When my family members insist their ok with going to a vegan/vegetarian restaurant so that we can all eat together, it’s a treat. After 8 years as a vegetarian, my last birthday came around and my foot went down. The idea that restaurants existed where I wouldn’t have to pester the wait staff with questions about the kitchen conditions or ingredients had only been dreams. Dinners would be a brief scouering of the menu only to end up with a baked potato (unless of course you end up at the Texas Roadhouse where the waitress informed me they inject the backed potatoes with beef fat) and the bread basket fixed just a little closer.
I can’t complain; my family has become more and more sensitive. I always feel the need to provide a disclaimer: ‘Remember, the meat isn’t real.‘ Just trying to manage expectations. Actually, this past Saturday at dinner with my father, I had the opposite problem; I had to keep affirming to my father that if he ordered something with chicken in it, he would actually be getting chicken…not chick’n.
You get the oddest questions, though. It’s as though the awareness of being in a vegetarian restaurant accesses the part of people’s brains that recognizes colors. Sort of on par with how dangerous situations are supposed to heighten people’s senses, probably a jolt of panic/dread surges through them. ‘Am I supposed to eat this?’ I’m constantly asked as someone holds the garnish between their thumb and forefinger, as though it was some new plant life. ‘Would you eat it if there had been a sirloin steak next to/on top of it?’
Stumbled onto this and wanted to pass it on. If you’ve ever dragged (kicking and screaming) a loved one to a vegan/vegetarian, you’ll get a little laugh.