05 July 2006

Peeves (what they mean when they say vegetarian) and Kudos (Mr. Chan's)

Don'tcha hate people that decide they need their own special diet and then expect others to kow-tow to their demands? I'm one of those people. And I know it's not reasonable so when restaurants go out of their way to have options on their menu I'll eat them. But when they don't have options on their menu, I wish they'd just be upfront about it. I call ahead so there aren't awkward table-side discussions. Sometimes, unfortunately, the calls go something like this:

Me: Do you have vegetarian options on your menu?
Them: Well, um, we can make something vegetarian for you.
Me: Really? That's nice. Like what?
Them: Oh, we can modify, er, um, some dishes and just leave ingredients out of how we usually make our items in order to meet your needs.
Me: Like...
Them: Well, um, maybe like the Chicken and Rice in Hearty Stock with Bacon Bits. We could leave off the chicken. And the stock. And the bacon bits.
Me: But the cook designed the dish to have these items... so if you take them out it's not really gonna taste all that great, right?
Them: Um... well... um...
Me: Um, thanks, just the same.

I'd rather they just say: Sorry, no.

Variation on a theme:
Me: Do you have vegetarian options on your menu?
Them: Well, we can get you a side salad.
Me: What does that consist of?
Them: A 2" bowl of iceberg lettuce with a thin slice of cucumber.
Me: ...
Them: You can order two.
Me: ...
Them: ...

I guess people try to be helpful even when they don't have much to offer.

Connected peeve: I've been to many restaurants these days that have huge menus but don't even have vegetarian salads. They have salads but they're all meatful.

Tangential peeve: Have you noticed how everything imaginable falls under the term "salad" these days?

Met up with a pal from high school for dinner the other night. Had a wonderful meal at Mr. Chan's in Pikesville, Maryland. They have two pages of vegan dishes on their regular menu. WAY COOL! And very tasty. Didn't have to cut a thing!! Great flavors. Kudos to pal, Amy, for bringing us to this delight!

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