So my first eating out experience since turning vegan, was a gigantic, cringey, chasmic affair with underlying tones of disapproval. But for what more could I hope with an impromptu English, village pub meal with my parents who regard anything other than cereal for breakfast as uncomfortably eccentric?
I’d had it all figured out, a quick utter of the V word followed by a smooth suggestion of side treats like chips, salad, and a sneaky onion ring or two- that’s right, because that’s how easy it is to please me!
As it happened it wasn’t that easy. As soon as we stepped through the door the parents had to jump in guffawing with their regular diet person’s synergy, explaining to the bar maid I had turned vegan with the tone equivalent of eye rolling. The woman looked less than pleased.
‘You need to call before,’ she frowned at me.
When my Dad decides to take us for a pub meal, the limited notice period is pretty much a condition of such an irregular treat. ‘We’ll have to go in ten minutes though,’ he’ll warn looking at his watch as I emerge bedraggled from probably having spent the day on my bedroom floor invested in some crafting activity or similar.
I could hardly explain that though. But I wasn’t going to apologise either. How hard is it to whip up a simple tomato sauce and pour it over some pasta? They weren’t even busy!
I got my comeuppance however as I unwittingly agreed to a plate of veg, a dismal salad and boiled potatoes- the worst kind. And I had to pretend I was enjoying it every time she came by. I expect vegans to be mostly positive about veg but no one is going to celebrate boiled veggies. No one. Unless they’re slathered in gravy and followed by Christmas presents. And both were unlikely in this particular scenario.
Indeed I appreciate they might not be able to whip up some exotic, vegan Cordon Bleu imitation; they did the least they could do but it certainly wasn’t the most. And that’s what makes me angry.
Not the most pleasing conclusion to losing my vegan dining out virginity. However undeterred I march forth unto this lonely land to seek out others like me who just want a nice, pleasant, wholesome dish without cow milk and stomach lining arbitrarily disguising the true flavours, those which blossom from beneath our very feet! In other words a veg stir fry or bean chilli isn’t really too much to ask is it? Is it??