Thursday, July 8, 2010

Weebees, Bozeman, Montana

Well here I am all "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" like in Bozeman.  I guess it's terrible if one book defines a place, at least in my mind.

Weebees is in a very modern building of the outdoors western lodge style.  Not that I'm an architect.  We sat outside and the spectacular sunset was anything but an omen of the meal to com. 

I chose Weebees because I thought it was brave in Bison land to actually put a Tofu dish on the menu. 

In talking to our waiter I asked if this was vegan or that.  He seemed to actually get it, the vegan thing I mean.  He said he never would have thought I was a vegan.  (Now I guess I'll never fit in).  Anyway, it's veganesqe.  So the fries come with gremolata and 3 dipping sauces.  The homemade ketchup was vegan he said, the ranch was out but the Sirracha mayo was made with olive oil and not eggs.  Hmmm, ok.

I was starving, but a waitress not our own brought the dish I did ask again about the sirracha.  I love sirracha and almost anything with heat and flavor.  She actually pulled out an ingredient list and although the mayo wasn't on it she went and checked.  Made with eggs.  .  And I had such high hopes.  The gremolata was just fine.  There really wasn't enough garlicy flavor for the amount of fries so the ones in the center and on top got it but there wasn't much left by the time you got to the bottom.  I didn't really get any lemon and the ketchup broke up the flavor of the fries, which after a few mouthfuls, (they were nicely done on the crispy side), did start to bore the palate, although had a tad of a bite from vinegar.

A high point of the night was the 4 4oz beer samplers.  Although I didn't care for one of the beers, (fruit, coriander, beer...uh uh), I totally enjoyed going back and forth between malty and hoppy and the thicker coffee stouty flavors.

The house salad, (House Salad: $6.50 - Mixed greens, white cheddar, chayote, dried cherries, and spiced pecans.Tossed in red wine vinaigrette  Served with a croute), after all of our discussion about being vegan came with cheese.  Now I didn't notice the chedder on the menu but isn't that what my waiter is supposed to ask me too?  So I did send it back.  I think that didn't sit well with our waiter.  The salad was delicious, crisp, and the vinegarette was perfect)  I don't know but the spiced pecans might have been made with honey.  At this point I just didn't ask.  Honey isn't something I order and if something has honey I will avoid it generally but isn't really really on my verboten list).

My dish (Tofu Larb Gai: $19 - Thai style butter lettuce cups filled with marinated tofu and peanuts.  Served in lettuce hearts with som tum salad.)  I'll be right back.  I have to look up som tum salad.  OK, wikipedia says it has 4 main ingredients and fish sauce is one of them.  I just yesterday listened to a podcast called Verdant Reports ( which reported that most Thai Chefs, even when asked, would put fish sauce in their vegan dishes.  Then it went on to report that in NEW YORK CITY, when asked, some chefs said they'd replace vegetable broth with chicken broth if the former wasn't available for a vegan dish.  So I guess the lesson there is we do the best we can when we're out in the real world.  We have a point of reference, a target, we aim and we shoot and at that point we hope for the best but we'll never really know.  I would imagine this would never be tolerated at a 100% vegan restaurant but like I said, real world.  I go to a diner and order a veggie burger and I'm just sure it's not cooked in a clean frying pan but on the same flattop as the meat.  The only way I really know what I'm eating is eating at home and cooking it myself. 

Back to the dish, end rant here.  The salad was actually quite good, and I really didn't taste any fishy sauce, (which is an actual Thai ingredient).  Wiki also says it's a papaya salad and there weren't any but that's ok, I can go with literary license here... and the carrot and chayote had a nice kick.  I asked the waiter what the tiny round red things were and although he said they were some type of seeds, when I asked what kind said he'd check but never did get an answer.

The lighting might have had an effect, (the heat lamps were on which did add a nice toasty feel to the deck.  Actually they were very necessary on this summer evening in Montana), but the bright green lettuce cups were filled with a bland looking off whitish mixture.  It sort of tasted the same way.  Not in my opinion, a 19 dollar dish.  I needed a fork and that took a few minutes.  Few minutes?  Yes really.  I asked for Sirracha sauce.  That took a few minutes.  We finished our meal and had to go and find our waiter for the check. 

All in all, what started out as being very hopefull was mediocre at best.

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