Once upon a time, I was a vegetarian. It’s true. One bad episode with meat was all it took. The spell was broken sometime last year but in truth, I had been secretly eating meat for a while but just not publicly.
The fascination with vegetables still lives on. I won’t go as far as being vegan though. I could never part way with dairy however I’m thrilled that Chef Jenny Ross of 118 Degrees has found a fun way to highlight vegetables. Most vegetarian cuisine available in restaurants is a creative salad or pasta. At 118 Degrees, if you haven’t guessed it by now, nothing is cooked over 118 Degrees. The food is enhanced with a blend of sauces and vegan cheeses. It was hard to believe that any of this was vegan cuisine. I could eat platefuls of this stuff and not miss the savory, hearty meat.
On a blistering hot Saturday afternoon, I was invited to check out the new location of 118 Degrees in downtown Anaheim. It’s a perfect spot for this community cafe. At that time, there was a street fair and a market which seem fitting for Chef Jenny’s concept. Parking is readily available. My favorites of the day were the living lasagna, pesto cremini mushrooms, and the deep “fried” avocado taco. All three combined a variety of vegetables that I love. Even with Chef Jenny’s care and devotion, the attractive location, and the lure of vegan cuisine, I still can’t be persuaded to become a vegetarian again. However, if I am craving my veggies, this will be my first thought.