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Thread: Calling TNL Vegetarians

  1. Calling TNL Vegetarians

    I'm putting together the menu for my restaurant in the coming weeks and my wife and I have been discussing veggie options. We're going to have a veggie burger and salads.

    Is it my responsibility to notate what is and is not vegetarian, or is it your responsibility to ask?

    To me a vegetable dish is not necessarily vegetarian: IE soup. Meat stock is often used in vegetable soups. Beans and greens are often cooked with ham.

    Am I to keep a portion of my griddle free of all grease to cook your veggie burger, or is wiping it off before cooking your burger considered enough?

    How serious are you about it? Are we talking down to the atomic level?

    If we're talking about your burger being free of all animal protein, then I don't think any kitchen that cooks meat can make that claim. Fats and oils are aerosolized by heat and are literally everywhere in a commercial kitchen.
    Boo, Hiss.

  2. If you are going through the trouble of making items on your menu vegan then make a note of it. If they are just veggie then I wouldn't say anything, most would be obvious and if people care they should ask. If they are not smart enough to ask about soup fuck em.

    If you go the full vegan route, just reserve a space on the griddle for veggies and wipe it before you cook. Like you said, it is impossible to keep any animal product out of food unless you keep out of the kitchen entirely. And if somebody cares enough to wonder about the molecule level and asks you can always cook it in a nonstick or something, which while not perfect, at least puts their mind at ease. If that doesn't please not much more you can do.

    The place I used to work in had basically no main dish veggie options. About once every 6 months this meant somebody came in and walked out before anybody could even help them. However, for those that stayed long enough to ask, our chef would come out and give 2-3 dishes that he would come up with from scratch to make for them, as well as a couple of items on the menu that could be tweaked to meet there needs. People were always floored by this experience. While there are a number of places in central Wisconsin that have vegan options available, they tend to be small cafe/coffee shop type places. Certainly nothing under the casual fine dining classification.
    your mom

  3. My GF is veggie, so I am always at vegetarian places. It is always nice when places notate what is vegetarian on the menu. Usually we have to ask if the soup uses beef or chicken stock and most places do. If you don't, say so. If you do, make sure your servers know that the soup is not vegetarian even if it appears so. If you are serving a veggie burger you have to keep it on a separate area of the griddle. My gf will always ask if a veggie burger can be cooked on the bun side if she is unsure a place will care enough to keep it separate already. Keep a separate set of cooking utensils for the veggie burger as well.

    A huge gastro pub just opened here with 2 separate kitchens, one is vegan. They also have 70 taps. mmmmm...
    Last edited by stormy; 20 Aug 2011 at 01:03 AM.

  4. I'm definitely not talking about vegan dishes. I think it'd be dishonest to call something vegan if it's cooked in a burger kitchen.

    Quote Originally Posted by stormy View Post
    If you are serving a veggie burger you have to keep it on a separate area of the griddle. My gf will always ask if a veggie burger can be cooked on the bun side if she is unsure a place will care enough to keep it separate already. Keep a separate set of cooking utensils for the veggie burger as well.
    This strikes me as intellectually dishonest. There is no chance her food doesn't have meat protein on it simply from being cooked in that kitchen. I'll be more than happy to wipe off the grill quickly before cooking the veggie dish, but I will absolutely not keep an entire portion of my griddle set aside for vegetable cookery. In my eyes that's asking too much from a restaurant that is primarily in the meat business. In the middle of the lunch rush am I to not use all of my grill in case a veggie burger is ordered?
    Last edited by icarusfall; 20 Aug 2011 at 01:13 AM.
    Boo, Hiss.

  5. You should experiment with making your own veggie burger patty. No one cares about places reheating garden burgers.

  6. If anything just post on the menu that certain dishes can be tweeked to be vegetarian.

    Quote Originally Posted by stormy View Post
    You should experiment with making your own veggie burger patty. No one cares about places reheating garden burgers.
    That's exactly what he's doing. He asked about veggie burger options in the "Let's Cooking" thread.
    MechDeus - Nick is the Bruce Wayne to Yoshi's Jean-Paul Valley.
    Quote Originally Posted by MechDeus View Post
    You just don't comprehend how well he's (FE26/Buttcheeks) comprehending. He's understanding you saying things you never said, that's how good he is.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by icarusfall View Post
    There is no chance her food doesn't have meat protein on it simply from being cooked in that kitchen. I'll be more than happy to wipe off the grill quickly before cooking the veggie dish, but I will absolutely not keep an entire portion of my griddle set aside for vegetable cookery. In my eyes that's asking too much from a restaurant that is primarily in the meat business.
    Anyone that picky will not be eating there anyway. Just keep them from touching. It doesn't take up a lot of space. Like I said you can put it where some buns would normally be, but it shouldn't touch beef fat. Wiping the grill isn't sufficient. It is pretty standard practice actually. Most of the time when the gf requests that the place says they already do it.

    Another thing. She won't eat fries from a fryer that also does meat like chicken fingers. Not sure what most vegetarians think about that though.

  8. Vegetarians are not Food Nazis ... Veggans are.
    MechDeus - Nick is the Bruce Wayne to Yoshi's Jean-Paul Valley.
    Quote Originally Posted by MechDeus View Post
    You just don't comprehend how well he's (FE26/Buttcheeks) comprehending. He's understanding you saying things you never said, that's how good he is.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Advocate View Post
    Vegetarians are not Food Nazis ... Veggans are.
    They can both be food nazis. Some like cheese more than others.

    Icarus, if you aren't going to put the effort into keeping vegetarian standards, then don't bother catering to them at all. It won't be worth it. They are really picky. I don't know what the vegetarian scene is like there but if you provide a good place for them to eat they will support you by eating there often and telling their vegetarian friends.

  10. This isn't my first rodeo with this, I've cooked for half my life - I'm just asking it straight up. I know that most places say their food is vegetarian even when it's not. There's an entire side of the industry most people don't see: how your food is actually prepared. The vast majority of the population doesn't understand how their food works from a scientific perspective, which is possibly why it infuriates us chefs when someone demand things that are simply not true. Every kitchen I've worked in (including high end fine dining) simply wiped off the area where the vegetarian dish is to be prepared. I'm just trying to be honest about it at my own establishment. If someone is concerned about the integrity and provenance of their food to that level, they should eat at vegan restaurants, or prepare it themselves. I simply can't provide them with that level of trust - and neither can any restaurant that's not vegan.

    For my purposes keeping a fryer entirely free of meat protein is completely impossible. It's also impossible in any kitchen that cooks meat.
    Boo, Hiss.

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