David Coveney

What It’s Like to Dine Out When You’re Veggie

waiter-by-jon-smith-flickr

Imagine, you arrive at the restaurant. It’s slick, it’s luscious. Wonderful smells assault your nose.

You’re hungry. Very hungry. This is going to be great!

So, you sit down, the waiter comes over.  Oddly, he doesn’t hand you a menu.  Instead, he decides to tell you what you can eat.

“Tonight, for starters, you can have smoked duck breast with confit duck fritter, orange & shallot dressing.”

“Sounds delicious!” you reply, “What are the other options?”

“I’m sorry sir, that’s the only dish we have for starters.”

“Oh, OK, well, good job it’s tasty! What’s for mains?”

“Roast Duck Breast with spiced plums, shallot puree, spring onions & crispy confit duck,” replies the waiter.

“And?”

“Sir, that’s the only option for you tonight I’m afraid.”

“Bit… heavy on the duck, isn’t it?”

“Sir, you like Duck?”

“Well yes,” you reply, “but twice in one meal is a bit much. Don’t you have anything else?”

“No sir, that’s your only option.”

“Not much of an option. Still, I’m sure it’ll be nice. And what do you do for dessert?”

“Oh sir, naturally we have about twenty desserts you can choose from!” he exclaims, “You can have chocolate mousse, creme brulée, a variety of ice creams…”

You decide to interrupt him and then… realise that it won’t change anything. Your a minority voice – everybody else is offered ten dishes, it’s only you that’s stuck on duck.

And that, my friends, is what many restaurants are like for vegetarians. You get a single cheese based starter, a single cheese based main, and lots and lots of dessert choices. I’d love it if more restaurants got with it and offered a broader range of food. I also think a lot of restaurants could improve their week-night takings by offering healthier food… people who travel a lot for work don’t need to make themselves sick as a result of eating out four or five nights a week.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unanoslucror/7314646402/ by Jon Smith on Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0