didn't have vegetables in the kitchen
first time I came across this bizarre culinary catastrophe
was in a greasy spoon hotel restaurant a few years ago. I
thought I would be safe ordering a veggie omelet and pancakes.
I was wrong. "We don't have a veggie omelet", says
the server. "OK, just throw some green peppers and broccoli
in with the eggs and make one up", I said. "We don't
have green peppers or broccoli". I was stunned. "OK
just put some tomato slices in there and give me a couple
of carrots on the side", they have to have tomatoes and
only vegetables we have are onions and potatoes", says
the server with a distinct, I am getting really annoyed
with you weirdo's tone. What planet was I on? Is this
place for real? "So let me get this straight.. you serve
no meals whatsoever with vegetables? You have no salads?"
- The server looked at me as though I had a foot growing out
of my ear. Clearly no one in this place had any concept of
what a balanced meal is and why a person might be interested
in eating one.
got me to thinking - is there really enough of our population
that eats so terribly unhealthy that a restaurant that has
no vegetables other than onions and potatoes could sustain
itself? Yes. Now that is downright scary.
recently this happened again in a pasta/ pizza joint. I asked
to have extra veggies in my pasta, specifically green peppers.
"We don't have any green peppers". It was happening
again, no peppers, broccoli, or carrots in the restaurant.
They weren't temporarily out of stock, they never have
these items. It was like I just experienced a cheesy sci-fi
effect where the screen is filled with a black and white rotating
spiral image and I was zapped into bizzaro world. My alien
server who obviously has never heard of healthy eating was
clearly being pushed to the limit of her anemic brain stem.
She even seemed offended that I would ask for vegetables.
gets worse. I asked if the cheese on the pasta was processed.
She answered, "I don't know", then just stood there
in silence. "OK, maybe you could ask the chef if the
cheese is processed or real?" The server rolled her malnourished
eyes and stomped off to the kitchen only to return with this
astute answer, "It's the same cheese we put on the pizza".
doesn't tell me if the cheese is processed, I would like to
know if you have processed cheese or real cheese". Obviously
experiencing a cerebral hemorrhage the server repeated, "It's
the same cheese we put on the pizza". You know, you hear
about these people but it's quite surreal when you actually
a salad was included with our meals I thought I'd get some
veggies there and stopped pursuing what clearly needed to
be a monosyllable conversation with our server.
salads arrive. I am salivating with thoughts of peppers, carrots,
field greens, maybe some almonds.. Head lettuce and one quarter
slice of tomato placed decoratively on top. My salad was suffering
from performance anxiety.
could this place exist? How could any self respecting restaurateur
sign off on this stuff?
few weeks later the same thing occurred again in another pasta/
A mere pittance of vegetables to choose from and I was being
treated like I drove a Honda to a Chevy convention just for
asking for veggies in my meal.
am not actually shocked that restaurants like this exist;
my problem is I expect too much. I expect that when I go to
a restaurant that I should be able to order healthy food that
provides my nutritional needs as well as tasting great. In
my opinion I don't see the point opening your doors if you
can't do that as a restaurant. I mean, where does your head
need to be at in order to willfully sell knowingly unhealthy
food to a paying customer? That's easy; you supply a product
that you know people will buy. Until our population starts
demanding higher standards for their own health and well being,
there will always be restaurants selling nutrient deprived
did I get stuck in these restaurants if I am so adamant about
healthy eating? Like I said I expect too much. I simply assume
that a restaurant will have a variety of vegetables in stock.
These were also times when I was pretty darn hungry and far
from the restaurants I usually eat at.
there are restaurants that have healthy menu items and indeed
even some restaurants where the entire menu is healthy.
you demand healthy eating in a restaurant your best bet is
to keep going back to the ones you find that meet your needs
as you are more likely to slip into nutrition bizzaro world
by trying new diggs.
2005 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness www.rhinofitness.ca