... happened last night.
Two years ago, we had our work Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant that served me a nice and inventive vegan meal.
Last year I didn't attend work's Xmas party because I was in a kinda aggressive animal rights phase and would've ruined everybody's night.
This year we had a long discussion whether we should go to a traditional German or an Italian restaurant. Italian won, and I was very happy and so looking forward to it.
My co-worker who organizes the dinners is well aware what "vegan" means and made things pretty clear with the restaurant that said vegan options impose no problem for them.
As you'd expect for an Italian place. C'mon, even for people who don't know the first thing about veganism and cooking, pasta and risottos plus salad and antipasti are no-brainers.
Well, turned out I was wrong.
We arrived and were greeted with a prosecco. Very nice red wine was provided, and the antipasti were little, but ok.
Then the pasta dish arrived. First I thought they'd only accidentally used some parmesan for garnish (next to the pasta), then I realized the whole pasta was drowned in it :( They had substituted olive oil for butter but used cheese!
So I returned my first plate untouched, the waitress looked embarrassed.
20 minutes later, my next plate arrived, no cheese this time! But this time the filling of the pasta felt a little "eggy" to me. I asked others what their filling was and nobody could really tell from the taste. So I asked the waitress what's in their and she answered something in Italian of which I didn't quite get the first ingredient, but the second was pecorino cheese.
Turned out the first ingredient was fish!!!
I only ate a tiny fork full, but was so disgusted.
I was close to getting up and leaving instantly, but well, it was a work thing. Nobody would have been mad at me (actually, people around me got angrier than I did), but sometimes there's a bit of politeness inside me.
Even worse: we were quite a large group and there were two vegetarians that were served the same. They still don't know they ate dead animal last night (I only found out today)!
After the restaurant people actually figured what "vegan" meant, I was offered... nothing.
Organizing co-worker suggested me ordering a dish a la carte. I smugly listed all the vegan dishes they had on the regular menu to the waitress (I had checked online in advanced).
An hour later, I got a place of mushy spaghetti aglio olio.
Waitresses made very sure my wine glass was always filled to the brim.
When I left, they even dared asking if I was full from the meal. I did not answer because it would have turned out in a very long and angry speech.
In my private life, I would have been an incredibly nasty and complaining customer.
Hell, what if I had a fish allergy?
But then, I was utterly stupefied. I've been vegan for almost three years and I eat out a lot.
I've never had any problems getting something to eat, and have never been forced to get chips and a plain salad. There are no vegetarian restaurants in my city and I'm a very happy foodie here! The last place on earth that I would have suspected of fooling vegans was a trattoria.
Once I've recovered, I'll leave a bunch of destroying reviews online and on their website.
Rant over, sorry.
Good news: before the dinner, I went to sattgruen for a cappucino and found out they've replaced all their dairy cheese in their take-away sandwiches with vegan cheese a couple of weeks ago and nobody has noticed!