Veggie Grill

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I’m a meat eater. But when one of my friends can’t eat meat, my choices are limited.

So when we decided on the Veggie Grill and I saw the ordering line, I thought, “Maybe this place is tasty, it looks pretty popular” Possibly, the Veggie Grill could satisfy me, a devout meat eater.

Although I was glad that people waited in line with us, this did not guarantee I would enjoy the food. As I went to the cashier, my kids’ meal totaled nearly seven dollars, tax not included. I began imagining a pint sized cup of soda and a decent proportion.

But when the cashier worker passed me the recyclable, disposable, plastic cup in 24 ounces, I was relieved. I happily walked to the refreshment bar. Instead of soda, there were two large jugs of fresh lemonade. One fused with strawberries and the other simply lemonade.

The grill opened a few years ago inside the El Segundo Plaza. Listed on their portable menu were only two locations, the latter forty minutes away. Its vegetarian vibe greets everyone from a carnivore to the bike riding vegan man.

Along with a fresh juice bar, there is an assortment of bottled natural sodas, at an additional charge. If you’d rather have less sugar they provide iced teas side by side with the juices.

The children’s menu at the Veggie Grill is located in the corner with only one selection to choose from. Children are welcome; however, they are not the audience the grill targets. It offers “Chickin’ Nuggets” or pasta, comes with a drink, pudding, and side. Customers note the spelling of chicken because it is not actually chicken but a veggie protein blend.

After I walked through the doors I quickly scanned the menu for the cheapest. I did not dare to read the information on the more expensive items, all very tantalizing. I finally chose the kids meal to fit my budget.

The pasta was not the best. It did surprise me from what I expected it to be. The juice was the best, strawberry lemonade at its finest. The strawberry seeds were present and though they stuck in between my teeth at first, it comforted me to know that it was all natural. It wasn’t overly sweet and left a nice tangy sensation.

The pudding was served in a teacup similar to the ones at Chinese restaurants. Spooning it into my mouth, it was delicious. Swirled with finely crushed chocolate chips, the pudding was like no other.

After this meal, I thanked the waiters. They made my experience more enjoyable. My friends and I left promising to come back.

We now know to carry more money to try the mysterious “chickin” they offered. How can something not chicken taste like chicken? We had seen the others customers eat it, but we did not analyze whether they enjoyed it. The proportion looked three times larger than the kids’ meal for twice the price.

My last visit to the El Segundo Plaza was during lunch time. My appetite called for something at the Veggie Grill (perhaps chickin’). My only problem: no one wanted to eat with me.

My only regret passing by was not pleading to go back. Whenever I pass by, I remember my experience at the Veggie Grill; I can imagine sipping the juice.

But maybe my parents will become interested. Maybe one day it will strike their attention as it had to mine. Hopefully soon I will come back with my friends. Until that day comes, the Veggie Grill will be in the back of my head.





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