To say that I don't handle birthdays appropriately is a pretty big understatement.
A lot of people don't like getting older. There's nothing weird about that. However, there is something weird about the way I break into a cold sweat every September 13th, in anticipation of the big day to follow. I don't know why I'm like this, but I always kind of have been, even as a kid. It's just getting worse the older that I get.
I suppose it's just another one of the quirky neuroticisms that my patient and understanding friends have come to accept about me.
Anyway, this year I wanted to spend September 14th moping around the house, possibly dragging a bottle of wine behind me. Paul was having none of that. So we met somewhere in the middle - a relatively calm night of burgers and beers with friends at Morty's Pub in Waterloo.
When I was in university, and not yet vegan, we pretty much existed solely on Morty's chicken wings. And admittedly, it's not the first place you would think of for hosting a vegan's birthday dinner. But from my pregan days I know that the staff is really friendly and helpful and the place itself has a relaxed, laid back feeling. Plus, they have lots of beer. This makes it a prime location for marking the dreaded 28.
Also, I'd heard great things about their veggie burger and hadn't yet had a chance to get out there and try it.
As promised, it was a great night full of wonderful friends and pitchers of beer and yes, delicious veggie burgers. The one I got is pictured at the start of this post, buried under a whole lotta hot peppers. Paul got the veggie double stack, because he is a bottomless pit:
After a few hours at Morty's and more beer than I thought I actually drank, it was home to pajamas and the PVR'd Big Brother 13 finale - I'm such a wild child!
With one more thing -
Paul made me a half batch of my most favourite cupcakes - Dulce sin Leche from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!
I wish I had some more pictures to share, but I managed to sneak my adorable little 7-week old goddaughter into every shot we took, just to give it that extra cuteness bump, and I don't like posting pictures of other people's kids. Or any kids, for that matter. I tend to watch a lot of Dateline; it fuels the paranoia.
I guess I can share one more of me, with a couple of my birthday gifts, because you'll all benefit from them - two new vegan cookbooks!
Thanks to all my friends who came out and who sent wishes and thanks to Morty's Pub for taking such good care of us. And thanks to whatever powers may be as well as the Gregorian calendar for making my birthday only come around once a year.
EDIT - FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Just received a comment from a blog reader. I have not been to Morty's since this visit last September so I am not able to confirm the information in the comment. While I obviously prefer to avoid restaurant cross-contamination with non-vegan food items, this is not something I really stress much about, as long as the food that I am actually ordering is 100% vegan (especially considering that I eat at restaurants all of five times a year). Similarly, if I'm told it's vegan and then ends up not being so, I try not to stress much about that either. Veganism is about intent and if I did the best research possible at the time and made a decision that ended up being incorrect, I don't beat myself up over it. I just won't make the mistake again.
This is something every vegan decides for herself/himself and I believe there is no right or wrong. The truth is, anytime you enter a non-vegan establishment the vegan food you order is likely cooked near non-vegan food and your risk of cross-contamination is great. You're also running the risk of misinformation now and again as well. It's something I've chosen to not stress out over, but completely understand why some people do as well as their decisions to not eat at these places. For now, I concentrate more on accessible veganism and encouraging businesses to incorporate more vegan options into their traditionally non-vegan menus, and when they provide these items I like to support them in hopes that they will continue to expand their options. Five years ago you could barely get a single veggie burger in this town, and now there's at least one veggie option at pretty much every restaurant. That's because of consumer demand and interest, not threats of boycott. I just believe that veganism will never be taken seriously unless it is accessible by the public and their varied lifestyles. I'm all about baby steps, but totally understand if you are not.
I will let you know if I get further information regarding this matter. For now, please read the comment below and decide how to proceed with regard to your own needs.
Just to let you know, as a former employee of Morty's pub, I have to inform you that your meal was most likely contaminated with meat product during the cooking process. As the kitchen staff does not have a devoted place on the grill for cooking Vegan or vegetarian food.
So there is a good chance that there was trace amount of meat your food. if that is of any concern to you.
also if you eaten any of their fried food, the same can be said, as they don't have a devoted deep frier for Vegan or vegetarian food, Not that any of their fried food are Vegan or vegetarian friendly.
272 King Street North