Full disclosure: I'm a vegetarian. Actually, if we're being brutally honest, I'm one of those obnoxious, self-righteous, hardcore vegetarians who refuses to eat Jell-o or any kind of non-meat item that's been cooked in the same unwashed pan as a meat item, and who periodically condescends to my carnivorous peers about their disgusting, inhumane, earth-killing dietary habits.
And yet, despite all of that, I went to Thurman Cafe, and I ate a cheeseburger.
You may know Thurman Cafe from the Travel Channel series Man Vs. Food; there's an episode where what's-his-name the host conquers the truly enormous Thurmanator. It was a popular restaurant before the TV show, but afterward, this poor little German Village staple has been overwhelmed. The place isn't really very big at all--just one small room of tables--so combine that with its phenomenal popularity, and it's not uncommon at all to have a two- or three-hour-long wait for a table.
I've been to Thurman's twice; once the wait was two hours, and the second time it was an hour (which is basically no wait at all, by Thurman standards). Both times I waited about five seconds before Boyfriend said screw it, and we cut the line and sat at the bar. I'm still not entirely sure if you're allowed to do that, but, well, Boyfriend does it all the time, and as of yet, no restaurant has ever stopped us.
The first time we went to Thurman's, I went in knowing I was about to face a moral dilemma. For the sake of adventure and this blog, I felt like I couldn't not at least try a stupid burger, but at that point in time, it had been about a year and a half since the last time I could remember eating a hamburger. There was actually a distinct possibility that even attempting to eat red meat would result in my being very physically ill. But here's the thing: my personal rules of vegetarianism dictate that it's better to eat meat than to insult or greatly inconvenience my host. And by the time I was sitting there at the Thurman's bar, I realized there was no way I could just order a tuna salad sandwich. Probably no one would have been insulted if I had, but it just seemed wrong to not order a burger in the burger capital of Columbus.
The exchange with the waitress went as follows:
Waitress: Are you ready to order?
Me: I have a confession to make.
Me: I'm a vegetarian. I haven't had a hamburger in nearly two years. If I order a burger, will it be worth it?
Waitress: Honey, I don't care what you do. Order the tuna salad.*
Me: But are the burgers actually that good?
Oh joy! Oh rapture! Oh, what a burger it was! It's entirely possible that my memory of burgers had faded over the course of my long burger abstinence, but being that my ever-carnivorous Boyfriend agreed that it was one of the best burgers in the whole wide entire giant world, I'm pretty sure it actually was that good. It was certainly the best rotting hunk of disgusting cow-flesh I'd ever eaten.
I reconciled myself with my broken vegetarian vows by ordering a very large shot of tequila the second my burger was finished. Turns out the human consumption of rotting cow-flesh is morally acceptable if the cow-spirit is thanked for its sacrifice with libations.**
*But seriously. She actually said that. I'm not making it up this time.
**Don't eat animals, it's disgusting.