Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dear Restaurants -

We've eaten some meals out lately. If you're in the GTA (that's Greater Toronto Area, for the uninitiated), you really must try the restaurant Asian Legend, btw! Seriously delicious. For a filling vegetarian meal for two, I recommend ordering the pan-fried veggie dumplings, green onion pancakes, deep-fried tofu, and vegetable fried noodles. Okay, it's a lot of 'fried' but the variety of flavours and textures is marvelous and each dish is SO delicious. Of course, they have a ton of options for the carnivores, too. We like to go there for lunch. We like it a LOT. I'd go there every day if I could.

We had a Valentine's date - dinner at Milestones, and we went to see Up in the Air at the cinema. Up in the Air was good (I was happy just to watch George Clooney wander around in a suit for two hours). I found the meal at Milestones was not quite up to my expectations. First off, we had to wait despite having a reservation. I know it was busy on V-Day, but, yeah, that's why I booked a table. Our favourite appetizer, the bocconcini garlic bread, was delish but had a bit of a sloppy presentation and had maybe 3 tomatoes (and half a cup of tapenade) on it. I guess they were making up in tapenade what they were lacking in tomatoes. Not really a complaint - I love tapenade - but I usually enjoy the tomatoes, too. My entree - one of only two vegetarian options (both of which have goat cheese, ugh) - was the spinach tomato cappellini. Decent (I got them to omit the goat cheese) but a little boring and the pasta was overcooked. The foccaccia stick it came with was either stale or overbaked, I'm not sure which. I did have a yummy drink - iced tea with mango puree and fresh mint leaves. We skipped the dessert menu (most of which contained eggs anyway) and came home to chocolate ice cream and homemade cookies instead. Not a horrible meal for under $50 for the both of us, but it did kind of reinforce for me why we don't eat out more often.

With that in mind, here's my plea to eating establishments...

Dear restaurants,

I want to give you my money but you've got to give me a reason. Please offer more vegetarian options. There really are more creative alternatives than pasta, salad and eggplant. Don't get me wrong, I love eggplant done well, but if I eat one more disappointing eggplant parmigiana, I'm going to have a hissy fit. Also, goat cheese is yucky and makes me gag. It's cruel to include it in the only vegetarian options you do offer.

Maybe your chefs could take a field trip to a restaurant like Fresh or rebar, and get an eye-opener on possibilities for amazing vegetarian food!

I'd love to feel like I'm not an afterthought when I go out to eat. I'd love not to have to make special requests or go off the menu to get a meal I can eat. And to feel like I can get a better meal in a restaurant than I could make at home. Isn't that the point?

Love, Emily.

It's nothing personal, Milestones. That goes out to all the restaurants.
Okay, rant over.


  1. haha.. I feel the same way... It's SOOO hard for me to eat out in restaurants like Milestones.. EVERYTHING has cheese... or butter... or something of the sort!! :)

  2. Oooh, I like Asian Legend. I used to live right next to the North York location, but for some reason hubby and I only ate there once. Nowadays I have to resort to the Mandarin, which is still pretty good for takeout.. :)

  3. Pasta is such a vegetarian cop out. I don't even want to eat anywhere where that is the only option because it means they really don't know how to be creative!


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