re veggie options

(76 Posts)
fairy1303 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:33:18

I'm a vegetarian. Went to m&s cafe. They had one veggie option, tomato soup. Nothing else. All sandwiches had meat in.

Ordered my drinks, ordered my soup. She started making our drinks, then tells me they have run out of soup.

So I said, oh, well do you have anything else vegetarian?

I was offered fruit.

Apologised, said I would have to go somewhere else.

Girl looked me up and down and said ' well, I've made your drinks now, you will have to pay for them!

AIBU? I think that is ridiculous given that they had run out of anything I could eat and she had started making the drinks before she told me??

phantomnamechanger Mon 21-Oct-13 17:04:08

greydog - being veggie and coeliac must make eating out very hard - given that in many places the veggie option is either pasta based, or some sort of Mediteranean veg tartlet

DD is coeliac so I appreciate the many pitfalls to eating out!

friday16 Mon 21-Oct-13 17:17:41

it's definately getting worse for veggies, far fewer options

It's a commercial decision for restaurants as to whether they think it's worth bothering.

nicename Mon 21-Oct-13 17:21:00

I was only saying that yesterday - deffo more restrictive for veggies nowadays. At least in ye olden days, if you couldn't face another cheese salad the chef would 'rustle something up' for you if you asked nicely. Now it's pigging mushroom risotto (and they be ever clean the porcini properly, yeurch) or goats cheese salad.

I get all panicky if I have more than one choice when I eat out now!

nicename Mon 21-Oct-13 17:21:27

...and they never clean the porcini...

I need to slow down with my typing!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 21-Oct-13 17:22:43

Yanbu. I would not have paid for my drink and would have left.

YANBU - please tell us you didn't pay.

fairy1303 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:10:34

Sorry to say that I did pay...

The baby was screaming his head off as he needed feeding and I really didn't want to stand and argue. I think I will email and complain now though!

Greydog Mon 21-Oct-13 21:47:27

This is a sample menu from a 5 star hotel for this year -
SAMPLE MENU
Oyster - Crispy Natives, hot horseradish and braised leeks
Diver scallop - Black ham with quince, hazelnut cream, crackling
Squash - Winter gourds with soft egg and pumpernickel crunch
Avocado prawn - Poached langoustine, sweetbread fritters
and winter truffle
Gratin - Salmon wafers, lobster agnolotti,
steamed clams and dandelions
Wild Mallard - Flavours of celery, foraged elderberries, liver toastie
Herdwick - Loin of mutton, shoulder pudding, green sauce
and sweet garlic
Heritage - Fine potato ravioli with winter mushrooms
and intense parsley
Coffee - Mascarpone sabayon, glazed chestnuts,
iced latte and toasted Panettone
Crème caramel - Vanilla and blossom cream with iced clementines
Manjari - Chocolate and speculoos gallette, hot liquid cherry
Cheeses - A selection of artisan cheeses and pairings

The veggies get a choice of potatoes. With intense parsley - whatever that is! Think I'll be spending my £39.00 somewhere else!

nicename Mon 21-Oct-13 22:05:51

What the hell is "speculoos galette". Is that a typo or cross between spectacular and gooey?

Hell, just gimme the coffee and chocolate.

Emmaistired Mon 21-Oct-13 22:09:31

speculoos is a spread made from biscuits a bit peanut butter like consistency wise

nicename Mon 21-Oct-13 22:11:08

Like a chewed, spat out bikky? Yummmmmm

DragonMamma Mon 21-Oct-13 22:11:08

YANBU

We were pre ordering for our works Xmas lunch today - it will cost £40 whether you have confit duck then turkey or squash soup and tortellini. Absolute madness.

friday16 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:11:23

I'm most certainly not a vegetarian, and I wouldn't waste £39 quid on a load of pretentious crap like that either. Typical hotel food, most of it almost certainly out of the freezer.

Mim78 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:13:43

Doesn't sound typical m and s but not v good customer service! The m and s near us does nice veggie sandwiches. I am also surprised they insisted you pay for drinks as most places will let you change your mind.

friday16 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:17:18

We were pre ordering for our works Xmas lunch today - it will cost £40

Forty quid a head pays for a top-notch prix fixe lunch in central London restaurants, including drinks. To pay it for reheated turkey for Christmas is madness.

We have a new head chef at work and re-doing the menus and introducing new dishes has opened my eyes SOOOOOOO much to the crappy choices that vegetarians usually have! And to even call them choices! One item as a starter, one item as a main? Gimme a break!

We are now doing all six-bean casseroles and quorn tagines and stuff rather than the ubiquitous pasta. And cauliflower cheese as a vegetarian main course? It's a side dish FFS.

Looooong winded way of saying that YANBU, OP, and I do hope you complain.

friday16 Mon 21-Oct-13 22:32:49

We are now doing all six-bean casseroles and quorn tagines and stuff rather than the ubiquitous pasta.

It would be interesting to know how much money you make out of it. All of our local vegetarian restaurants have closed, because (even in the heart of student land and as close as this city has to Guardian-land) there appear not to be enough people who are both (a) vegetarian and (b) wanting to eat out for money.

I knew the ex-owner of one, and he reckoned that the problem was that ten or fifteen years ago most vegetarians simply didn't eat meat, and therefore just wanted food that didn't contain meat, whereas increasingly they now have other food preferences as well. That means it was hard to actually lay on an economically-sized menu which covered enough of the bases. He also reckoned that there were simply fewer vegetarians.

I suspect he's also missing the fact that there's a lot of vegetarians in the south Indian community, and therefore a Balti house or sweet centre has a massive veggie menu. So a couple of blokes with an old Cranks' recipe book may not be quite the draw they once were. But whatever, all the classic vegetarian restaurants have gone.

beals692 Tue 22-Oct-13 08:54:11

I don't usually have a problem in the UK with finding vegetarian food as most places have at least 2 or 3 veggie options. (I don't need a vegetarian restaurant - just somewhere with something I can eat!) However, Christmas menus - while generally crap and over-priced for everyone - are particularly bad for vegetarians - Always just one 'choice' and it's usually something like mushroom risotto which I hate. I'm not going on our works Christmas do (apart from the pre-meal drinks!) because I'd have to pay £35 for a meal where I just wouldn't eat the main course because it's something I really don't like.

OP - YANBU

nicename Tue 22-Oct-13 08:58:02

We go for Italian at our place - everyone can eat there!

struggling100 Tue 22-Oct-13 10:13:56

Interesting that so many others think it's getting worse too! I wondered if it was just me...

I wonder if part of the issue is that a lot of people (myself included I'm afraid) have become, well.... food snobs. Educated by a lot of food porn on TV, increasing standards of culinary achievement in pubs, cafes and restaurants, and ever more aspirational 'home cooking' I wonder if we're becoming a bit more demanding now than we used to be. And perhaps one result of this is veggie cafes get unfairly stereotyped with idea that they're all culinary deserts serving grated carrot floating in water with soggy raisins... (ugh! remember those places?).

Or maybe there's a branding issue here. Maybe the problem is that we see veggie food as a different 'kind' of cuisine, instead of seeing it as something that demands, if anything, MORE skill and technique than is used for meat-based cooking. I dunno about others, but the top 10 veggie meals I've ever had have all been in top restaurants that served meat as well.

Or maybe there's a recession thing, with people wanting big hunks of red meat when they eat out, because that somehow feels more 'substantial'?

DidoTheDodo Tue 22-Oct-13 16:13:17

I'm enjoying the unanimous dislike of mushroom risotto. I thought it was only me!

Absy Tue 22-Oct-13 16:26:17

what the jeff is "intense parsley"?

Dawndonnaagain Tue 22-Oct-13 16:37:01

Cauliflower cheese as a side dish is very recent. In days of yore it was a main meal. <old gimmer>

DidoTheDodo Tue 22-Oct-13 16:38:41

Cauliflower cheese is only a main meal if served with chips. Yummmmmm...

frogspoon Tue 22-Oct-13 16:40:48

greydog, what's wrong with the squash course? Ok, vegans would not be able to have the soft egg, but I would be very surprised if the ravioli (especially if it is made fresh, which it probably is) did not contain egg.

To be fair, for a restaurant that is offering 4 choices per course I would normally expect to see 1 veg, 1 fish and 2 meat options. In light of the fact that only 2% of the population are vegetarian (https://www.vegsoc.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=753#) I think to have 25% of the menu vegetarian is actually pretty good.

I'm not a vegetarian, but for religious reasons (Jewish, kosher) I don't eat meat out (and only limited fish). I always like to check a restaurant's menu online before deciding where to eat. Obviously more choice would be nicer, but as long as there is something I will enjoy eating I am happy. Also I would hope that most good restaurants would be able to adapt their options e.g. for vegans, vegetarian coeliacs etc, if given sufficient notice.

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