Best of 2000: Best Free Meatless Meal

Hare Krishna Temple
1030 Grand Avenue, Pacific Beach
(858) 483-0941

Hare Krishnas throw these free party-like vegetarian feasts at their P.B. temple because they want you on their home turf. Guys in bare feet and sarongs with knotted ponytails on their otherwise bald skulls don't look nearly so avoidable when they're all around you, giving you free grub. And it is a breathtaking temple, with hand-painted and sculpted walls and pillars and some of the most inspired religious paintings in San Diego hanging on its walls. The biggest ten-plus course feast and best dinner theater (chanting, singing) happens each Sunday at 7:30 p.m. You don't have to chant or join to eat the excellent chow. Here's a sampling: batter-fried veggies (broccoli, cauliflower); zucchini fritters; curried potatoes; peas and spinach in ghee sauce; halavah; lentils and rice; stewed tomatoes; rice pudding.

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