i dabbled in the vegetarian realm for a brief stint in college. when i say “dabbled,” i’m alluding to the fact that there may have been the occasional seafood dish thrown in there, or bites of chicken now and then. i can’t really remember how serious i was about it, other than the fact that the sight of the meat in the cafeteria made me sick enough to become a salad bar groupie.

photo from hrhcollection.net

 then, when i started bruising like a banana because i failed to properly compensate for my lack of protein and instead chose to live on English muffins with peanut butter & bananas and Life cereal (my dad was thrilllled that he was forced to pay a meal fee for me to eat about $1.78 worth of food every day), i got smart and decided fish were my friends, after all.

photo by nuh sarche
     just please don’t look at me while i’m eating you, mmmkay?
 
while i’ve never returned to eating red meat of any kind, i do love most seafood (except for the chewy guys, like clams & mussles…blech), and i’ll eat grilled white meat skinless boneless chicken, preferably on salads. i eat plenty of low-fat dairy, like cottage cheese, fat free greek yogurt and lots of skim milk, so i definitely keep my protein up and don’t bruise half as easily as i used to.
 
but going vegetarian again would be no difficult feat for me…especially now that i discovered NYC’s best vegetarian restaurant and juice bar, Gobo. this place was goooood, and i didn’t even miss the fish that usually makes his way into my dining-out experience.
 
Gobo markets themselves as a place “where spirited vegetarian dining awakens the five senses for each guest. Rooted in Zen compassion, Gobo is founded on the belief that delicious food & beverages using wholesome, non-meat ingredients will nourish both your body & mind.” i don’t know about you, but i feel healthy just reading that, like i could run a marathon without training if i keep darkening this joint’s doorsteps.
 

photo by yummymuffins

any guesses as to what “Gobo” means? i threw out “go bohemian” as an initial ridiculous guess, because i like to play with words and clearly try to make a game out of everything.
after a lil googling, i discovered this:

Gobo
(goh-boh) – Long, slender burdock root.
 
(oooh, okay, sweet. so now i just have to google “burdock root”…)
 
the decor was simply and earthy, with a calm, neutral color scheme and minimalist style. lots of wood, lots of beiges — very elemental. suiting, i think, for a vegetarian eatery. (aren’t vegetarians supposed to be a peaceful lot? let me have my stereotypes, thankyouverymuch.)
 

i somehow ended up ideally tucked away into a circular corner booth of the crowded restaurant (fair warning: if you’re going on a weekend night, make reservations, as the place was packed at 9pm…and bring me with you, as there are about 10 more things on this menu that i want to try).
 
 my co-diner had been there before and so i willingly surrendered ordering rights, and we ended up with a table full of scrumptious quick bites and small plates:
 

a side of yam fries, avocado tartare w/ wasabi lime sauce (omg the best dish on the table…definitely a must-order!),


crispy spinach & soy cheese wontons (i scooped out the middle to avoid the fried part, and it was yummy), and salt & pepper organic king oyster mushroom fritters (no idea where the oyster part came in. these were okay/pretty good, but not my faves).

i think i could have just dipped those yam frieds in the avocado-wasabi-lime bliss all night and been more than satisified. (oh wait, that’s pretty much what i did…)

i had some of a spinach & soy cheese salad as well, which went un-photoed. we all know what spinach salads look like, and why we eat them.

see, even mr. pops knows the yams are where it’s at. and to think we always assumed he was just a spinach guy…

so save the poor little oinklets some adorable grief and go check out Gobo for a meal so delicious, you can’t possibly miss the meat. and if you do, well…maybe you need to up your yam factor just a notch or two.

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