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Vegetarian in Iowa

Topics/tags: Rants, Iowa, short

Although I’m an omnivore [1], I have many friends who are vegetarian or pescatarian. And I’m always amazed at what obstacles they put up with while in Iowa.

When I was first in Iowa, I recall going out with some friends and them asking whether the corn chowder was vegetarian. The answer was Yes. But when the soup [2] came, it appeared to have bits of bacon. My friend asked about that and the response was, Oh, that’s just a spice.

Today I had a similar experience. A friend and I were eating at a back of the drug store countertop. I thought he was going to order a tuna-fish sandwich. But he said, I want the vegetable cheeseburger. Given the name, I was suspicious. He pointed to the menu, which read,

Quarter pound vegetable patty on a buttered, grilled bun.

I got even more suspicious when the waitress/cook put the burgers on the grill. His looked indistinguishable from mine. So I asked, Is that a vegetable burger? And I thought she said Yes.

Then she served the burger. And, as you’d expect, it was a beef hamburger [3]. Guess what? Vegetable burger, in their parlance, means burger with vegetables. She even reaffirmed that. Yup, it’s a burger with vegetables. We showed her the menu. She said, A high-school student wrote that; they didn’t get it right. I’m not sure why they leave it on the menu if it’s wrong. I’m also not sure why the vegetable burger is $5.99 when a regular hamburger is about $3.79 and adding all the vegetables only costs forty-nine cents.

At least she was willing to make him a grilled-cheese sandwich instead [4].

[1] Well, I won’t eat everything, but I eat a wide variety of substances, including meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and grains.

[2] chowder.

[3] That may not be surprising. It’s also probably good; they cooked both hamburgers with bacon next to them.

[4] They were out of tuna fish.

Version 1.0 of 2018-08-16.