Apologies that it’s been a fortnight since my last blog post – we’ve had family over to stay for a couple of weeks and what with that and the Easter hols it was all I could do just to keep up with orders from the shop, never mind anything else. I’m back now though, and will be writing regularly again .
We don’t usually eat out all that frequently (it’s getting too expensive with two hungry 11 year olds who quite often eat more than I do) but have been doing so a few times while the in-laws were with us, sometimes so all of us could go out together and sometimes for my husband and I to take advantage of the short term live-in babysitting services available.
Visiting several different restaurants in a short period has made me really aware of the difference in vegetarian options offered on various restaurant menus. Very specialised restaurants aside, it seems to me that that there is quite often a direct correlation between the quality and price of the food and the number of vegetarian options available to choose from. The more choice there is for us veggies the better the food seems to be in general.
For instance the cheap, basic pubs, and especially supposedly child friendly ones, only ever seem to offer a warmed up veggie lasagne or a jacket potato with beans, and the rest of their menu also features a lot of uninventive ready meal style food.
We have a few slightly more upmarket pubs and restaurants in our area where the food is freshly cooked and generally tastier, but still affordable, and they usually have 4-6 vegetarian main meal options to choose from.
I was also lucky enough to dine out at a pub/restaurant recently which is considered excellent (and is priced accordingly) and they had a whole vegetarian section on their menu, including at least one vegan option. I had a vegan red Thai curry which was gorgeous!
We are a very normal, down to earth family and I don’t tend to cook “fancy” meals as my kids prefer good basic staples like veggie lasagne shepherdless pie, chilli non carne, etc – the same sort of foods we ate before becoming vegetarian, just adapted to include non-meat protein sources such as beans, legumes, quorn, etc. Eating veggie food at home also works out less expensive than eating a lot of meat, so it seems to me to be a good choice whatever your income level.
However when it comes to eating out, it does seem that the more you can afford to spend the better the choice and quality for vegetarians. Have you noticed this, or have I just made a terrible generalisation based on a small sample of restaurants and pubs?