Monday, January 24, 2011

A Day Trip Into the Decadence of Empire

We had quite a journey. First, we trod through Disney's Animal Kingdom until our feet were well past sore, investigating the cultural construction of nature by a huge corporation known for its fiberglass approximations. Favorable findings will follow. Then a visit to Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney to check out their legendary (eh, to vegans) Natural Burger. Then two weary people, the Volga Boat Song playing somewhere in the imagined distance, had a stuffed stopoff at Babycakes NYC bakery, struggling to find room for an animal-free dessert. Kat was smart, she took hers home. I never promised smartness, y'all.

If you're thinking of laying siege to Rainforest Cafe from across the lake because it sells plenty of steaks, there's a Lego dragon guarding it. You may want to rethink your battle plan.

Under a giant mushroom. From American twentysomethings seeking answers in the Southwest during the 70s, to lots of planning and investment. You work it out.

The gorillas move during periodic faux rainstorms. Tourists turn a weary eye upward, and babies in carriages throw their overwhelmed heads from side to side.

The Tiki Room on a grand scale, without the integrity of style. 

Here it is! For two worn travelers who paid for their spontaneity with fries as snacks, this big bundle of amino acids inspires quite a lot of drooling.

Yes, those are potato chips, the last resort for vegan travelers.

I'd heard that I should ask for the Natural Burger without Safari Sauce, but this one came with tasty guacamole. A little trouble saved.

Then there was the burger itself. For a wanderer whose body cried out for nutrition, it seemed delicious at first. Then Kat commented on the lack of spice. Yes, vegan cooking has come a long way since this sort of thing was the norm. Vegans need more spice. Not a lot here. The burger had flavor without dimension. And not even halfway through, the patty became veggie pâté, squeezing out over the edges of the bun. I'm not really sure when they began serving the Natural Burger, but the thing seemed like a throwback to a time when the cuisine had barely developed. I reflected on my difficulties in choking food down during the late 80s. I'm glad I don't have to maintain that giant punk hairdo any more.

Though less nutritious, I think a Boca Burger on a supermarket bun may have excited my mouth more. Sorry, but that's the way it seemed to me. I had to add a lot of ketchup.

The mixed drinks cost the same as the Natural Burger, $12.99. I started wondering which would have soothed my aching leg muscles more. Is there a hint of disappointment in this shot of the wreckage?

 And then, the inevitable. Gotta monetize.

I wrote this review while chewing on the leftovers. Here they are, nestled in a mess of polymers.

After its return-trip trials and a night in the fridge, it was actually a little tastier. Maybe that's the secret to old-style, non-animal cooking.

The potato chip remnants were soggy though.

As sure as the sun rises, I'll tell you about Babycakes NYC, and I'll share some pictures and observations of Animal Kingdom. Stay tuned!

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