Welcome to Short Order Show & Tell, where one of us brings a local delicacy to our weekly staff meeting and we all weigh in on its deliciousness.
This week, we tried the "No Bull" vegan barbecue short ribs with cranberry quinoa and a vegetable medley from Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin in North Miami Beach. The restaurant makes the meat stand-in from a blend of seitan and tofu.
A dozen food writers were not told what the dish was or where it was from before they dug into the colorful plate. They had been clued in that the day's vittles would be vegetarian.
Various remarks heard around the room included:
"It tastes like Szechuan beef. If I didn't know it wasn't meat, you could tell me it was and I would eat it up and not think twice about it."
"There's a nice clove-y flavor in the 'meat.'"
"The highlight is definitely the mock meat."
"I taste ginger. Lots of ginger in everything."
One meat-loving "purist," however, had a fundamental gripe with the meal.
"I don't understand why vegetarians want to eat things that look and taste like meat. It seems like it goes against everything they believe in."
Still, she had no complaints about the taste.
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When the name of the dish was revealed, a big "Ahhh, short ribs!" echoed from the taste testers.
The final verdict: The overall rating was an 8.3 out of 10. Try a plate for yourself at Hakin Vegetarian Restaurant for $10.95.