Two Carnivores Walk Into a Plant Bar…
About the episode
“I get a little inquisitive, concerned, I’m not sure how do they do it.” –Ben Cutler, Meat Eater
We bring two of Hingham’s biggest meat-eaters to Cambridge to check out Plant Pub. The concept restaurant is a new eatery from Hingham native Pat McAuley and celebrated chef Mary Dumont. Along with a thoughtful list of craft beers and seltzers, Plant Pub serves up traditional “bar food,” but with a “vegan twist.” The burgers, “chicken,” pulled “pork,” even the queso on the nachos is plant based. Nothing is made with animal-sourced products of any kind: no meat, seafood, eggs or dairy. The pub’s mission is to try and bridge the gap, make plant-based food accessible and attractive to more traditional meat eaters.
We ask Ben Cutler of XR BBQ and Morrell Presley of Morrell’s BBQ in Hingham to test the theory. The two hungry carnivores hunker down for Impossible burgers, “chicken” wings, BBQ “chicken” pizza and much more. Their reviews are candid and their questions–and concerns–are genuine. McAuley and Chef Dumont talk through their objections, share their own journeys to plant based. Dumont is an award-winning chef with an impressive resume. She headed the kitchen at Cultivar in Boston and Harvest in Cambridge for many years. She’s an Iron Chef and Top Chef alum and in 2014 was named Food & Wine’s hottest new Chef. She says her years of experience cooking meat, helped her hone the plant based foods on the menu to appeal to a broader audience. Cutler came into the day unsure. “You’ve got this item that theoretically tastes just like meat,” he said. “And everybody says ‘Wow, I it really tastes that way.’ Well, how are you doing that if there’s no meat? I get a little inquisitive, concerned, I’m not sure how do they do it.” Morrell Presley of Morrell’s BBQ in Hingham came in with a more open mind. His mother-in-law is vegan so he’s more comfortable with the cuisine. He says he was blown away by Plant Pub’s spin on the Impossible burger. “It’s awesome and It’s juicy,” he said. “I like a burger that has some stuff on it. I would definitely be back to get this burger.”
Plant Pub founder Pat McAuley, Ben Cutler of XR BBQ, Hingham Cast Producer Kristin Keefe, Morrell Presley of Morrell’s BBQ.