Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Eating Out

Do you eat in restaurants much? I'm sad to say we’ve almost given up on it; it’s just not worth the effort.

Is there a chef in the entire bloody country who knows that Parmesan is not veggie? I don't think so, judging by the look of the menus out there!

When I first went veggie I was under the mistaken impression that, although the eating out situation wasn’t great, things were bound to improve as time went on. Well, how wrong I was. Things are no better at all; you can still go into almost any mainstream restaurant and find the vegetarian ‘choice’ limited to one starter and one main course (both of which most likely include non-veggie cheese!) and as for wine - well, don't even ask!

I just don’t get why mainstream restaurants won’t offer more choice to veggies. Can they not understand that it is not only veggies who like to eat vegetarian food? Even confirmed omnivores will sometimes choose a veggie meal if it’s imaginative, tasty and well-presented. If they offered a good selection of vegetarian dishes, rather than the token ‘soup of the day’ and the tired ‘pasta bake’ that we usually get, their restaurant would appeal to more people and those same people would most probably eat at the restaurant more frequently; I know I would. Appealing to more punters would seem to be a sensible business move to me but, clearly, not to your average restaurateur.

It would be lovely if I lived in an area of the country where we had a selection of veggie eateries to choose from but, sadly, there is only one veggie café nearby. It’s a 'communal tables, knit your own yogurt, Jesus-sandal-wearing' type of establishment that really belongs back in the Hippy days of the 1960s; it’s not the kind of place I’m comfortable in.

If I was twenty years younger I would seriously consider starting up the kind of veggie restaurant that I’d like to eat in: medium-priced, nice surroundings, friendly professional staff and a competent innovative chef cooking a small selection of seasonally changing dishes (say...four starters, six mains and four puddings) with a good choice of veggie wines and cheeses....and no sign of a communal table!

In my dreams....

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