This morning I woke up and drove to Livingston, about an hour and a half north of me (with traffic) for an amazing workshop offered by the lovely folks at Heinemann. I spent the entire day leaning from Smokey Daniels and it was, without a doubt, one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended.
The only issue came when they released us for lunch.
I’m not a North Jersey gal. It’s too crowded for me, with the negative parts of living in the suburbs and the negative parts of living in the city. It’s too crowded and there’s too much traffic. As a result, I wasn’t familiar with the area when it came time for lunch.
I hopped in the car and figured that I would stay on the highway for a few minutes until I found someplace that offered lunch. Then I remembered that it’s Friday. And it’s Lent. For those of you who aren’t Catholic, that means I can’t eat meat today.
Suddenly, finding lunch became a bit more difficult. I drove for about 15 minutes and I swear I’ve never seen so many burger joints on a short stretch of road! Smashburger, 5 Guys, McDonalds, Wendy’s, and a few others littered the shopping malls that lined the side of the highway. And I’ve never felt the urge to grab a burger as strongly as I did today.
But I held on.
I stopped at Marshalls, thinking I could hold off on lunch until I got home if I spent a bit of time shopping. Nope. Fifteen minutes later I was still hungry and I didn’t find anything interesting at the store.
Back in the car. More driving. More traffic. More burger joints.
Then I saw it. A glimmer of hope. A restaurant that might have a vegetarian or non-meat based meal.
I’m not a huge Baja Fresh fan, but I pulled in and crossed my fingers. They must have a salad, right? And their list of ingredients would certainly include avocado, which would fill me up. But as I scanned the menu I saw a lot of meat. And the salads were all bean-based, which is a problem, seeing as I don’t like beans.
So I decided to experiment.
Yup. I had my first fish taco today. And it was delicious.
I decided to try the wahoo taco. Made with ono (a Hawaiian fish, I learned, courtesy of Wikipedia), avocado, pico de gallo, and shredded cabbage, I was hoping it would fill me up. And just in case it didn’t I added a side of chips and salsa.
I admit, I was a little leery of eating a fish taco from a fast food giant. I’m very careful when it comes to fish. But when my taco came out, I was pleasantly surprised. I unrolled the aluminum foil and was struck by how delicious my lunch looked!
The avocados were fresh and smooth and the pico de gallo was just right. But the best part was the wahoo. Never having had that particular type of fish before, I was thrilled with how delicious it was.
Disaster averted. Lenten dilemma solved. And I wasn’t even hungry afterwards!