Mexican Restaurant Shell Game

I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, and not a great fan of “cheesy” Mexican restaurants, either.  I’m sure there must be some good ones, but the one I went to last night was not.

It was a “social” get-together of a business group I belong to and since it was relatively close-by, I thought I’d go.  I figured I HAD to be able to find something vegetarian there, right?  Well, no.  Not right.

They had four “veg” dishes listed, all covered in cheese and sour cream.  (Talk about cheesy.)  Granted, I’m not perfect, but I haven’t had dairy cheese in ages, so I didn’t want my food covered in cheese.  I could easily have asked them to take it off, leaving nothing much on the plate, but I continued to flip through the menu and came across Quesadilla Vegetarian.  Ok, a quesadilla full of vegetables, and no cheese.  Great!

Meals came, eveyone was chit-chatting back and forth, and eating, and….  what’s that?  Something weird in my vegetarian quesadilla.  A chunk of mushroom?  What the heck IS it?  Meat!  A chunk of meat.  But, too late.  Lets just say it was already “gone” by the time I realized what it was.  I haven’t had meat in 9 or 10 years so I didn’t realize what it was right away.

It really felt like a shell game.  No meat in the veg meals?  But there’s cheese.  No meat or cheese in the quesadilla, but there’s a chunk of meat.  What else are they going to hide, and where? 

It seems counter-productive for restaurants to be so lazy about vegetarian meals.  If they actually came up with reliable and tasty vegetarian meals they’d attract more customers.  Duh!

What if I’d had a shellfish allergy and a piece of shrimp “snuck” into my meal?  Then, why is meat sneaking into vegetarian meals?

Annoying, frustrating, and sad.   I’m sticking to REAL restaurants! 

Once the TV show is up and running, how about a “Pretty Veggie” restaurant, where you know all the food is vegetarian?  Yes! 



  1. I feel your pain. I had a similar experience at a restaurant. Now they have a vegan/vegetarian box on their menu which is still scary to me because I don’t eat vegetarian, I’m vegan.

    My rule is to explain to the server, double check when the runner puts the food down, and then eat cautiously.


    • Mindy says:

      Really frustrating, isn’t it? “Buyer beware” to the Nth degree. Seems to me that if restaurants got the “veg” thing right it would be beneficial to them by bringing in new customers. Doesn’t make sense, does it?


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