For those of us trying to be good, ethical omnivores, according to the current fashion, vegetarians can be a real test of one's patience when

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Best Place to Take a Vegetarian Without Sacrificing Your Omnivorous Ethics

Nguyen family restaurants Tamarind Tree and Long

For those of us trying to be good, ethical omnivores, according to the current fashion, vegetarians can be a real test of one's patience when dining out. Here you are, proclaiming your eagerness to eat tripe and sweetbreads (we should really respect the whole animal, after all) and your newfound enthusiasm for all the "little fish" recommended by sustainable-seafood advocates, and your no-seafood veg friends still can't find anything they'll eat. Solution? Take them to either of the Nguyen family restaurants, Tamarind Tree and Long, where the sprawling menus—reading the Facebook service agreement takes less time—are scattered so heavily with vegetarian dishes that no one will feel like they're ceding ground. The veggies are content with their lotus-root salad and banh uot chay (steamed rice crepes) while you primly eat your stuffed escargot (so low on the food chain!) and grilled beef shortribs (lesser cuts are so much more flavorful, aren't they?). Offer them a taste of your baby clams on rice crackers, perhaps, just to see if they'll recognize that you can eat well and preserve the ecosystem, too.—Jonathan Kauffman Tamarind Tree: 1036 S. Jackson St., Suite A, 860-1404, tamarindtreerestaurant.com. Long: 1901 Second Ave., 443-6266, longprovincial.com.

 
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