Eating Green(s) in Lincoln

November 18, 2009 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

My wife and I have each changed a lot since we first began dating nearly 13 years ago. Among the biggest changes has been our eating preferences. I changed first as I expanded my palate to include things outside of my meat and potatoes comfort zone. For years The Missus barely changed at all.

Until last fall, that is. All of a sudden she became a red meat eater. After years of avoiding beef and pork, suddenly those meats are in her dining vocabulary. It should have been a celebratory moment for me. Finally, real sausage!

Except for one problem. As The Missus began to eat more meat, I began to eat less. The nearly-simultaneous timing of the switch was coincidental, though it sure seems as though the Universe is trying to maintain some sort of balance. I’m no vegetarian, not by a long shot. Nor do I want to be. I don’t even like most vegetables or fruits. But I’m trying to cut back—way back—on my meat consumption. Animal products, in the quantities we typically wolf down here in the States, aren’t particularly healthy to the human body. Nor are they very good for the environment. So I’m cutting back.

But I had no idea how difficult it would be to cut back on meat (and other animal products) while eating out. Unless you want to limit yourself to salads—a dish I still haven’t brought myself to try—in most restaurants you’re screwed. (And even if you do, meat is all over many salads.)

I have found a few safe havens. It is easy to minimize or eliminate meat on pizza without sacrificing the joy of pizza, for example. Pasta, too, can be your friend, though it’s easy to get stuck in the boring land of fettuccine alfredo or pasta marinara. Beyond that it gets tricky. Oso Burrito is my friend, with their myriad meat, vegetable, and flavor combinations. Where else can you get an avocado taco and a bowl of mulligatawny? Good stuff.

What are some other restaurants in town that do a good job of offering up both “meated” and meatless options? And I mean real options, not the half-hearted, flavorless stuff you find at most places. Are there any winners out there in Lincoln that I need to give a try?

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The Comments

Nikkidemas November 18, 2009 at 3:31pm

The Oven has a pretty good veg. menu.  And although Subway’s veg. menu selection leaves much to be desired - I constantly crave the veggie patty (available at most Lincoln locations).  I hear <a href=“”>th

Kc November 18, 2009 at 4:43pm

Maggie’s really has the most excellent vegetarian fare for lunches or light dinner.  Always fresh, the wraps are filled with creative combinations of veggies and cheese.  You can get many warmed or served cold.  I’d highly recommend the spicy hummus wrap.  Very satisfying (and also inspired me to make a similar wrap at home). This is a great shop for someone cutting back on meat.  Also, Grateful Bread is all veggie if you’re in a soup and sandwich mood…and Open Harvest has an excellent deli that has now expanded to offer more veggie delights!

Gene November 18, 2009 at 4:53pm

Blue Orchid has some vegetarian options.

Karin Dalziel November 18, 2009 at 5:00pm

I was going to say Maggies too. Really excellent food.

I like Jimmy John’s veggie sandwich much better than Subway’s veggie offerings- though I have not tried the veggie patty Nikkidemas suggested.

At mexican restaurants, there’s usually options - not particularly healthy, but meatless. Stuff like tostadas and cheese enchiladas with rice and beans are good (as long as you’re not looking for vegan, there’s chicken stock in the rice usually.)

Wasabi has an excellent selection of veggie sushi, and there are a good number of other veggie options.

Noodles and co is all veggie, if you don’t get the optional “protein” added.

Boston Market has a side dish meal, which used to be pretty good, but their sides are much more limited than they used to be.

I end up getting a variety of appetizers/side dishes plus soup a lot when I’m not in a meat-y mood. You can put together a pretty satisfying meal this way.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I’m not a vegetarian either, but I find meat makes me feel slow and lethargic a lot of the time, so I tend to avoid it unless I don’t need to do anything the rest of the day.

Andrew November 18, 2009 at 6:45pm

I’m a vegetarian, so I know exactly what you mean. There are only so many times you can eat a salad or some form of pasta at a restaurant (which is pretty much the only option at 90% of the restaurants in this town). Pepe’s in Havelock is really great. Definitely check that out. Also, Indian and Thai foods are pretty easy for a vegetarian to come by in town. Surprisingly though, Chinese food lacks big time for vegetarians, because many of them don’t offer tofu, or even more often, they offer it and use meat broths.

andrew November 18, 2009 at 6:46pm

Also, though it’s not much of a sit down place, open harvest’s deli has lots of tasty stuff.

And Grateful Bread (or whatever they are calling it these days) has awesome soups that are all veg.

Nikkidemas November 18, 2009 at 10:26pm

Both HuHot & the Chinese Mongolian grill across the street from it are vegetarian and meatatarian friendly.

Both have all kinds of meat, seafood, tofu, and tons of veggies.

JT November 18, 2009 at 10:33pm

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie at the Dish.
Grateful Bread
The Cup
Jimmy John’s Veggie Club w/ xtra avocado
Mulligan’s Grilled Cheese and onion rings
Oso spicy mushrooms
DeLeon’s chili verde
Tandoor has a good veggie menu

andrew November 18, 2009 at 10:38pm

if you can ignore the whole your-food-is-cooked-on-the-same-grill-with-the-same-utensils-as-the-meat-dishes thing.

Mr. T November 19, 2009 at 1:18am

Ali Baba’s has 2 things worth getting: Veggie kabobs (tomatoes, onions, peppers) and spinach pie. With their meal you get 2 kabobs or a slice of the pie, with potatoes and pita bread. Its pretty filling. They also have falafel there but I don’t really like it.

Seriously if you don’t like green salad and want to eat more vegetarian you are really limiting your options. Most vegetarians I know are pretty regular eaters of Indian and Mideast food, or seafood, but I know you’re not a big fan of fish.

Blaine November 19, 2009 at 2:56pm

Even tougher in Lincoln by a large margin is being vegan. I switched 1.5 years ago, and when I dine out I have to flex, a lot. Cheese seems to be the go-to substitute when pulling meat out. Above are some great listings, but let me toss out the places that I hit as a vegan:

*Blue Orchid*
*The Oven*
Subway (I wish I could combine the vegetable selections from subway and Jimmie John’s to create the ultimate veggie sandwich)
Zhang’s or Ming’s House chinese (note that many chinese places list their tofu as “bean curd”)
(Magnolia, RIP)
Lazlo’s when I feel like cheating on cheese for a really good veggie burger.
Old Chicago, Thai Pie minus chicken, minus cheese, add extra veggies
La Paz veggie fajitas

Steve November 20, 2009 at 9:16am

Just try finding meatless dishes in small towns.  In one town the only thing I was able to find was a baked potato and that wasn’t even on the menu. 

About half the Adventists in town are vegetarian.  They use a lot of soy meats.  Not necessarily any healthier for you than cow, pig, or chicken but it provides alternatives at home if you want protein without the blood.

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