Midwesterners say Sulzberger missed plenty of vegetarian fare

Almost Vegan | The Kansas City Star | Go

Look at it this way: New York Times Correspondent Arthur G. Sulzberger now has plenty of suggestions for places to eat a meatless meal after writing about how hard it is to be a vegetarian in the Midwest. (Sample line: " 'There’s no meat,' the waitress replied helpfully. 'It’s just pinto beans smashed up with lard.'") Some said Sulzberger relied on stereotypes, others said he didn't look hard enough, and several said he seems to have revealed a not-so-shocking truth about the Midwest: It's not New York.

  • "The author of this article seems to have barely tried to find vegan options here. In reality, they exist in abundance—I’ve been blogging about them for 3.5 years!" wrote Kansas City chef Amber Shea on her blog Almost Vegan. "It’s shoddy reporting, in my eyes, to go to a meat-centric restaurant and then write an article (for the NY Times, no less!) about having to eat a salad."
  • "Kansas City is not NYC when it comes to food. NYC has incredible options at the drop of the hat. Living in Kansas City is very different...so are the options. I wonder why Mr. Sulzberger went to a BBQ spot for a vegetarian option.....You have to dig a little deeper here to find the gold," Kate Andrews McConnell wrote on The Kansas City Star's Facebook page.
  • "I emailed Sulzberger after I read his story," Sarah Baker Hansen writes in Omaha's Go magazine. "I pointed out the vegetarian menu at McFosters, and told him that I didn't think the vegetarian life in Omaha was as barren as his story made it seem. He wrote me back, saying that he didn't consider McFosters vegetarian because it serves meat. For him, that means it's 'just a restaurant with a lot of great vegetarian options.' (For the record, McFosters serves just eight dishes with chicken, fish or seafood. It's menu includes more than 50 meatless choices between appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees.)"

The Midwesterners were nicer to Sulzberger than the some of New Yorkers. "Nope, nothing insufferable about writing a whole article in the newspaper your family owns about how miserable you are at being forced to eat iceberg lettuce," wrote New York magazine's Noreen Malone.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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