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Thrown out of Vegetarian restaurant


=Mark
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An article in Foodservice Industry News describes how a patron at a Vegetarian restaurant was asked to leave after trying to feed her 11 month old with a jar of baby food that contained chicken.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Hmmm... Do they check your shoes?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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When I saw this thread, I thought, "how ridiculous," but then read the article. Here's a quote:

At first, a waitress agreed to heat up Joshua's jar of carrots and parsnips with chicken.

Mrs Graham said: 'I asked them to warm it up in the microwave and handed over the jar. But they came back to say the microwave was broken.

So I asked for a jug of hot water to warm it up instead.

'That was when the owner came out. She said she found it offensive that I was feeding my baby chicken in her restaurant.' Mrs Graham went on: 'She also said she was worried about contamination.

But I had brought my own spoon. There is no way it could contaminate anything.

Um, what if the jar broke in the microwave or in the jug of water? What about the smell of chicken in the air from the warmed food? If she had just fed the baby without having the baby food heated up I'm sure the restaurant wouldn't have even noticed. It was an 11 month old baby eating mushed up meat and veg -- would it have been so hard to order a little dish of veggies to feed the baby? I agree with the other patron Mrs. Graham bothered, quothe the restaurant owner, "I felt she was rude to me. She even asked the customers on the next table for their opinion and they told her that I was right."

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I don't think this is all that unreasonable. A vegetarian restaurant is supposed to be meat-free, and the patron violated that. If the restaurant were Kosher, I would expect anyone waving a jar of pork to be tossed out. Why is a Vegetarian restaurant any different?

And no, leather wallets and alligator shoes are not good parallels.

Bruce

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I feel that what the restaurant did was well within their pervue. But what annoy's me the most is the fact that the Mother, handed the Jar of Baby Food to the server and requested she "WARM", it up by using a microwave. In any restaurant i've ever been connected to this is "Forbidden", you've got to be nuts to warm up any food in a jar for any customer. Babyfood manufacturers warn customers not to heat the baby food in the jar and then serve to a child. She may be able to get away being stupid at home, but to expect a restaurant, with their more powerfull microwave to take the responsability is wrong, and careless. Anyway why is a 11 month old still eating Mush? Mother could have requested mashed potatoes, or a puree be prepared for baby every kid i've known eats some solids, which i'm sure they would have been delighted to prepare with no fuss and likely no charge. In a Vegan, or Kosher or any religious orientated restaurant what she did would be insulting and i'm sure she would have been actually chastised for her behavior. Most places would have packed her food up, and charged her for the meal. She wasn't charged, just requested to leave. Her son was responding to Mommies behavior, but shes oblivious. I mean why bother to warm up the gloop, the Kid would have had to eat the junk anyway. My kids didn't care if they were served cold or room temperature food. Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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If she wanted to serve her kid meat, she shouldn't have taken him to a vegetarian restaurant...and she certainly shouldn't have asked the restaurant to participate in her in self-centered plan. Beyond that, her sense of entitlement over the incident is laughable.

Why do some people act like restaurants are public way-stations? My 4 walls, my rules...what's so wrong about that? I am not a vegetarian nor do I ever anticipate being one, but I'm on the restaurant owner's side in this case. The only real story here is how completely offensive, oblivious and selfish Ms. Graham is...and sadly, that's really a 'dog bites man' story anyway.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Sorry, I did speak too soon. I had no idea the mother had asked the restaurant to heat the baby food (in the microwave?!)

I can't imagine asking a restaurant to do anything with food brought in from outside-they're busy enough and do have health codes to follow.

And no,babies don't care about the temperature of their food.

JANE

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I would have also asked the woman to leave. Why would you bring chicken into a vegetarian restaurant? To ask the staff to heat it?

I think there are many people that need lessons on proper restaurant behavior. Yesterday we had a table order one bowl of soup and ten spoons. That was right after a table requested a lovely dessert split in half. Last week a woman ordered a piece of a tart from our espresso bar. The tart was rectangular. Her slice would be the first. She wanted it cut from the center so that she would "have more fruit and not too much crust". There are also the people that want free samples of everything (Oh, I guess I'll just throw the rest of the item away now since I can't sell it). I also love the customers who want (a washed cup, saucer, and spoon- none of that is free) "just hot water", and they bring their own tea. The customers who bring their own cake and can't understand why they are charged (clean plates, silverware, tablecloth, glasses, server to cut cake, wash and put away plates and silverware). Petit four hounds (the ones who ask for more to take home).

That's all for now...

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Anyone have the address/phone/email for this restaurant? The article just says, "Rendezvous restaurant in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire." I don't even know in which country that is located. (Great Britain? Australia?) I'd like to send the restaurant owner a note and a printout of this thread to let him know he has some support out there.

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Hi Folks,

The original incident took place over 3 weeks ago, and was reported by the local newspaper - the cambrian news. They actually took the time to ask for our side of the story and printed both. None of the publications this week spoke to us before going to print.

On many occassions we have prepared vegetarian and vegan meals specifically for babies and young children, but this mother became abusive when the meat free nature of the premises was explained to her - this being why she was asked to leave. Ironically, she wanted to finish her own meal before she left (thus postponing feeding her "hungry" child) and only left under protest.

I have no idea where the notion of the microwave being broken originated - the reason we refused to heat the food either in the microwave or in a jug was simply because we're a meat free premises. Handling meat in any capacity goes against the whole purpose of the restaurant and would be a breach of the trust our customers place in us.

There are thousands of premises that serve both meat and vegetarian meals in wales, and only a handful that are meat free and yet it seems some people believe that people with a meat free preference should not be catered for.

We're not trying to change the world, we're not telling people how they should live their lives or what they should eat anywhere else - we simply want the space inside our four walls to remain meat free for ourselves and our customers.

And yes, we would refuse to heat anyones wallet or shoes in the microwave too :)

Regards

Paul and Maggie

Rendezvous Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant

Edited by rendezvous (log)
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Very cool. I am not a vegetarian but I can see your point. Too bad that abusive jerks get the wrong side of the press. Welcome to eGullet and I hope you stick around.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Hi Paul and Maggie.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Best of it's kind.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Paul and Maggie-

We'd very much like to hear about your style of cooking. Is it vegan? How do you bring out the best flavors? This is probably more appropriate for another thread, but since you're currently tuned into this one . . . .

Thanks in advance, and welcome!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Anyway why is a 11 month old still eating Mush?

My daughter, who was breastfed, did not eat any food at all until she was eleven months old. She just wasn't interested. I mean, she'd suck a little avocado off my finger every now and then, and she would taste things, but this wasn't exactly eating. Then one morning, she crawled into the kitchen, pointed at my breakfast and let me know that she wanted some of that, and I mean now.

Other babies might not have teeth at that age. (Mine got little white razors on the bottom at fourteen weeks. Argh!)

I wouldn't assume anything about the mother or baby based on the baby's age.

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We make everything vegan now and have cheese as an option (although we tend to try and lower the reliance on cheese as we are very careful regarding dairy crossover as many of our customers are dairy intolerant).

Because there's no single ingredient carrying any one dish the use of good quality herbs and spices and considering the way the vegetables compliment each other overall is important - slow cooking always brings out a better flavor in the vegetables and gives them the chance to absorb the flavors.

This weekend we ran specials of pine nut, tomato and caramalized lemon linguine (flat spaghetti) and we had a mushroom, chestnut and ale puff pastry pie which both went down well. Other things we do quite regularly are stuffed sweet potato, roasted red pepper and sundried tomato tart, vegetable and hazlenut encroute (puff pastry filled with layers of spinach, carrots, hazlenuts etc). On sundays we do a variation on a typical roast - we roast potatoes with saffron and serve them with nut roast, roast veg, a mash of carrot & parsnip, vegan sausage, stuffing balls and serve that with a very rich gravy made with onion & red wine.

That just scratches the surface, but hopefully it gives a taste of how varied vegan food can be.

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We make everything vegan now and have cheese as an option (although we tend to try and lower the reliance on cheese as we are very careful regarding dairy crossover as many of our customers are dairy intolerant).

Because there's no single ingredient carrying any one dish the use of good quality herbs and spices and considering the way the vegetables compliment each other overall is important - slow cooking always brings out a better flavor in the vegetables and  gives them the chance to absorb the flavors.

This weekend we ran specials of pine nut, tomato and caramalized lemon linguine (flat spaghetti) and we had a mushroom, chestnut and ale puff pastry pie which both went down well.  Other things we do quite regularly are stuffed sweet potato, roasted red pepper and sundried tomato tart, vegetable and hazlenut encroute (puff pastry filled with layers of spinach, carrots, hazlenuts etc).  On sundays we do a variation on a typical roast - we roast potatoes with saffron and serve them with nut roast, roast veg, a mash of carrot & parsnip, vegan sausage, stuffing balls and serve that with a very rich gravy made with onion & red wine.

That just scratches the surface, but hopefully it gives a taste of how varied vegan food can be.

After perusing this quote.

Would you agree that what I called "MUSH", jared BLAHHBY food, is something you'd serve to your 11 month old child at this restaurant?

In my opinion this woman has got something wrong upstairs. What parent stuffs their face, enjoying her meal with her son. Then as if it was a after thought, opens the jar and requests, as if she cared. "Heat this up in your Microwave for the Baby", yeah sure she had a spoon, so what. What was wrong was Glass Jar in MICROWAVE / That much more worse the the Chicken, that was just thoughtless, not dangerous. In every restaurant i've ever been associated with, when anyone came in with young children, we always made sure that the kids got somthing fast, just to settle them down, but i've never seen any parent so oblivious to her child. She even wanted to be allowed to finish her meal before being removed and compted. Then complains that her older child was crying, because of the way Mommy was being treated. Thats the ultimate oblivious, kid was upset about Mom's behavior.

I'm surprised that other "eGullet", moms with young children haven't responded to this topic. Heck i'm a "Grandpa", with 6 grandchildren, youngest 8 years old. Even the response about the 11 month old child who, sometimes has eaten avacado from her finger wasn't taking into consideration that Babyfood in a jar with Mushed Chicken and Vegetables is in fact called "Solid Food", and that children generally eat together, or before the Mother. How often have you experienced that a small child waits until the adults and other children are eating, before being served? Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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OK a voice from an egullet mom! :biggrin:

I have 3 kids ages 2, 5 and 7 and I can count on one hand the number of times I have eaten in restaurants WITH OUT my kids, so I have a lot of experience in restaurants with small kids. :biggrin::biggrin:

I don't know this mother and I know nothing about her child, but I can say that when my kids were between the ages of about 6 mos to a year I always took a jar of baby food to a restaurant as a back-up just in case there was nothing for the child to eat and they wanted more then breast milk. I have to admit that I rarely had to resort to pulling it out because at almost any restaurant I could find something for my baby to eat. Bread (cut into small pieces) is available at most restaurants, as are soups (pureed ones are best), fish flakes well ansd is easy to eat without teeth as are soft cooked vegetables. There were occasions when the jarred food did come out but these were places like sushi restaurants or yakitori places, though I normally avoided these kinds of places with small children.

I never asked a restaurant to heat up a jar (my kids could have cared less) and not being a vegetarian, I easily could have taken a jarred product with meat with into a vegetarian restaurant with out even thinking about it. The difference between me and theat woman though it that I would have been embarrassed to death if they pointed out that they were a meat free restaurant..........and would ahve left the restaurant with a very red face.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I don't think judging the mother's parenting is a really productive line of discussion. She might have been having a bad day—you simply do not know. God knows I feel compassion for the parents in line at grocery store with wailing babies. I'm not standing up for this woman, but I don't think it's right to condemn her, either.

For the record, I never took a jar of baby food with me to a restaurant.

We did not feed our daughter meat until she was old enough to make that choice for herself—as tender-hearted as she was about animals, we didn't feel we had the right to make that choice for her. She was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for about eight years. When she asked to eat meat, we told her as much as we could about, well, dead animals and how they got that way, and she decided she would eat seafood and poultry. A few years later, she chose to add other meats to her diet. Now she is an omnivore. Well, at fifteen, she's a pizzavore. :biggrin:

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Another mum weighing in ...

My daughter, now 13, began eating solids at around 4 months old but I don't recall when exactly she had her first meat. Quite a while after that, I'm sure.

We've taken her to restaurants since she was a newborn and we never took baby food with us. Most restaurants have potatoes and we'd just order her mashed potatoes and/or vegetables. No problem.

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