rhionnach: (Vulcan on the Bridge)
[personal profile] rhionnach
I had lunch at the new Hard Rock Cafe in Glasgow yesterday. I won't be back. I was dubious about the place as I had looked at their menu and couldn't see much that was vegetarian. However, my work has a birthday lunch tradition and the new Hard Rock Cafe was the chosen venue.

I had previously tweeted my impression of the menu when the place opened and got several replies from the venue trying to tell me that they did do vegetarian stuff and that I could ask my server about them. I'm not very impressed with places who do not list vegetarian options as part of their normal menu as it gives the impression that they do not do vegetarian food and that they are really not interested in doing any. I don't want to turn up and have to dig for information on what they can cook. Asking me "What would you like?" is not very helpful as how am I supposed to know what they have in their kitchen? This sort of thing usually leads to the really ignorant "We have fish" comments which shows that they haven't a clue, nor do they care.

So, getting back to the Hard Rock Cafe. They apparently don't do the full menu at lunchtimes so all the options they had tweeted at me were not available except for the veggie burger. The two starters were both salads so I asked the server which one was vegetarian. She told me one had Parmesan in it so I went for the other one (due to Parmesan being made with animal rennet).

The salad arrived, it looked good and I began eating. Until I tasted something salty and suspicious. On investigation I discovered bacon sprinkled all through it! What sort of fool puts bacon in a salad? I called the server, asked if what I had found was in fact meat (because not eating it means I do not always recognize it). She went off to the kitchen and came back to confirm that it was. She was extremely apologetic and brought me a fresh salad but the notion had worn off me.

Then it was on to the main course. The veggie burger. Now, I'm a vegetarian because I fundamentally do not like the taste, texture and smell of meat. I should have been vegetarian since birth as I have never liked meat. My parents always had huge battles with me to get me to eat the stuff and when I was old enough to make my own decisions I went vegetarian.

So the Hard Rock's veggie burger was an extremely good effort on their part to pretend to be meat. It smelled like it, looked like it, and tasted like it. There are vegetarians who would probably appreciate that. But not me.

The Hard Rock Cafe was as big a disappointment as I had originally thought it would be. All their tweets about what they could offer vegetarians came to nothing as they weren't offering those options at lunchtime. I'm not impressed.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-21 10:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
I like meat but in my vegetarian days really disliked meat substitutes and I can't imagine that would have changed. I'd rather my vege burger be interesting beans/vegetables.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-21 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baron-waste.livejournal.com
Bacon sprinkles / salad topping is a commonplace in the States, which of course is where Hard Rock Cafe Inc originated. It does, as you've noticed, add a salty piquant flavor, much as might salt-roasted peanuts. Imitation bacon bits are available also, made of the usual soy substitute.

Your reason for being a vegetarian is unusual, which of course you don't need me to tell you. If (as is the usual case) my objection were essentially ethical, I would appreciate being spared what I would perceive as the price of my qualms, being barred from enjoying a good old-fashioned hamburger or sausage or whatever. Friends tell me that Boca, particularly, make a line of burger / bacon / sausage / &c. products that might well fool an unsuspecting diner.

[As is, of course, I figure protein is protein, be it from squid or steak, and so long as it's properly cooked I'll eat whatever is brought in. I would only balk at dolphin, because if there's another sentient life form on this planet it's almost certainly cetacean and they've only been friends to Man; they're occasionally regarded as “non-human persons” and I agree.]

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-21 04:00 pm (UTC)
ext_393041: perfect Spock (Default)
From: [identity profile] verizonhorizon.livejournal.com
That chain is all over the US and they are known for burgers (and loud music)! That is really the only thing they do well. Sorry you got dragged there.
Bacon on EVERYTHING in the United States is the biggest deal. It's an obsession.
Personally I don't eat bacon, and let me tell you, I am considered a WEIRDO for it.
Bacon ice cream. Bacon salad. Bacon burger (Baconator!). There is even bacon candy! Bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. *shudders* Ew, no thanks!
At chain restaurants I am always having them "hold the bacon". It's easy enough to avoid, but you have to know about it.

Your story reminds me of when I was at a Spanish restaurant and I told my server I didn't like beans, and to help me navigate the menu without eating beans. Then he brought my starter salad - and the dressing was MADE OUT OF BEANS. Obviously I had to send it back right away because I was grossed out. I remember asking him if he remember the big deal I made about not having beans in my entree, so why would I want them on my salad? So much fail.

A Machen - “The Bowmen”

Date: 2014-02-27 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baron-waste.livejournal.com
No one who read this story, ever forgot it.

… There was no hope at all. They shook hands, some of them. One man improvised a new version of the battlesong, "Good-bye, good-bye to Tipperary," ending with "And we shan't get there". And they all went on firing steadily. The officers pointed out that such an opportunity for high-class, fancy shooting might never occur again; the Germans dropped line after line; the Tipperary humorist asked, "What price Sidney Street?" And the few machine guns did their best. But everybody knew it was of no use. The dead grey bodies lay in companies and battalions, as others came on and on and on, and they swarmed and stirred and advanced from beyond and beyond.

"World without end. Amen," said one of the British soldiers with some irrelevance as he took aim and fired. And then he remembered-he says he cannot think why or wherefore - a queer vegetarian restaurant in London where he had once or twice eaten eccentric dishes of cutlets made of lentils and nuts that pretended to be steak. On all the plates in this restaurant there was printed a figure of St. George in blue, with the motto, Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius - 'May St. George be a present help to the English.' This soldier happened to know Latin and other useless things, and now, as he fired at his man in the grey advancing mass - 300 yards away - he uttered the pious vegetarian motto. He went on firing to the end, and at last Bill on his right had to clout him cheerfully over the head to make him stop, pointing out as he did so that the King's ammunition cost money and was not lightly to be wasted in drilling funny patterns into dead Germans…


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