As a vegetarian its fair to say a number of people have commented on how much cheaper it is to eat out than a meat eating diet.
Most of the time I agree – vegetarian meals tend to be cheaper. They have cheaper ingredients and tend to be quicker to make. However sometimes I think vegetarians pay over the odds for what they get.
Today I went to a pub for lunch with friends. They fancied a proper Sunday Roast and I knew that the chosen place did good roasts and also usually has a good choice of vegetarian meals.The selection was good, however the meals are on the pricier side – roasts stat from £15 and the vegetarian mains from £12.
But what do you get for your money? For the roast you get three veg, the most enormous Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, gravy and of course the meat. For the veggie meal I had a bowl of pasta with mushrooms and a a sauce. Not the most exotic or expensive ingredients. I declined the parmesan that came with it on the grounds that A) parmesan is not vegetarian and B) I can’t stand the taste of it. And that was it. No side salad or veg. No bread nothing. My friends thought I was starving as the food disappeared so quickly, but the truth of the matter is that it was really difficult to eat a bowl of pasta slowly without it going cold. And the size of the roast dinner portion meant that you needed a good twenty minutes to eat it. I admit finishing my main and feeling hungry – longing for the desserts (if only I could be sure which ones were veggie friendly from the menu).
I have been to some similarly priced establishments where the size of the salad justifies the price and you do feel that you have eaten a satisfying amount, had more than three ingredients. and still paid less.
I pointed this out to my friends and you could see the penny drop and general agreement around the table. When it came to puddings the vegetarian friendly options were the same size as the other. So why the discrepancy for the main meal? People don’t mind paying more when they feel that they are getting quality and value for their money.
More and more as a vegetarian I feel I am loosing out in restaurants, and that the price I pay does not reflect the portions I receive when compared to the carnivores.
Just because I am vegetarian doesn’t mean I am not hungry!