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Nice review of the Veg Awards from the Examiner

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  • kmiles12
    Wednesday night, down on Geary in the heart of the theater district, I encountered a ripening new scene, a melding of all the above. ... Just opposite the Home
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 11, 2005
      Wednesday night, down on Geary in the heart of the theater district,
      I encountered a ripening new scene, a melding of all the above. ...
      Just opposite the Home of the Original Perfect Hamburger and that
      delightful low bar, the High Tide Lounge -- with its neon champagne
      bubbles effervescing from a red neon glass -- the lively, glossy
      magazine VegNews, published in the Sunset, brought its readers
      downtown for the annual Veggie Awards, a kind of Academy Awards for
      veg-friendly institutions. And it was quite uptown. ... The venue was
      the Millennium Restaurant in the Savoy Hotel, perhaps the most
      upscale vegetarian restaurant in America.

      One might think the vegans and vegetarians assembled would resemble a
      joyless salad of ex-hippies, Santa Cruz nature lovers and relics of
      stern childhoods, intent on punishing the palate. But what a scene!
      This may be the first time in the years it's been my pleasant duty to
      check out scenes that I entered a room of 200 partying San
      Franciscans and wasn't blinking from the light bouncing off the
      reflector-tight skin of myriad Botox-ed foreheads and pointy,
      angular, surgically sharpened cheekbones. And about half were in
      their 50s, 60s and above. ...

      The other half were twenty- and thirty-somethings, epitomized by
      Julia Butterfly Hill, famous for having lived in Luna, a 180-foot
      Coast Redwood, for two years to spare it from the ax. Julia left the
      lumbering look behind for tight slacks, belly-showing sweater and
      beaten silver earnings. She ran the show. ...

      There are 70,000 vegetarians in The City, so it stands to reason they
      cross economic and social lines, but as they don't have pinched
      faces, they don't have pinched personalities.

      Talk politics in most joints these days and you feel like you've
      taken a shot in the liver -- people are so depressed. Not here. These
      people are kind of optimistic, but not naïve. Maybe because they feel
      good. There was lots of political talk, refreshing in its hopeful

      Top veg venue victory was scored by Millennium. Owners Larry and Ann
      Wheat (a fine old vegan name) are accidental restaurateurs. He was a
      top partner at KPMG, the accounting firm. Retired, the Wheats were
      hungering for a vegetarian restaurant that would define itself around
      fine dining. In chef Eric Tucker, they found their man. Curiously,
      about half of Millennium's customers are not practicing vegetarians --
      just foodies. ...

      The Gav was there to accept an award for S.F. as America's most veg-
      friendly city. Jenny Humphrey asked him The Question. His
      answer: "I'm an aspiring vegetarian." ... Rainbow Grocery won the
      market award, and that ongoing county fair, the Ferry Plaza Farmer's
      Market, won too. Herbivore won for favorite brunch.

      When vegans are praising brunch -- the most Society-like meal -- you
      know they've arrived. ... Food was delish, too. ...

      Tip off P.J. at (415) 359-2649. E-mail to pjcorkery@....

      Email: pjcorkery@...
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