegetables that don't grill well (hello, carrots) get grilled. Sometimes it'sthat they're overcooked (mushy) and sometimes it's that they're undercooked (I'm sorry, but charred, crunchy broccoli is disgusting).

Even places that do fantastic food often just phone it in when it comes to the vegetables and slop a few still-crunchy, not-topped-and-tailed green beans or some cutesy baby carrots on the plate.

If they do manage to get cooked correctly, then you run the next gauntlet, which is whether they've been seasoned at all, or perhaps overseasoned. That pile of sauteed spinach that is drowned in oil with sixteen frigging cloves of minced garlic? Overseasoned. Or you get the people who include vegetables in other food (stuffing for chiles rellenos, for example) but forget to season the frigging things.

I'd love to be able to eat a meal that featured vegetables cooked well, maybe a little tiny bit of meat (50 grams -- a couple of ounces -- would be plenty). I've had the best luck at Indian -- particularly Southern Indian -- places. I eat at Souplantation so that I can get my vegetables on, but I don't like most of the interesting ones raw.

So where do I go to get great vegetables that are not an afterthought? Any vegetable (let's leave out the potatoes, those aren't going to help me eat better). I could happily make a dinner out of two or three sides of great vegetables and a meat-based appetizer.

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