Food Porn: Look­ing for out­law love.

GA Voice - - News -

Janet re­clined on her sofa on a Satur­day evening. Her part­ner of 15 years, Beth, was in the kitchen mak­ing din­ner – fried tofu with kim­chi and or­ganic green beans cul­ti­vated on a lo­cal farm called Ye Olde Bean Eden.

Beth shopped the Grant Park Farm­ers Mar­ket ev­ery Sun­day in search of the per­fect Brus­sels sprout or straw­berry un­con­tam­i­nated by deer fe­ces swim­ming with E. coli.

Beth’s rather re­cent veg­e­tar­ian diet drove Janet crazy and that was just one more rea­son she liked to eat out fre­quently with Robert. She could eat bloody red meat and not hear about the hor­rors of fac­tory farm­ing.

If Janet dared to say, while feast­ing on quinoa with radishes, that she missed eat­ing meat at home, Beth got teary-eyed, even­tu­ally blub­ber­ing as she nois­ily crunched or­ganic cel­ery stalks. Janet al­ways apol­o­gized and put her arm around Beth, as­sur­ing her that the flora and fauna of the world were grate­ful for her com­pas­sion. The door­bell rang. It was Robert. “Hello!” Beth shouted from the kitchen. “You’re go­ing to love the tofu tonight!”

Robert hugged Janet, laugh­ing, and went into the kitchen to hug Beth. “It smells de­li­cious,” he said.

Beth flipped the cubes of tough tofu around in the hot canola oil. She would re­move the cubes af­ter they were crispy on the out­side, then drain most of the oil, and throw the kim­chi and beans into the pan. She would serve the tofu over the veg­eta­bles.

But that was not to hap­pen tonight. Just as Robert opened the bot­tle of wine he’d brought, the lights blinked and the power shut off, in­clud­ing Beth’s elec­tric stove.

“Oh well,” she said, “it’s a $3.99 loss. Shall we go out some­where to eat?”

Twenty min­utes later, the three were at Green Sprout across from Ans­ley Mall. The un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated restau­rant serves veg­e­tar­ian food in the “Chi­nese-Bud­dhist” style. It’s one of those places, like many of the city’s South In­dian res- tau­rants (such as Sar­a­vana Bha­van), where car­ni­vores eas­ily live with the meat-is-mur­der ethic.

“I really love this place,” Robert said, in­sist­ing that they share an or­der of his fa­vorite – su­per-crispy, su­per-hot bean curd skin wrapped around a fat clus­ter of cool, raw bean sprouts, along with sliv­ers of car­rots and a few other veg­gies. “You can hardly get one in your mouth, but you won’t be­lieve how good they are.”

Beth was happy, even though the veg­eta­bles were not sourced. “Even if they are or­ganic, I hope the bean sprouts aren’t from Walmart,” she said, al­lud­ing to the evil store’s low-priced or­ganic pro­duce.

Janet strug­gled not to roll her eyes and changed the sub­ject. “Have you seen Lee, since we saw him with the cock­a­too and Tarot cards at Waf­fle House?”

Robert sighed. “No, but I’m al­ways ex­pect­ing him to show up. It’s like he’s stalk­ing me for real.” He looked around the tiny din­ing room. “I guess he doesn’t like veg­e­tar­ian food.”

“Are you really into this guy?” Beth asked, sip­ping tea. “Janet tells me he’s hot but su­per-weird.”

Robert looked down at his plate, not want­ing to an­swer. “Yeah,” he fi­nally said, “I find him very in­trigu­ing. He’s kind of an­drog­y­nous or at least has no hes­i­ta­tion to wear makeup. He’s eva­sive about his life and shows up at Waf­fle House with a dwarf and a dude car­ry­ing a cock­a­too un-

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