Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Vegetarian or Vegan Nights at Restaurants - Yay or Nay?
It feels that way sometimes, doesn't it?
As a vegetarian, I expect dining out to be a bit of a chore. I have to do my research ahead of time to make sure that wherever I go has at least one substantial option for me. (Dear restaurateurs - a salad doesn't count as a substantial option.) It's difficult sometimes - especially since many restaurants either don't have a website (shocking, considering how many free website options are available) or don't post updated menus. ("oh yeah...the one on the website is from spring of 2008") Even more frustrating are the restaurants unwilling to accommodate vegetarians (I'm talking to you, Michael Symon. Who puts bacon on a veggie burger?)
But...I'm happy to say that Lago, one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Cleveland, is more than accommodating for vegetarians and vegans. Every Monday is vegetarian night at Lago, where an entire menu of vegetarian and vegan options - including dessert - is available. (in fact, I had an amazing meal there last night) Now, I know what some people might say. (at least I've heard this in the past)
"Why can't a restaurant be meat free every night of the week?"
"I wouldn't patronize a restaurant that still serves meat."
"Giving us one night a week/month isn't enough."
I can respectfully disagree with those opinions, though. This is Cleveland. The meat and potatoes capitol of the world. I can count the completely vegan and vegetarian restaurants within an hour drive on one hand. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Cleveland won't be an absolutely vegetarian friendly city in a day either. (and vegans - wow! your battle here is just beginning!) I respect any restaurant that goes out of its way to accommodate my lifestyle and offer creative entree options (besides a salad) - even if it's only once a week or once a month. (thanks for your monthly vegan dinner, Bistro 185!) As a Top Chef once said, a good chef can cook anything well, and I'm going to try and support Cleveland chefs who embrace vegetarianism and veganism in any way that I can. (while still hoping to see a day where I can find multiple vegetarian or vegan menu options everywhere)
What are your thoughts on vegetarian or vegan nights at restaurants? Do you support them? Or are you holding out for an entire vegetarian or vegan menu?