Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Vegetarian Option

It's never been easy to find good vegetarian food round here. Even if you phone in advance and alert the restaurant all they'll do is slap an omelette on your plate and charge you more for the privilege. Vegetarianism is regarded as a fad, something you'll grow out of....

We have a vegetarian friend coming to stay this weekend and he'd like to take us somewhere nice for dinner. But where?
As it happened H. was chatting to a vegetarian at a Christmas party so he took the opportunity to ask for some recommendations and the veggie told him this story about a recent restaurant experience:
The veggie, called Paul, with his co workers had booked a Christmas meal at a local restaurant and, of course, he'd asked for a veggie option when deciding the menu in advance.

"Don't worry" he was told. "We'll do you something special"

Such enthusiasm is unusual and being a keen cook himself, he was looking forward to seeing what the restaurant would come up with.

At the restaurant the waiter slapped a plateful of lamb down in front of him. So Paul sighed a little and said he was the vegetarian.

"Oh" said the waiter "That's you, is it? We've done you something special"

And he took away the lamb and brought back a plateful of....rabbit.

Well they eat grass.


Gigi said...

That's very funny! You'd think vegetarians were from another planet here, wouldn't you? I find Indian restaurants are the best for a veggie option...not that anyone takes me out for dinner these days...:-(

Open Grove Claudia said...

I had that same experience! I bet we went to the same restaurant. So funny.

I found that if I stuck to soup, salad and frites, I could eat in the South of France.

Happy New Year!

Ani said...

That is too funny! Great story!

Shaz said...

Oh I am still laughing sorry, but how funny I can just imagine the poor man. Maybe ifs hes such a keen cook ask him to buy some ingredients and cook for you it would not be lamb and I like everyone pitching in drinking wine and cooking together (just a thought) Good Luck mate !!

angela said...

Gigi: thanks for the tip about the Indian restaurants.
Claudia: there's always pizzas (and Indians!) and Chinese, I guess. Just not French.
Shazz: now that's an idea!

Jilly said...

I live in the south of France too and am vegetarian - actually I don't have problems except perhaps in the hill villages, where first courses are often plates of charcuterie. In Menton I can always get - say tomatoes and mozzarella as a first course - spinach and ricotta tortellini as mains. Or there's aubergines parmigiana and many other choices. Perhaps, being near to the Italian border I get more options but I've never had a problem in finding quite a bit of choice. No problems in Monaco either.

Jilly xxx

Anne said...


French? Vegetarian? Can't put those two words together in a sentence except for, why aren't the French ever vegetarian?

Eggs could be a safe choice when dining out, but then again, they'll probably fry it up in graise d'oie or des lardons.

Anne said...

ps I agree with Gigi. Ethnic, espeically Indian restaurants will have at least one vegetarian option.

Alison said...

A-ha ha ha ha! (Anne sent me over to read this.)

When I lived in France, I tried to be vegetarian for a few months. My carnivorous then-husband and the general food culture put a stop to that!

I agree about ethnic restaurants. Indian and Asian, and sometimes North African restos will have a no-meat option.

sarala said...

Well, rabbits are vegetarian, aren't they? And lambs eat. . . ?
Thanks for linking me. It is always a nice feeling to see a link up there.
And I love a daily dose of vicarious France.

East of Oregon said...

very funny :)

MommaK said...

Oh no! That's just wrong...funny as heck but oh-so-wrong!

Pam said...

Sorry, I just sprayed my tea all over the place...sooooo funny!(I must remember not to drink anything when reading posts)

The only time I've seen a veggie meal(successfully)prepared in a French restaurant was at a restaurant here with a chef from America. Actually, I think we may even 'panic' a bit if a B&B guest required a veg meal! Maybe we should offer rabbit too?
: )