Aside from the niches populated with hippie vegans, Hindu vegetarians, and everyone else British who is a bit afraid of the meat, being a vegetarian in ordinary London is a bit easier than in America. New York and California are different countries.

An ordinary menu offers one throw-away dish to vegetarians as a minimal acknowledgment of our existence. It usually some version of cold aubergine with cheese, tomato, basil and mozzarella or some equally mundane combination that I could make better and cheaper at home. In London, at least, there are cheese falafel sandwiches and a unique salad, but they are so tame! In a restaurant that might sell squid or blood pudding to challenge the palettes of our meat eaters, the vegetarian options hide shyly behind conventional dishes. I want equality for vegetarians and meat-lovers!

Vegetables promise an array of tastes in itself. Ignore the enviromental reasons, the economic, animal rights, we don’t need to justify it except that it’s tasty. Meat in itself provides litle but texture, which you can replicate in vegetarian dishes away by way of microfybrin (fake meat, if you really need it) or tofu. Tibits, a restaurant off of Regent Street has a dynamic menu of innovative dishes inspired from international cusines. Yes there’s a paneer over there and black beans over here. There’s no question that vegetarian dishes offer a range of flavors, so I don’t understand why its taboo to explore vegetarian menus in non-niche restaurants. I’m grateful to the few restaurants that can excite me and my carnivorous compadres and London has showed me that I don’t need to apologize for my tastes. It’s not great, average still comes out to only a few items, but it’s definitely progress from most metropolitans in America.

There are a million cookbooks touting easy, cheap, and innovative vegetarian recipies. I’d like to see more buisness incorporate the philosophy. Anyways, next week is National Vegetarian Week, and I’m particularly look forward to restaurants that are deviating from their meat-heavy menus, to see what they can come up with. Although I am still knee-deep in finals (more so than my peers at Swat, roar.), and strapped for cash, I’d really like to blog it. Stay here for updates!