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Oh gosh.

Carla and me and Diane are in the Republic of Coronado again. Diane’s just done Carla’s hair, and this Kathy’s Place (250 Prospect Place, 619-522-3600), tucked into one corner of the Sharp Coronado hospital, is the nearest place to eat from where Diane is set up now.

I do kinda like this place. Cheery crowd, even though half the people in here must be going through some crisis, and the other half have just come from duty in some operating theater, or the wards.

Carla and Diane go for a cheeseburger ($3.39). I wanted a bacon burger, but the cook, Benny, says they’re outa bacon. Drat.

But you could try our special,” Benny says.

He points to a pile of seed-topped oblong buns.

“Portobello Rustico,” says the sign, “$6.45.”

“It has a delicious Portobello mushroom in it, no meat,” says Benny.

Hmm, pay double for no meat?

But when he hauls out this ginormous slab of black portobello ’shroom, I guess curiosity gets the better of me.

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Benny slices the bun and starts loading the bottom half up. Spinach leaves, tomato, two white disks of mozzarella cheese, a tomato salsa (we made it from “blackened tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño and red onion”), and the big black slab of Portobello mushroom that’s been dipped in a vinaigrette.

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Da goils laugh at me when I turn up at the table with it. And their burgers do look like so much more, well, meaty...till I bite in. Totally delish, garlicky, crunchy, tomatoey, filling without bloating.

This, I’m coming back to. Hey, maybe I’m becoming a vegetarian.

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