I consider myself to be both a foodie and a vegan. Some people view those categories as mutually exclusive, most notably classically-trained professional chefs. (Have you seen the “rabbit” episode of “Kitchen Confidential” about the vegan? It’s on Hulu.)  I can understand how being a vegan could be viewed as a rejection of fine cooking; I assure you, it is not.  I still revel in food; I want to know what it is, where it comes from, how it can be prepared and, most importantly, how to enjoy it.

I used to work in an Italian-influenced restaurant, where I did everything from wash dishes to tend bar. The best part was a perk not typical of the industry: every employee could order a meal every shift. I’m not talking about a staff meal made up of walk-in clean-outs and smothered in cheese like you might have seen on tv (or experienced at your own jobs); I am talking about an individually prepared, whatever you want, delicious meal. My ticket usually said “dinner for Mary” – I knew I would love whatever the chef, Michael, would make for me. I was an omnivore then, and Michael loves to feed people who loved to eat. He featured local, fresh ingredients, and his specials reflected the unplanned arrival of morels or other unexpected deliveries.

Well, that restaurant closed a few years ago, and I’ve moved away and back. Michael recently opened a bistro. I was worried about walking in and asking for a gluten-free, vegan meal from someone who knew my love of all things edible. Much to my delight, I was served a gorgeous dish of sautéed peppers, eggplant, squash, artichokes and kalamata olives in a divine red sauce. It was a delicious blast from the past – thank you, Michael. Readers, if you are in Floyd, check out Mickey G’s, on route 8, 1 mile north of the stop light. 


03/01/2010 13:45

We'll definitely be checking it out!


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    Note from
    Mary Alzire

    Thank you for taking the time to visit my site.  You can comment on any post by clicking its title. I welcome your comments and questions.

    "The Year of the Vegan" is a diary of my challenges and triumphs during 2010 - a year in which I will not consume any animal products. This commitment is motivated by my disgust about the hidden and externalized environmental, social and societal  costs of our nation's food network. Join me considering what we eat, and why.

    This year is also a year of personal transitions - from graduate student and freelance writer living in rural southwestern Virginia to fully-employed DC resident.


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