Can a vegan find actual food in a vegan restaurant? You live in Berkeley so it’s not that hard to go find out for yourself. The place looks a little like a Tiki bar, but the menu is beautiful and the raw dishes are marked with a capital R.
You tell your waitress, a young woman with blond dreadlocks and a nose ring, that you want the grilled polenta with the mushroom ragu.
She smiles and says, “You’re Warm-Hearted.” You look at her blankly. After about a minute of you staring at her, she repeats a little louder, “You are Warm-Hearted.” Oh you get it: the mushroom ragu dish is called “I Am Warm-Hearted.” And if that’s what you want to eat, you’re supposed to say to this total stranger, “I am warm-hearted,” even though that strikes you as sappy and New Age, i.e. imposing on your freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Politely, but firmly, you say, “I’d like the grilled polenta, PLEASE!”
The waitress says, “If you can’t say, ‘I am warm-hearted,’ what can you say?
“I CAN SAY I’D LIKE THE GRILLED POLENTA!”
This time no brawny Texas bouncers or soft-spoken managers show up. The girl with the dreads simply turns around and leaves. After about a half hour or so, she comes back with a barbecued tempeh sandwich, announcing, “You are inspired!”
“But I’m not inspired and I didn’t order this!” you say.
“You didn’t order anything – but I felt sorry for you and decided to bring you this,” she says, adding, “I have a question for you – What are you grateful for?”
So, vegans, here are some basic eating in restaurant rules of etiquette:
1) Don’t go into a steak house, certainly not to eat. If you supposedly have to go, just say you can’t.
2) Ask if there’s freaking cheese or eggs in the veggie burger BEFORE you order it.
3) Don’t yell in restaurants even when it’s important vegan information.
4) If you get arrested, remember you have a right to remain silent and you have a right to an attorney even if you can’t afford one.
5) There’s no shame in taking Prozac if you need it.
— A Vicious Vegan blog post —