Saturday, 20 June 2009

Vegetarian Eats Out

Having turned vegetarian over 10 years ago, I have had plenty of meals out some good some not so good. It seems that restaurants are not so bothered these days to cater for vegetarians especially the larger chain restaurants. Usually two starters one being soup and two main meals are offered if you are lucky and why do they think all veggies like blue cheese? And the biggest bug bear 'do you eat fish?' NO I'M VEGETARIAN!!!!!!!!! When's the last time you saw a fish growing in a field or in a tree?????? Meat eaters get pages of choice why do we have to suffer poor choice.

In recent years the best restuarant we've found was an italian place across from Shepherds Bush Empire, loads of choice but not easy to get to for an evening out. Recently I went to Maldon with Ellie and we walked up the main high street looking for something to eat and saw a small cafe and thinking I'd get the usual veggie burger and chips or the stand by jacket potato or the last resort an omlette, we were greatly surprised to find a good 8 or 10 veggie dishes, even Ellie chose to go V that day! We both picked the same thing but to be told the chef only makes so many dishes every day and there was only one left so Ellie chose something else which was equally nice.

Our local Chef and Brewer does have a few items for me to choose from but they can be rather small portions compared to a meat based dish, and a cannelloni made with aubergine? I wanted pasta!!!! The newer restuarant in Hockley is rather 'up market', nice food but rather rich, special occasions only I think. And don't get me onto the indian restaurants with frozen veg!!!! I could do that at home :-(

Last week on a trip to London we decided to have a big lunch rather than grabbing a sandwich and went into an italian restaurant opposite Macari's music shop where Arthur had just purchased a 12 string guitar (that's another story). Instead of the usual tricolore salad which I normally go for as avacado is not one of Arthur's favourite foods and it's nice to have occasionally, they had a salad that included artichoke another fav of mine that I can't be bothered with at home. This starter and Arthur's could have made a main course, yummy. The vegetable lasagne I ordered which normally would be two or three sheets of pasta and a few lumps of veg turned out to have at least 10 thin sheets layered to get the thickness and plenty of veg. I was really impressed and now I know how to get more pasta into my home made lasagnes (when I get round to making one again). This place is definitely on our 'to visit again' list.

Choosing to turn vegetarian is a big life change all round and eating out is a problem at times especially abroad but it's not something that has happened all of a sudden, or a fashion fad so why do restaurants treat us like some sort of nuisance, I know a lot of meat eaters that quite like to eat veggie when out so there is the market to do something different. I could go on but I think I've made my feelings clear.