Ever wonder what goes through the minds of the servers or the cooks when you give your dietary requests at restaurants? Chow journeyed over to the side of the vegan, the Kosher and the Celiac sufferers with a piece called “By the way, I’m vegan”, which sprang surprise special attacks on a series of restaurants and gauged their reactions:
Printed in plain English on Cyrus’s menu were the words “We welcome advance notice of any dietary requests,” but I hadn’t given them any early warning. If my server was panicked or annoyed, he disguised it well. Smiling, he excused himself to talk with “Chef.” The verdict: The chef would be happy to prepare vegan dishes not on the menu, but my server hinted that it might be best if I stuck to three courses.I’m not actually vegan, I just pretended to be to see what would happen. But chefs at high-end restaurants whom CHOW interviewed revealed that as many as half of their diners claim to be on some kind of restricted diet. To complicate matters, some of the most expensive restaurants have now stopped serving à la carte dishes; one must order a three- to twenty-course tasting menu. This makes accommodating special requests three to twenty times tougher.
Of course, we have plenty of vegan & vegetarian restaurants here in Philly as well.