I don't think Vegetarian means what you think it means!

Perusing my local Chinese TakeAway menu this afternoon in anticipation of eating something yummy for dinner, I found some dishes that left me :dubious: .

The menu is divided into the requisite sections…Specials, Soups, Entrees and the main courses are also divided according to the main ‘meat’ (so, beef, pork, chicken, seafood)…you get the gist.

Now over the page there is a section for Vegetarian dishes. The first four sounded kosher…Mixed seasonal vegetables, Mushrooms and Beancurd, Gado Gado with Satay Sauce, Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce.

But the remaining eight selections?

121: Vegetarian Chinese BBQ Pork
122: Vegetarian Roast Pork Chop Suey
123: Vegetarian Chicken and Chinese Vegetables
124: Vegetarian Satay Chicken w/onions
125: Vegetarian Chili Chicken
126: Vegetarian Beef and Mushrooms
127: Vegetarian Beef w/black bean sauce
128: Vegetarian Sambal Beef.

I wonder if they added them just to bulk out the menu, making it look more substantial than it would have otherwise…or maybe they just don’t quite understand what vegetarian means.

Other than that, I got nothing. :stuck_out_tongue:

I once ran across “vegetarian fajitas” at a Mexican restaurant. Since fajita basically means, 'marinated, grilled strips of meat," I had to order them to find out what they were like. I got a plate of grilled asparagus and mushrooms - tasty, but not fajitas. Certainly vegetarian, though.

Apparently there are some Chinese restaurants, which cater heavily to Buddhists and others who eat vegetarian, that will make mock “meats” from wheat gluten, tofu, etc. But yeah, I highly doubt that’s the case here. Maybe they think “vegetarian” means “heavy on the veggies”? :smiley:

I’ve seen “vegetarian” menus that feature fish, but nothing that bad.

I’d go with they don’t know what it means unless there’s the possibility of it being fake meat. There’s a vegetarian restaurant where I live that has a menu like that with a note on the bottom that all the “meat” is fake.

I’m an ovo-lacto-carno-pesco-vegetarian.

I would assume it meant that the “meat” is made up of a vegetarian substitute appropriate to simulate that kind of meat. Gluten, soy, whatever.

i love vegetables but i don’t like vegetarian food. look at the choices - it’s all a dreary brown. the list of vegetarian meat in the OP? they’re all made with beans, gluten or whatever. it seems like the choices are definitely from a “I am a vegetarian but I really want to eat meat” viewpoint rather than a “I love vegetables” one.

I’d bet money that’s exactly the case here.

How in the hell do you make BBQ Pork out of tofu and beans??

Why would the viewpoint or methodology matter if the goal — not eating meat — is achieved ?

my idea of a vegetarian meal is one consisting of greens instead of the same fake meat dressed in different sauces.

Don’t look for vegetarian dishes in Andalusia. They think chicken doesn’t count as meat, and I once got a spinach lasagna where only the top layer of pasta was pasta: the rest were bacon.

Then you’ve never eaten at a good vegetarian restaurant! This place is fantastic and even the “Alberta Beef” lovers at work love this place.

Scroll down for different pictures of their dishes. Yum!!

As one who eats vegan when not at home, the OP’s menu items would certainly give me pause. Usually, restaurants that serve vegetable proteins as meat substitutes will specify which protein that is, since there are many. It could be: soy protein, soy gluten, wheat gluten, seitan, tofu, tempeh. They usually specify because not everyone likes or can eat certain vegetable proteins, like if they’re allergic to soy, or like one friend of mine who can’t stand tempeh. They’re not interchangeable.

So, yeah, possibly just lazy menu writing and can be clarified by asking though that’s a pain, or they really don’t know what vegetarian means. I would lean toward the latter and probably find a different restaurant if it was me and my friends looking for delivery. Even restaurants that fancy themselves as catering to the veg crowd don’t always get it right and I’ve learned to specify no egg in my fried rice, always, every time, even if it’s listed in the “vegan” section of the menu!

I’ve never seen a Chinese restaurant use vegetarian meat substitutes.

I’ve seen many Chinese restaurants where they clearly have no idea what “vegetarian” means.

Seitan. I’m not veggie myself, but I have had done Asian style “barbecue pork” (or maybe it was duck) from a vegan restaurant. I’m not a fan of fake meat vegetarian food in general, but I was impressed by this.

“Fajita” has gone through a good bit of lingual drift in English. It specifically used to refer to skirt steak, but now it can be any meat or, as you discovered, even vegetables. To be honest, I’m not entirely certain what the common understanding is, but it seems to usually mean a sizzling platter of stuff and some flour tortillas.

Agreed: I’m reasonably sure that chickens don’t have skirt steaks, yet chicken fajitas are common enough.

  1. Feed tofu & beans to pig
  2. Slaughter pig
  3. Make BBQ pork


see? they’re still mostly brown. i must admit though, that it’s true i’ve not given a good vegetarian restaurant a fair shake.