18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Steak House Dinner

I eat healthy, and so do a lot of people.  Not everyone else in this world does.  But I realize I need to be able to roll with the punches in life, so to speak.

Last week, I attended a cardiology educational meeting at Arnie Morton's steak house. Now, I won't even start on the irony of learning to treat coronary disease in the setting of a steak house. I do realize, though, that every so often we end up by social necessity eating at a restaurant that we would not typically choose on our own.

As you might imagine, Morton's doesn't have a tofu stir-fry or lentil loaf on the menu. However, I spoke with our server Heather (fabulous first name, no?) and asked her what the chef could prepare. I ended up with the chopped salad with no bacon, eggs, or cheese, and with a mustard dressing, and for my entree a plate of steamed vegetables, a baked potato, and a side of soy sauce:

I must say, the steamed veggies were quite delicous.  It was a huge plate and I didn't finish everything, but I did polish off all the spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and about half of the asparagus and brussel sprouts.

Would I have enjoyed a more interesting dinner, perhaps with a protein, just like my colleagues enjoying their steak or fish?  Sure.  But, I think that as a vegan, it's important to go to restaurants that don't solely cater to non-meat-eaters.  If they have enough of us as customers, perhaps one day they'll put something on the menu for us.

The most important point:  You can get a good healthy meal at just about any nice restaurant.  You are the customer.  Just ask.


Karen Sampson Hoffman said...

The best composed plate I had was at a farm restaurant where the chef didn't get many vegetarians. He took his time and made a wonderful meal for me and then thanked us for the chance to make something different from the regular menu items. That showed me the chefs are sometimes itching to try something new but the customers want the same-old-same-old.

TooeleTwins said...

That's funny. What's next? Cancer seminars in the middle of tobacco fields? Very ironic, indeed!

Brenda W. said...

What really bugs me about these situations (of which I've done plenty), is that leaves everyone thinking that vegetarians just eat vegetables. And steamed ones at that (certainly couldn't ROAST them, or do anything flavorful now could we??)

And then folks think ... what a boring way to eat ... I'd never be able to be a vegetarian.

But, outside of brown-bagging your own food to a restaurant (which I actually have done on occasion with a restaurant that was totally unwilling to accomodate my eating choices), you are right -- it may plant the seed for restaurant managers that there is a market for plant based meals on EVERY menu.

And yes ... I love the irony of the choice of location for the group!

VeganLinda said...

My bil managed a chain steakhouse restaurant. He is not close to veg, but working there day in and day out he knew salads and veggies were the way to go. He said his best meals there were veg and he was disappointed that most of his customers would only consume veggies in the form of fried potaotoes (or baked with lots of sour cream or cheese) and would leave anything green on their plates.

My son has a congenital heart defect and his ped cards are always super supportive of his vegan diet. I ask why more cards aren't veg, they said cards are human too and and don't always do what is best for their hearts.

Rick Coker said...

A good restaurant is usually a good bet, and I am finding more and more of the servers and chefs understanding they have to cater to all tastes. I don't fear going to a great steakhouse!