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Letting You Down Vegan And Again

, , , , , , | Working | April 25, 2022

My daughter was about to turn seventeen. She’d been a vegan for a while, and she’d done a bit of research to find an upscale restaurant for her birthday dinner that had food she could eat.

Daughter: “[Restaurant] has a vegan gnocchi dish that sounds great, but it’s only on the kids’ menu for some reason. I wonder if I could get an adult-sized portion, or a double portion, or something like that.”

Me: “I’ll get hold of the restaurant and ask.”

I emailed the restaurant and got a very nice reply from the owner. She said they’d be happy to do an adult-sized portion of vegan gnocchi. So, we had a plan when we walked in.

Daughter: “I’d like the vegan gnocchi, please, and we were told that you could increase the size of the portion so that it would be for an adult?”

Waitress: “We don’t do that.”

Me: “But… I contacted the owner, and she said that it would be no problem.”

Waitress: “I don’t know what to tell you. We don’t do that.”

Daughter: “Could you just bring me two kid-sized portions, then?”

Waitress: “No.”

Me: *Starting to get angry* “No?! Why on earth not?!”

Daughter: “Mum, it’s fine. I’ll order something else.” *To the waitress* “What else do you have that’s vegan?”

Waitress: “A salad. That’s it.”

Daughter: *Dejectedly* “I’ll have that.”

Me: “Now hold on. It’s your birthday, and you should be getting what you want—”

Daughter: “MUM! It’s okay.”

Me: “Why don’t we go somewhere else?”

Daughter: “NO! I’m fine!”

I should explain here that my daughter sometimes suffers from anxiety, and at the time that this story took place, she had an absolute horror of “causing a scene” or “drawing attention to herself”. If it had been up to me, I would’ve demanded to talk to the owner, but I didn’t want to upset my kid. So, I gritted my teeth, and we had a less-than-satisfying meal.

The following day, I sent off an angry email to the owner, asking what on earth had happened. The reply I got wasn’t what I’d expected.

Owner: “I’m really sorry to hear about your experience at [Restaurant], but it’s probably just as well that your daughter didn’t get the gnocchi. Turns out that it’s not vegan after all.”

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