Vegan AT LARGE: Lawry’s Restaurant
How A Castle For Carnivores Became Valhalla For A Vegan
One might think that a vegan at Lawry’s Restaurant, which specializes in prime rib, is as dead as the meat they serve. Think again!
When I ate at Lawry’s in 2021, I was a vegetarian who ate eggs and cheese, so I enjoyed my delicious Lawry’s salad with egg (provided to me by a beneficent waiter, who felt sorry for me amidst a group of carnivores, all of whom ordered prime rib dinners, which included the aforementioned salad), acorn squash soup (undeniably the best soup I have ever eaten in any restaurant, so I better not inquire into its exact contents), creamed corn and mashed potatoes (both of which were a real delight for me). I was in lacto-ovo vegetarian heaven during that meal!
However, I became a re-born vegan on January 1, 2022, just as I was initially when I began my non-carnivorous life many, many decades ago. So now Lawry’s was going to be a challenge since I no longer eat dairy and eggs. Could I again find happiness at Lawry’s in my new incarnation as a vegan? Would only bread (probably not whole grain), lettuce (probably not organic), and water (probably not pH 9) be available? Should I have snuck in some vegan butter and vegan salad dressing under my pocket square? Would my dinner companions consider such attempts to avoid starvation declasse? I assumed I was going to have to improvise in my selections, but fully formed panic set in when I found the acorn squash soup I lusted for missing from the menu. However, thankfully, my server was more than up for the challenge: she told me what I would have to avoid and aimed me at a specially prepared mushroom dish and, significantly, the cauliflower steak on the menu, which had escaped my attention. I was apprehensive at first as I must confess cauliflower is not my favorite, but she said it was delicious so I let my deeply buried adventurous spirit take hold of me (for once) and placed the order for it. The usual false bravado and attempts at pithy humor I displayed in conversation with my dinner companions did little to allay the building anxiety and paralyzing paranoia I felt as I waited for the meal to arrive, but when it did, I most certainly was not disappointed – indeed, I was delighted! I conveniently forgot that the Lawry’s salad I purloined from my dearly beloved who proclaims she will not eat anything green contains some egg. I found the specially prepared mushrooms to be tasty, but the cauliflower steak and accompanying vegetables went far beyond my expectations, most likely because of the expert seasoning of the dish. The chef was pitch perfect here for my taste buds, creating a dish which was zesty but not too spicy for a bland soul such as myself; I also appreciated the artful presentation of the dish, which indicated to me that considerable thought and care had gone into its preparation. Again, following my new dictum for the evening (“Eat first, question the contents afterward”) I did not choose to investigate the exact ingredients of the seasoning, preferring to exalt in my dietary ascension to the table of the gods with this meal I had ordered. Thwarted at first in my quest for comestibles compatible with my new lifestyle and pleasing to my palette, I was saved gloriously by the expert advice and culinary creativity of the Lawry’s staff!
And so it was, a vegan surmounted all odds to find bliss at Lawry’s!