Monday, May 14, 2007
The Skinny on Fatty's, Eagle Rock
Nothing says delicious like textured vegetable protein, or TVP for short. I first sampled this delicacy with my village host family while studying abroad in Zimbabwe, and had the chance to pay about $14 for it last Friday at the vegetarian restaurant Fatty's in Eagle Rock. Ah, the difference between vegetarians-by-necessity and vegetarians-of-choice.
As an unreptentant meat eater and lover of vegetables, I don't understand vegetarians' interest in fake meat. If you truly pine for the taste of meat, how can an overly processed slice of fake soy bacon suffice? Why not eat a delectable vegetable instead? And how do you justify your meat craving, if it truly is "murder"? Does eating vegan chicken nuggets make you a wanna-be killer? I should have asked the tables full of Occidental College professors and eastside hipsters sitting next to us.
Philosophical musings aside, I was somehow compelled to order the TVP-filled "sloppy joe" at Fatty's last Friday, and I actually enjoyed it. However, I think my enjoyment sprang forth from the buttery puff pastry "bun", the diced bell peppers and the spicy sauce, not the soy crumbles.
Fatty's veggie menu veers from other faux-meat dishes to pastas, pizzas and fondue, and many items can be made vegan. It also boasts a fairly substantial starter list that includes a favorite green of mine, sauteed cavolo nero, and hearty eggplant filled gougeres. Also, I wish I'd saved room for dessert, as the cotton candy called to me.
Though I poke fun at the veggie sensibility, Fatty's is a tasty, lovely spot with plenty of wines by the glass. The service could use a bit of polish--a group of six of us waited over 1/2 hour despite a reservation, and the waitress was quick to clear plates away, without asking, though I wasn't finished. Minor points in an overall pleasant evening, but for now, Elf Cafe holds the top eastside veggie honors in my book.
1627 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041 MAP
Open Wednesday-Sunday for dinner only