Amber's boyfriend had a dream. He wanted to round up "The Vegetable Friends" and descend upon one of the local Japanese steakhouses for a vegan-style habachi night. We assembled, excitedly, for this culinary adventure.
When I was The Lone Vegan, I had been to many a habachi-style dinner, but I never ate the food. As The Lone Vegan back then, I would order vegetable sushi while sitting with a group of omnivores beside the grill, sizzling with meat and butter and eggs, ducking every time the chef would fling chicken bits around the table.
Naturally, I was totally on board with reserving an entire habachi table to our vegan selves. Our destination: Kobe Japanese Steakhouse in Brandon, Florida.
I have to say, communicating our dining request was very easy. When I called to make the reservation, I explained to the person on the phone what we wanted: no meat, no butter, no eggs. He indicated on the reservation that we were all vegetarian, and he told me to explain everything when we checked in, as well. When we arrived, the host I spoke with was super understanding and helpful. After clarifying the no meat-no butter- no eggs request, he added that we would want the miso soup (as the onion soup was made with beef broth) and that the ginger salad dressing was vegan. He gave me that information without me even asking!
When we were seated at the table, I went over everything again with our server, who apparently was not given any of the reservation information. He wrote down everything we said, and seemed slightly amused that all 9 of us were eating tofu and vegetables.
And then our chef came. He cracked a few jokes about our party ("So, I don't know if you guys saw the sign outside, but it says 'Steakhouse'...") and admitted he wasn't all that savvy in the tofu cooking department, but he did a fine job. We all had a good laugh when the tofu slabs came out.
During his cooking, the chef commented that it felt so weird for him to not be cooking with butter, and that he typically goes through a tub of butter for each party. He gestured toward the "tub" on his cart and it looked like close to two pounds of butter!
Overall, this was a fun and delicious experience. Making the reservation was ultra-smooth, and we all had a great time. I love my Vegetable Friends!