Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Supposed to do the Patronizing, Rhapsody

Saturday night, the wife and I had dinner at one of the restaurants established by our wedding caterer, Blue Plate Catering. The restaurant is Rhapsody Chicago at 65 E Adams St., down in the loop.

The food was OK without many options for the moderate near-vegan like me who doesn't like making a fuss or forcing my views onto people. It didn't even compare to the food Blue Plate had at our wedding, but it was pretty good for probably the upper crust, aristocrats who probably eat there. In other words, it was catered more toward the common American omnivore with higher end tastes.

They had pretty much one option for every course that I could easily order with minimal modification (mostly "Hold the cheese, please"), which I didn't mind. I had an aragula salad, a vegetable taster and a three scoop sorbet taster. Once again, all very good food for what it was, but something more hearty with the vegetables, like some kind of lima bean side or some almonds, sunflower seeds or something would have topped off the dish perfectly. On top of that, the side of hearty fare would have fended off that soluble fiber bubbly stomach ickiness.

Basically, everything about this place was pretty bearable for the moderate non-fussy near vegan. Everything, that is, except for our patronizing waitress. She was a nice girl and everything, but if there's anything that annoys a moderate non-fussy near vegan, it's when a serving person tries to create the illusion that the near vegan has a choice beyond what is on the menu. . .especially when the person who made the original reservation disclosed that there's a near vegan in party.

Instead of listing off the ONLY things on the menu amenable to the near vegan then asking, "Is that OK," please provide some other options or let the patron know that the chef enjoys mixing things up a little. When I go out to eat, I don't want to have to put extra thought into what's getting put in front of me. If I wanted to put thought into it, I would have just stayed home and made a romantic dinner for the wife and me.

I repeat, waitress, don't be patronizing to the moderate and try to create the illusion of choice when there is none. You never, know, you might make a moderate vegan fussy and a hassle for other restaurants, servers and chefs. If there's more choices and they're not on the menu, tell your guests. Otherwise, apologize for there being such a small amount of options, write down the order and leave it at that. Show some manners.

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