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Old 06-30-2008, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
being a vegetarian, and seeing it through a vegetarians eyes, it is equally as common to see it listed as soy chicken, when they mean vegetarian also.
But in a Chinese restaurant?
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:44 PM   #12
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Absolutely, IF anything, I find that chinese restaurants offer the most variety for us ( vegetarians ) to have than any other ethnic restaurant. Indian is a close second. Ive been to many many chinese restaurants that have a complete vegetarian menu offering the same dishes just using " soy products " as a substitute.

I know it may seem like a whole other world for most of u, but as a vegetarian for the past 20 ( oh my god, I cant believe I can say 20 years, im getting old) years, Many restaurants have been making very obvious additions to their menu's. Maybe I took it for granted, and I definitely should have been more careful. Also, maybe its because Im in new york, and maybe they have a little more to offer vegetarians here, or maybe I just made a stupid comment :) I dont know . And im not upset at all, just curious if I should have handled it any differently.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:51 PM   #13
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It was just a different interpretation from different points of view. It does not mean anyone was right or wrong, but it falls on your shoulders as your responsibility to check what is in the dish if you are not completely sure. unfortunately you thought you were completely sure until you got your dish so you had no way of knowing that you would have had to check further. Next time you will know though.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #14
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I had a similar experience at my favorite restaurant last night. I always get the same thing and last night it had an additional ingredient, guacomole (sp?) Well I'm deathly allergic to that, and I should have said no guac even if it wasn't listed as an ingredient. There was a language barrier with my server as well, and so they didn't understand why just taking the dish in the back and scraping the guac off of the same plate wasn't enough. In the end I know I will go back there ( I love the place!) I'll just be more specific when ordering. By the way I'm a vegetarian as well, and I actually work at a place that serves Soy Chicken. That is what we call it and we serve it in many different dishes. And to be honest most customers assume that is real chicken, it does resemble the flavor and texture of real chicken but it is just soy. So I understand your frustration, but I guess being on the side of the limited diet we have to be responsible to order correctly.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #15
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I would have assumed soy sauce and chicken, not soychicken. I just looked at three different Chinese food menus, none of which had a vegetarian section, just a section with vegetables and none of them had soy meats. I think it was simply a mind set. You saw "soy" and thought the chicken was soy. Was it listed under the "chicken" section? If so, I would say to assume it's real chicken with soy sauce. If it was under vegetables or vegetarian, then you can assume the chicken was soy. Just my thoughts. I do know I would never read "soy chicken" as anything other than real chicken with soy sauce.

And while Chinese restaurants have traditionally had vegetarian meals, it's generally not listed as that on the menu. It's usually on the menu and you have to look, and/or ask.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #16
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If it was a vegetarian dish, it would probably have been listed under the "vegetable" section of the menu. Not knowing how the menu was written (99.9% of Chinese restaurants have items seperated into a specific category), if this item was under the "chicken" or "poultry" section, there is no way I would assume that it was made with a non-chicken or non-meat product. And even if it wasn't, I would ask to get clarification.

While I can understand your point of view, the restaurant is under no obligation to change the order because of a wrong assumption from a customer. Yes, it's better practice to be more courteous, but the restaurant does not have to do it.

For anyone under dietary restrictions, beit vegan, vegetarian, allergy, or otherwise, it is YOUR responsibility to inform the restaurant and to take the neccessary steps to ensure that your dietary needs are met. You should ALWAYS assume that anything the restaurant serves will be geared towards the majority of people, and that includes people who eat meat, or are not allergic to things like shellfish, nuts, gluten, etc.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:21 PM   #17
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Also, keep in mind that two common ingredients in Chinese stir fry sauce bases are chicken stock and oyster sauce. Even if you order something that's just as simple as stir fried vegetables, there's a good chance that meat based products will be used.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:29 PM   #18
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..................at my local Chinese restaurant, which I haunt constantly, your dish appears as "vegetarian Chicken".
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:31 PM   #19
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Agreed, and I take full responsibilty. JUst to mention it was not under the poultry section, nor in the vegetable section either, I dont remember specifically where it was. But being vegetarian so many years, and having been in the situation of looking at a menu and distinguishing between vegetarian vs real, it must have been a little questionable for me to make the stupid mistake.

As far as chinese restaurants go ive been to many ( a dozen or more in new york, philly, even in canada) that have a significant vegetarian section ( in addition to the vegetable section) and a bunch that are %100 vegetarian. The one I go to frequently lists it as " A taste of Zen" others stress the Buddhist traditions .. Sure, those are more obvious situations. I wish I had the menu in front of me so I could see where i went wrong.

And I guess what bothered me the most was that we had the small problem, yet were not able to speak to someone who truly understood us ( literally) so it was kind of frustrating. She kept saying " try it, you'll like it, its very good"

Honestly, I was sitting back watching the whole thing, and it was kind of funny watching my wife struggling to communicate. It was like two totally different conversations going on at the same time. When my wife said, " no, it is a real chicken, like the bird ..." I laughed ( I was sitting at the table , quite a distance away, so they didnt know i could here)

And now, its just a funny memory that we will talk about for years, but id rather be talking about how great the "SOY CHICKEN" was , then how my wife made a jack *** out of herself :)
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:37 PM   #20
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My favorite meatless dish there is called "Buddha's Delight"....................
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