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Vegging Out: A Meatless Lunch at Picasso Café

Much like the famed artist that inspired their name, I probably appreciate Picasso Café, 3009 Paseo Dr., more for what they represent--I mean, how many people actually get out to support one of the few vegan dining options in Oklahoma City?

Certainly not our Governor!

I had been there once before, many years ago when I was entertaining a friend from South Texas. Perhaps the reason that friendship ended is why I never returned to the fractured restaurant, but it has always been in the back of my heart to sample it again, to give it another chance in the near future, even if it is six or seven years later.

It’s now six or seven years later.

My favorite gal-pal Jodie and I went there for lunch last week. I spared her the maudlin story from my failed love-life as we made our way into the moderately full restaurant, on into the open-air dining in the back that I never knew they had; it was very spacious and accommodating, with only a few bugs joining us for a meal.

Always exploring—experimenting—with my longstanding tastes, I had made a point to have more of a vegetarian bent to my meals as of late, if only to edibly protest that meat-hungry dullard Gov. Kevin Stitt and his near-sexual compulsion to hot loads of grey beef. I started that culinary stand-off—quite badly, I might add—by ordering an appetizer of Fried Goat Cheese ($8.00).

The large bites of goat cheese were incredible succulent, although, every time I bit into one, a spurt of hot goat goodness came squirting out of my mouth and landing somewhere against the table or wall. Of course, not wanting to waste a bite, I gathered the spunky flotsam and effortlessly licked the sputtering juices right up.

As we quickly ravaged the goat cheese, we were somewhat lucky because our entrées were coming up from the kitchen; laid out before her, Jodie had the meatball-ish Vegan Meatloaf ($15.00), an Impossible Meat creation that was roughhoused with soy mushroom gravy, whipped potatoes and a small side salad, all beautifully presented.

While the gently beaten potatoes were actually magnificent, as was the sporting gravy, the meatloaf took a second or two to get used to, if only because there was something of a different taste to it than your regular loaf. It was dense, it was warm, it was filling, and soon, it became a hard-won taste in my mouth and, you know, I felt good eating it, like I was helping a cow from being mercilessly slaughtered.

The one dish, however, that I was wholly looking forward to was their Vegan Indian Taco ($14.00). Now, if I can be brutally honest for a moment, the phase "Indian" is one to be voided and avoided in this culture of reclaiming our Native heritage. While I'm sure that Picasso's didn't mean any harm, regardless, I thought I'd let them--and you, the reader--know where we stand.

That being said, the chili, romaine, cilantro, tomato, and strangely quotational “sour cream” were all on-point in delivering a rich flavor profile. What truly matters, however, in a Native Taco is the frybread and theirs, once again, has such a different taste than what I'm used to that it took a second or two to fully immerse myself in, to become a part of.

I applaud them for even thinking of the Indigenous vegan that needs--craves--a Native Taco and having the actual wherewithal to put it on their menu.

Filled to the point of overflowing, the waitress sealed up our collective leftovers in neatly stiff boxes and, thankfully, brought us our final treatise in this war to prove that going meatless even if it’s once a week—inspired by Paul McCartney, I will admit—is a battle that I can win: the upstanding Vegan Avocado Mousse ($8.00).

And what a purely sensual lifesaver it was! Whatever your main misconceptions are about avocado-based chocolate foodstuffs, just throw them out to the sour milk sea, because this dessert was entirely delicious and, I surmised, well worth the few bucks to prove meat-obsessed Oklahomans wrong, for the most part and for your part.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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