Catering to whose needs..??

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This isn't going to be much of a review. More of a rant. More of an annoyance. More of an irritation of sorts.. yah. That's what it is.. (although I have a review of this fabulous vegetarian Indian restaurant..but that'll be for another time as I am mega swamped with school stuff right now. sorry!)

Ok. So, what's my beef today? Well.. lemme tell you.

Banquet Halls.

Yep. There. I said it.

ok.. let me just be blunt. How in the hell is it that a company that specializes in providing SPACE and FOOD for people's celebrations have not yet incorporated vegetarian meals into their menus??? Am I asking for too much? Honestly! I'm stunned... at a loss for words.

Let me be specific. I recently went to a dear friend's wedding and I just want to state that this is no fault of her own. She is a total sweetheart and amazing.. and had even notified them of my vegetarian meal request and gave them my name and details..etc. So.. this is how it went. I got my antipasto plate (for those non-Italians or non traditional wedding goers.. that's the plate with the prosciutto, melon, grilled veggies maybe, bocconcini cheese etc..). My plate was a regular one with the prosciutto on it. No biggie. I just let the lady know my name and that I had requested a vegetarian meal. She quickly apologizes and takes it away.

She returns with the same plate. However, they have removed that prosciutto from it....err.. as well as the bocconcini cheese (?!? huh?!!?!) oH.. and there are little bits and pieces of the cured ham on my plate still.


Yah.. exactly. Haa.. you know, I'm not difficult and had it been at a family or friend's house, i would've simply picked off the stuff not caring.. but what the heck? Like I said.. this is a place of business that specializes in providing full meal courses to their guests. And lemme tell you.. they're getting paid a pretty penny to do it.

I asked her to take the plate away as i wasn't interested in 2 slices of tomatoes and a tiny piece of melon that had bits of ham on it. :/ *gag*

That wasn't even the end of it. I had a server come up to me asking me if I can eat pasta with cheese in. I'm beginning to believe that the staff have NEVER even heard of the term vegetarian before.

For the main course.. when they brought everyone their plates with chicken parmigiana and grilled veggies and roasted potatoes.. i waited patiently as my own dish arrived. By this time.. I was quite starving, I might add. Voila! my plate arrives! err.. not so fast. I had the veggies and potatoes like the rest of them.. but to substitute the meat portion everyone else had.. they provided me with a very amazing tiny scoop of plain (microwave) rice.


yah... I don't even know what to tell you. After that.. it was the plate of seafood (a total waste since me and my date didn't touch any of it and the other two people at our table weren't very interested in it) and a bowl of rotten salad. I'm not kidding. It was brown and limp. So, i couldn't even eat that. Good times.

Here's what I don't understand. It is 2009.. we're pretty much up to date with stuff around the scene.. what people like and want. How can someone catering to people's needs in terms of menu items.. NOT provide a simple meal for someone who doesn't eat meat? I don't get it. I've only been a vegetarian for a short while.. so, what have they done all the previous years..? I'm so baffled. and i'm POSITIVE that there are places that provide items for such people.. as well as halal, kosher, vegan, etc. The reason I know this is because I dealt with the registration for our conferences and had numerous people order meals that were meat free.

The sad thing is that this isn't the only place. I've been to other places that are the same. They do not substitute items and do not provide a replacement that is adequate. Perhaps some eggplant parmigiana.. vegetable stir fry with tofu.. who knows! the possibilities are endless.

But seriously.. FOOD PLACES.. get yer act together! I would've expected a lot more from Toronto large scale food catering companies. Tsk tsk. two thumbs DOWN. waaay way down.

Thank goodness for the open bar. I could drown my sorrows and starvation in rum and coke. hahaha i keed.. ;)


Campus Bites.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I attend York University and trying to eat healthy on campus requires a bit of leg work at times. Sure.. you can always settle for a slice of veggie pizza.. or some fries or a muffin.. but you can get sick of eating that crap. So, I'm gunna run down a list of some of the many places on campus where you can get some vegetarian fare that's pretty alright.

York Lanes
This first place I want to mention is Berries and Blooms... and I would like to say that I practically live off of their food. One of the busiest food places located in York Lanes, it offers a salad bar complete with a wide array of fruits and vegetables, all sorts of mixed salads, dips, spreads, toppings and all sorts of other yummy foods. Price goes by weight so, you just fill up your container with loads of stuff and then pay. Chickpeas and seeds a plenty! They also make yummy smoothies if you're thirsty.

Right next to the that is Indian Flavours. Offering a wide assortment of indian cuisine including their super awesome samosas and their uber yummies mango shakes... SO delicious!

Blueberry Hill offers a veggie burger (with a combo or without) if you're craving some good pub eats and maybe a beer with your classmates. Try the onions rings instead of fries with your combo...... err.. I have a weakness for onions wings. Shh.. ;)

And.. last, but definitely not least for York Lanes is the Great Canadian Bagel. Once in a while I'll treat myself to their stuffed Tomazzo bagels. If you haven't had one.. you have no idea what you're missing. It's a baked bagel, stuffed with either artichoke hearts or spinach, a slice of tomato on top, and then covered with some cheddar cheese. Try it toasted with some cream cheese. My favouite is the Lite Feta & Spinach cream cheese on the Spinach stuffed Tomazzo bagel. Seriously yummy!

Student Centre
I'm a big fan of the Veggie Delite sub from Subway. Subs are always super tasty and easy to get.. and I love piling on the toppings... So, you can't go wrong with that.

Though not quite healthy.. but if you're in the mood for something quick and greasy... you're more than welcome to try out KFC's new veggie chicken sandwich. It's actually pretty good. Can't complain.

And of course, you can always grab a slice of pizza at the italian eatery or try the Underground pub which offers a few vegetarian dishes if you want to have a sit down meal (or take it to go).

Head over to the Tel Café over at the Technology Enhanced Learning building (behind Accolades West) to visit one of my all time fave eateries. The Pita Pit! That place is too much amazingness. You can't go wrong with a pita. And it's WAY delicious. I always opt for the hummus pita. The only downside is that this school location charges you extra for feta cheese (which is just a regular topping at all other Pita Pit locations).. but hey..i'm willing to dish it out because they're always well worth it.

The Country Style cafeteria in Winter's college offers a few vegetarian (Kosher) options.. including some spinach, potato or feta cheese pastry pies. They are incredibly delicious.

Last, but not least, good ol' Timmy Ho's. With three locations on campus (two full service ones) you can have a soup and sandwich at any time. Tim Horton's is also the only location on campus(that I know of) where you can purchase water that is NOT Aquafina! hahaha i say that with SUCH gusto.. because i HATE HATE HATE so much that Aquafina is the ONLY water you can buy on campus because York has a contract with Pepsi cola. Pfft.. I can't stand it. Water shouldn't taste so terrible!.. err... getting back to Timmys.... (hehe sorry)... You can try the minestrone soup or the creamy mushroom one. And don't forget your coffee. Large, double double please. :))))

Those are my regular eating places. There are a bunch of other scattered places that have some vegetarian options.. but I didn't feel they have anything worth mentioning... or I just haven't been there. Feel free to list off any that you think need mentioning.

A complete listing of York University's food places, complete with a campus map, can be viewd here: York U's Food Directory

A detailed guide of vegetarian and vegan menu items available at various campus eateries can also be found HERE and on's site HERE.

Until next time... happy veggin'!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. The truth is, I didn't have a computer. Mine broke a few months ago. I was using my sister's (most crappy) lap-top in the interim but it was so awful that I just eventually stopped using it. I finally got my brand spankin new computer last month but being the holiday and all, I really had no time to post at all. Then I went away to Fl0rida and now I'm back. Unfortunately.. because there's a gross ugly snowstorm and I wish I could cart my butt back over there right this instant! *pouts*.. ;)

I don't have a product or place to review today. I basically just wanted to share my lovely travelling experience with you. Or.. rather.. not so lovely. A word of advice... if you're travelling somewhere, be sure to pack some great non-perishable foods with you or find yourself a grocery store in the area where you're staying because you just never know what you're going to walk into. Let me tell you.. Orlando is definitely not a "Vegetarian-Friendly" place. At least not the touristy section. Most places we went to go eat at basically had NOTHING for me to eat. My options were Breakfast, if it was available, FRIES! lots of fries. oh .. and of course.. Onion Rings! which isn't SO bad.. because I must confess, onion rings are one of my most favourite things ever. Talk about CRAP. I think I must've put on about 10lbs from all the trash I was eating.

Me and my sister went to the closest Publix we could find (their grocery store) and stocked up on some items. She had even less selection than me being a vegan. Poor girl. She had a diet of french fries and rice all week. HAHaha.

We made do with the items we bought so, we were *ok* when we were stayin in to eat. Otherwise we were SOL when we were out.

My favourite things were these. My sister quickly made them up. They had these little potato buns thingies. Not sure what they were.. but they were delicious! We cut them in half and toasted them. Then she sauteed some spinach with onions. Put a bit of balsamic vinigrette dressing overtop and threw in a couple of slices of roasted red peppers.. and it was seriously one of the yummiest things I've ever eaten!

She takes photos of all her creations because she posts them in these Vegan food groups on Flickr. You can check one of them out here.

So, that's all for now. Just be aware that other places aren't necessarily "equipped" when it comes to certain menus. And I guess I'm a little spoiled because living in Toronto, I have SO many options. Even a steakhouse has vegetarian meals in their menus!

Just plan ahead and bring extra stuff so you don't die of complete malnutrition!! ;)

And don't forget to bring your vitamins!!

Happy New Years to All of you!