Mystics Go Vegan Hard-Core Punk
If ignorant people like Norman Chad weren't trying to chase you all away from WNBA fandom, I'd spend most of the summer doing nothing but writing about this team. They got rid of a few of my favorites from last summer, and yet clearly they still speak loudly to the post-grunge Red-Room, Food-For-Thought, Sticky-Fingers D.C. generation. From the magnificent Joseph White's AP story yesterday:
They were navigating the streets of the nation's capital, on the way to get their hair done. Nakia Sanford was driving, while Washington Mystics teammate Taj McWilliams-Franklin sat in the passenger's seat talking and playing with her iPod.
"I look up, and there's this restaurant," McWilliams-Franklin said. "Soul Vegetarian?"
Sanford pulled over on the spot. The hair would have to wait.
"We hopped out, went in there, it was awesome," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We had soy mac and cheese, whole wheat pasta, soy cheese, soy milk, and it was fabulous."
The chance pit stop at the Soul Vegetarian Cafe was a rare moment in American professional sports: Two players from the same team indulging their dietary preferences by sharing a vegan meal.
Soul Vegetarian Cafe--on Georgia Ave., near Howard, and a short jog from my home--is, indeed, uniquely great. As is the fact that the Mystics now star two near-vegans, who sometimes eat dairy and sometimes eat fish but nevertheless have an in-depth discussion about soy milk vs. rice milk for Joseph White's benefit. (My own preference: soy for drinking, rice for frozen treats.)
Sanford told White about her Tvping Point (that's "Textured Vegetable Protein" point, for you flesh-eaters):
She then came back to the United States and twice had an experience in which she bit into some meat and found gristle, bone or something similarly icky to her. That was more than enough.
"No more red meat," Sanford said. "It started with just the red meat, then the next year I didn't even want to eat chicken. Anything on the bone just grossed me out. Anything where you had to cut and it bled, that type of stuff."
Hot dogs, of course, do not bleed if you prick them, which is why I'm forever tempted by the smell of ballpark franks, but regardless, cheers to D.C.'s first team starring a couple of near-vegans. Anxiously awaiting the inevitable National Anthem performance by Ian MacKaye. And maybe Verizon Center could mix in a few veggie dogs during the summer months, huh?
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