The Globe
1531 14th Ave, 324-8815

Tues-Sun 7 am-3 pm, closed Mon.

As it happens, both J. and I were having car trouble, which is not the reason we decided to have lunch at the Globe--we had been planning it around our psychotic schedules for weeks--but there is, to be sure, a kind of metaphorical alignment between cleaning out your carburetor and having a nice, healthy vegan lunch. If only it were simply carburetor trouble--that's where the metaphor breaks down.

We ate at the Globe because we are both unalloyed fans of the biscuits and gravy ($2.55 for a small portion, $4.50 for a large). That's pretty much all there is to it, although sometimes we like a slice of broiled tofu on top (75 cents each). The biscuits are tasty, but a little dry, which only makes the efforts of the gravy--which is peppery and mushroomy and deeply brown--more heroic. The tofu is sliced thin enough to acquire a crispy shell in the broiler, melts slightly on the inside, and delivers a salty little kick to your taste buds.

Should you need a little color in there among the browns, there are collard greens ($2.25), which have a tangy, vinegary smack that is exactly right, and whole-corn grits ($2.25) that are bright yellow--and I don't want to know what makes them so buttery. Probably margarine, mine old enemy--no, I really don't want to know.

The question that always haunts my vegan meals is: "How could this be better with meat?" Which is why I stay away from dishes that depend on meat for their presence, like the Globe's shepherd's pie. But I'm happy to say that at the end of our meal--after a horn-shaped blueberry pastry ($1.50) that tasted like an uncooked science experiment, and a chocolate chip cookie ($1.50) that was crispy and restrained and delicious--J. and I had not missed a single ham hock or crumb of sausage, and the mechanical misfiring world was temporarily held at bay.

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