My twist on the salad bar is that instead of adding meat like chicken or tuna, I get the boiled soy beans (also known as Edamame) and hard boiled eggs as my two protein sources. This is what my typical salad bar lunch looks like. Mmmmmmmm! I try to go heavy on the nutrient dense "superfoods" as described in the book Superfoods RX by Dr. Steven Pratt and only use a drop of salad dressing on the carrots.
From the Salad Bar at Hobbee's
I'm still working on becoming a full time vegetarian. I know I could just do it but I've been kind of dragging along with the transition for a couple of years now. I'd say that I only eat meat maybe 3-4 meals a week and then it's poultry or fish. I figure if I really dedicate myself to the effort I'll be there by the end of the year. Maybe for now I should focus on becoming a pescatarian, someone who only eats fish and seafood. But since I'm allergic to shellfish and mollusks that leaves me with only fish.
If you're looking for something fancier than a salad bar, for a really wonderful vegetarian meal I can suggest Xihn Bistro Lounge in San Francisco. It's not exclusively a vegetarian restaurant, they do serve all types of meat but they had some nice vegetarian dishes. I had the pleasure of dining there recently when my friend Evonne Wong was in town from Maui. Our mutual friend Beverly is friends with the owner of the restaurant which is usually closed for dinner (the area is busiest during the lunch hour) so we had a private dinner in this gorgeous dining room with a fixed menu that she kindly adapted for me because I didn't eat the beef, crab and shrimp that was served.
This is what I had that evening. The salad was my favorite dish: A shredded cabbage and tofu salad. It was fresh and light and really fantastic. The dressing was delicious! I'd love to go back and have it again for lunch sometime soon.
The spring rolls were gorgeous and if I were a mushroom lover I'm sure I would have loved them but there were, I think, two kinds of mushrooms in them. I did try them, and only wish that I loved mushrooms. It kind of sucks because when you order vegetarian dishes quite often that makes the main ingredient either mushrooms or eggplant, the only two vegetables I don't care for.
The Vegetarian Noodles were the final dish I tried and definitely something I would order again.
If you're a meat eater there are plenty of dishes for you. My dinner companions that evening had a chicken version of the same tofu and cabbage salad I had, several different types of meat and seafood spring rolls, Xinh Bistro Chicken Wings, Noodles but instead of veggies only theirs also had shrimp and fish cake. And they had three more dishes that I saw but didn't try: Shaken Beef, Shrimp with Bell Peppers and Roasted Dungeness Crab in the shell.
Dessert was wonderful but we ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture! Banana XTC was fried bananas sauteed in a rum sauce over roti (a thin and crsipy flat bread) with vanilla ice cream.
It was a memorable evening with good friends and a really special dining experience.
For the Meat Eaters: Shrimp, Chicken and Crab
Our Dinner Party at Xinh Bistro Lounge
The restaurant is located in San Francisco at 680 8th Street, Suite 170. It's basically kitty corner to the San Francisco Design Center connecting to the circle where Townsend and 8th ST meet.