It seems that this vital knack is still lacking in the Scottish catering industry.
Today my son and his partner took me for lunch. My pub of choice is shut on Mondays, so we went to another. Kenneth is a veggie, and I am a bit fussy about how my meat has been reared, and don’t like fish. We were given a menu, and it was at once plain that cheese salad was the only veggie option (and we could not be sure it was veggie cheese, which matters to Kenneth). All the starters either had crustacean (unacceptable to me due to the way it is dispatched and I don’t much like it anyhow) or bacon which might have been and probably was continental in origin.
Kenneth and I ordered the tomato soup, and had a soup and pudding lunch. The soup was lovely. Eventually the proprietrix come to ask if everything was OK – yes, said I, but the vegetarian options were very limited.
‘Well!” she said, ‘you SHOULD have asked for the vegetarian menu!’ A thing which had never been mentioned to us.
Now I quite often eat veggie – as do various carnivores I know, because we like vegetarian food sometimes. I don’t WANT to juggle two menus. I don’t WANT to be accused of failing to ask for a separate menu and I don’t WANT my vegetarian friends to be forced onto a segregated menu.
It will be the last time I eat there unless somebody else really wants to go there – and really I did think these attitudes had died out at least ten years ago.