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If you were driving down Main Street looking for vegetarian, vegan and raw-food dishes to sate your hunger for plant-based nutrition, the last place you would expect to find satisfaction is a restaurant called The Steer.

Surprise.

Tucker Curtin’s steakhouse and University Heights college student hangout (3151 Main St.) has honed a collection of meat-free and dairyless recipes in the last 18 months. Now you can order a bowl of grilled miso-marinated tofu over kale and quinoa. Or, the bacon cheeseburger.

“What happened was that about two years ago, I turned to a plant-based diet,” said Erin Curtin, Tucker’s wife. She started cooking what she wanted to eat, even though her husband thought it was “weird.”

“I said, ‘But I want to eat here, and I’m sick and tired of trying to read our menu looking for something I can eat,’ ” said Erin Curtin. “People who are plant based want to go to a restaurant with a menu with a section that says ‘vegan and vegetarian foods.’ ”

Which is how The Steer menu came to have a section titled “Vegetarian,” with nine vegetarian or vegan dishes, and three desserts. Four qualify as raw dishes, with ingredients that have not been heated over 118 degrees. That includes the vegan cheesecake and whoopie pies ($6), and a pumpkinseed “falafel” with vegetable burger that’s dehydrated, not fried.

Garbanzo bean fries with hemp ranch ($4) and the “pasta” primavera that substitutes spiral-cut zucchini and summer squash for noodles ($11) are selling well, but the most popular vegetarian meal is probably the Marathon bowl ($12), she said.

Extra-firm tofu is marinated in red miso, orange juice, sesame oil and ginger, skewered and grilled. That’s served over lightly steamed kale mixed with quinoa, green lentils, dried currants and pine nuts.

It’s not just tolerated, it’s “selling like crazy,” she said. “I couldn’t be more appreciative that people are choosing healthier options and making decisions to eat plant-based, and feeling better. It’s good for you and people are loving it. I’m floored, and full of gratitude.”

For information, call 838-0478 or visit www. curtinrestaurants.com.

Foodie find:

Brew B’Que. 1 to 5 p.m., Aug 23. Stockman’s Tavern, 9870 Transit Road Swormville. Get a taste of championship barbecue – and a chance to judge 10 barbecue teams – for $10. That fee gets you a judge’s form and 10 two-ounce samples of pulled pork made by veteran competitive barbecue cooks who don’t like to lose. There’s a panel of judges, but votes from the crowd make up 75 percent of the scoring. General admission is free. There’s lots more food and drink available for purchase, from Stockman’s and food trucks, plus live music from Skiffle Minstrels and others. Part of the proceeds help Saints Peter & Paul School, Williamsville. Buy vouchers at Stockman’s or through http://brewbque.brownpapertickets.com

Send your dish nominations to agalarneau@buffnews.com