CINCINNATI -- Donald Trump’s ascendance in the Republican primaries could have some unexpected consequences in Cincinnati’s culinary world.
In fact, these consequences could, potentially, make local vegetarians happy.
On Feb. 14, Cincinnati steakhouse mogul Jeff Ruby tweeted the following Valentine: “If Trump becomes the Republican Party’s choice to become our President, I quit the party and I’ll become a Vegan.”
Ruby has said he was angered by Trump’s comments disparaging John McCain’s war record. (Trump said of McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”) Many people, Ruby included, took offense on behalf of U.S. veterans who have been captured.
At the time of Ruby's tweet, Trump was making a lot of noise but still hadn’t shown that he could win primaries. But once the Republican candidate had made quick meals of Virginia, Kentucky, Vermont and Massachusetts, it seemed time to wonder about the menus at the Precinct, Jeff Ruby’s and other Ruby-owned eateries best known for their chops of non-vegan beef.
If Trump gets the nomination, will Ruby's four high-end restaurants offer signature tofu steaks, grilled rare with dairy-free soubise and shiitakes? Will the restaurant banish filet mignon and scallops to the for-carnivores back section of the new menu?
Efforts were made to reach Ruby via his office as well as Twitter. But the flamboyant restaurateur declined to comment other than to joke via Twitter that if Trump wins the nomination, he’s not going vegan, he’s going to Mexico.
In the meantime, ahead of the Kentucky primary, Ruby banned Trump from his restaurants, notably his Louisville steakhouse, in response to Trump’s comments on prisoners of war. On March 5, however, Ruby tweeted that he had softened: “I’ve sent Mr. Trump an olive branch an invitation.”
Which raises the question: Would he serve the Donald a meatless filet?
Vegans might vote “yes” to that.