Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The meaning of vegetables

My wife and I stopped at  Trip's Diner in St. Petersburg last night on our way to the movie theater to see Lincoln. (Did you know Lincoln is still playing in theaters?) Trip's Diner, I learned is so named because the owner has triplets. A side order of mixed vegetables came with my dinner, and this consisted of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. This may not seem significant to you, but I was delighted. My main beef with Florida restaurants is that mixed vegetables usually means squash. When there are both yellow and green squash present, apparently, it can be termed mixed vegetables.

Like many kids, I grew up not caring much for vegetables, except for carrots and peas. With maturity I developed a taste for others, especially green beans, cauliflower and broccoli. To this day, however, I still consider squash a decorative vegetable, not one suitable for human consumption. The best thing I can say for squash is that it is not mushrooms.

A week ago my wife and I were invited for lunch at one of Largo's most exclusive restaurants, a place we could never afford on our own dime. My steak came with a serving of mixed vegetables that, except for the occasional sliver of carrot or onion, consisted entirely of squash. It was the best squash I've ever eaten, but it was still squash.

So I was happy to discover Trip's Diner, which just happens to be just across the street from my favorite used bookstore in the area. Here at last is a Florida restaurant that shares my understanding of the meaning of vegetables.

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