So I’m once again at a conference and they come to the “you’re on your own” lunch break. I head to the parking lot not sure what I’ll do, amid a freezing rain down pour and a growling stomach. Fellow attendees are nice enough to invite me to join them. We pile into the RV and head for the Catfish Hole.
In ordering such things as green beans and fried okra, I don’t ask the right questions. Turns out the green beans are cooked with bacon, and the batter for the core contains eggs. Sigh. Perhaps it was wishful thinking. The corn on the cob is delicious – just be sure they don’t dip it in butter prior to serving.
I space about taking a photo of my plate upon arrival, and given the missteps in my ordering vegan, it’s hardly necessary, but here’s my “after” shot.
As you can see, I enjoyed the repast. The pickles were also a vegan option, and I might have ordered a baked potato – naked of course, or its cousin, an order of fries. I could have gone for the dessert of mandarin oranges as well. Lots of options. I just have to be a little creative and inquisitive.
And then there was that complimentary plate of hushpuppies. They’re fried balls of fluffy cornbread that are made with eggs. The Catfish Hole is known for these little bites of crispy fried heaven and I down two of them. Delicious. When you’re the face of veganism, sometimes a little compromise gets you a lot of cooperation and appreciation.
But the luncheon is anything but a loss for the vegan cause. The questions I do ask start a conversation around the table about why I’ve adopted this lifestyle. I’ve found the conversations about the plant-based diet are much more pleasant these days than in years past. Or maybe I’ve mellowed. People seem genuinely curious and respectful, rather than argumentative and obsessed with whether or not I am getting enough protein. Times have changed.
The management is equally receptive, gladly answering my questions about ingredients (belated though they might have been) and one of them even offers to pass my business card on to a vegan relative. I couldn’t ask for a more pleasant experience all around.
The Catfish Hole
4127 West Weddington Drive