I could not help myself. It looked so delicious that I just dug right in without thinking: spicy shrimp, fried eel, and even pork chitterlings with onions and greens. What would cause someone like me who has been a vegetarian for over twenty years do such a thing? It was all faux.
Buddha's birthday was on Sunday and my friend Tea' invited me to a celebration at the East Memphis Buddhist Temple. She told me that the feast is all vegetarian and that they go all out. Unfortunately that was the day I did the triathlon, so I could not make it. However, she did not forget about me. Monday she called and asked me to come by and pick up some leftovers from the feast. I left with enough food to have my own Buddha's birthday feast, so that is what we did.
I called up my good friends Michael and Kelly and told them to put a big pot of rice on to boil. I showed up a few minutes later with the bounty of food and a growler of pale ale. We enjoyed the wonderful meal outside at the farm table that lives in their back yard. I have had some great meals at that table and this ranks up there with the best of them. The eel was made from dried mushrooms, The chitterlings were wheat gluten, and the spicy shrimp was fashioned from chopped tofu and rice paper skins. We marveled at the craft and attention to detail.
Tea' will be opening her own restaurant soon called New Que Huong at 942 West Poplar Ave in Collierville. She will be serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine including some very delicious vegetarian offerings. She plans on opening in about three weeks, and I plan on being the 1st one through the door.