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Same old, same old at certain restaurants

Meowzerz Oct 6, 2013 01:23 PM

Anybody else tired of the redundancy and predictability of the vegetarian offerings at many "cafe" type dining establishments (as well as casual restaurants of other types). I just wish more places took the time to get a little more creative and go beyond what's been done to death. The two vegetarian sandwich offerings I ALWAYS see go something like this:

1.) The Caprese type sandwich- always involves mozzarella, basil, tomato. Many types also includes roasted red pepper in some form. Have also seen eggplants appear on this type sandwich.

2.) The Garden Veggie, hummus type sandwich (or wrap). This always involves hummus, and for some reason alfalfa sprouts. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, etc.

There's nothing wrong with these offerings, I've enjoyed them in the past. But I'm just so tired of them! Anyone else feel similarly?

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  1. r
    relizabeth RE: Meowzerz Oct 6, 2013 01:28 PM

    Don't forget the ubiquitous risotto.

    My other pet peeve is the protein-less vegetarian main.

    6 Replies
    1. re: relizabeth
      Ttrockwood RE: relizabeth Oct 6, 2013 06:41 PM

      I assume you're referring to the oil laden so called "grilled vegetable platter" entree.....? ;)

      1. re: Ttrockwood
        Meowzerz RE: Ttrockwood Oct 7, 2013 09:41 PM

        Oh yes! Roasted vegetables are delectable, but come on. It's a little bothersome that my main dish is my dining partner's side dish. I dunno, every once in a while is fine, but it wears on you over time!

        I just wish some establishments had more than one or two vegetarian selections on their menu. My sister is a picky vegetarian- no potatoes, no mushrooms, not big on eggplant. She almost always picks the 'caprese' type offering at any restaurant. Luckily for myself, I'll eat just about anything that's not red meat or chicken (recently started eating fish and seafood but do not consume more than once or twice a month).

        I love food as much as the person eating a steak, so it'd be awesome to see more restaurants that want to cater to that!

        1. re: Meowzerz
          Ttrockwood RE: Meowzerz Oct 8, 2013 03:13 PM

          I am a not shy new yorker and have had the most success asking for several "sides" from the meat entrees to be assembled as a meal, or most recently convinced them to put the edamame veggie side ontop of the lame side salad.....
          If you're near a Le Pain Quotidian they have the best vegetarian and vegan options i have found.

          1. re: Ttrockwood
            Miri1 RE: Ttrockwood Oct 17, 2013 01:17 PM

            That's a good idea, to ask for the sides to be assembled as a platter. My boyfriend did that for me at a Persian place in NYC and what I was served was downright delicious. Several types of rice, grilled veggies, a couple of really tasty salads, falafel balls. So worth it to just ask.

            Also, I've noticed that a lot ofnMediterranean type places have far more tasty veg optionsnthan typical American places.

            1. re: Miri1
              Ttrockwood RE: Miri1 Oct 17, 2013 11:45 PM

              "American" restaurants are the worst!! I find many more delicious meatless options at indian, thai/japanese/asain, mesitteranean, african amd ethiopian places than ever. And persian pilaf sounds divine!

              1. re: Ttrockwood
                Meowzerz RE: Ttrockwood Oct 19, 2013 04:03 PM

                Yes, I definitely had "American/coffee house/cafe" type restaurants in mind when I posted this. Mediteranean is my favorite food ever. Wish I liked Indian but alas, I do not (thus far)

    2. c
      cheesecake17 RE: Meowzerz Oct 6, 2013 02:51 PM

      Or the chefs salad without all the toppings

      1. westsidegal RE: Meowzerz Oct 6, 2013 03:45 PM

        don't forget the commercial grade "gardenburger" that always contains unknown ingredients and is manufactured by some big agribusiness operation using GMO ingredients.

        1 Reply
        1. re: westsidegal
          tardigrade RE: westsidegal Oct 26, 2013 08:06 PM

          I've come across 2 brewpubs, one in Ukiah, CA and one in Ithaca, NY, that made their own veggie burgers: a tempeh-based one at the former, and a bean/barley/pecan one at the latter. But most take the easy way out and go with the gardenburger or equivalent.

        2. Ttrockwood RE: Meowzerz Oct 6, 2013 06:40 PM

          A few more to add to the "i guess we have to have some kind of vegetarian option" menu items:
          Pasta that is bland with too much cheese and some seriously boring tiny vegetables

          Some kind of portabello mushroom- sauteed as a "meat" with sides or as a sandwich.

          So called entree salads that feature meat, meat and cheese, or meat and cheese with bacon.
          Is it really too hard to have a salad with actual vegetables? Maybe some canned beans??

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ttrockwood
            Meowzerz RE: Ttrockwood Oct 7, 2013 09:49 PM

            Yeah, there are no chicken-less salads anymore. I wish they'd take a buck or two off the price when I order a salad and ask them to hold the chicken- but they never do!

            1. re: Meowzerz
              youareabunny RE: Meowzerz Oct 12, 2013 08:22 AM

              I ask for it on the side and bring it home to my dog.

              1. re: youareabunny
                relizabeth RE: youareabunny Oct 19, 2013 09:10 AM

                so smart! our cat will appreciate this tip.

          2. Science Chick RE: Meowzerz Oct 17, 2013 07:05 AM

            My (least) favorite is the ever-present portobello burger. Yeah, a mushroom really suffices as a substitute for a protein.....

            2 Replies
            1. re: Science Chick
              relizabeth RE: Science Chick Oct 19, 2013 09:09 AM

              I totally agree!

              1. re: Science Chick
                IndyGirl RE: Science Chick Oct 28, 2013 03:12 PM

                I hate this too, with a passion.

              2. globocity RE: Meowzerz Oct 18, 2013 07:38 PM

                The vegetarian sandwiches can be really disappointing. Think: cucumber, cream cheese, and tomato on wheat bread. Why such lackluster, dull options?!

                1 Reply
                1. re: globocity
                  youareabunny RE: globocity Oct 19, 2013 12:44 AM

                  I had one like that at O's kitchen once. I wasn't expecting much, but was still very disappointed.

                  My old college used to make a yummy veggie wrap. Similar ingredients but with hummus, sprouts, and sweet potato fries.

                2. s
                  small h RE: Meowzerz Oct 19, 2013 04:56 PM

                  What's on your wish list for new vegetarian options? I was cruising some online menus today, and I came across bulgogi seitan, pork-free mapo tofu, and homemade pita with labne, tomato, cucumber, olive, mint and zaatar. All those looked pretty good to me. But I also like grilled portabello burgers. A lot. A lot a lot.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: small h
                    cheesecake17 RE: small h Oct 19, 2013 07:32 PM

                    Grilled portobello burger can be great. U fortunately, most restaurant versions I've had are cold and wet and served on a yucky stale but mushy bun

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