I've always loved Macaroni Grill, and now I live right next to one. Excited, I looked at their menu online the other day and was happy to see many new seemingly vegetarian, or even possibly vegan items. So, Tony and I decided to try it last night. What a mistake.
I first ordered a cup of the Pasta e Fagioli soup. It sounded great: cannelloni beans and pasta, mmm! I asked the waitress if the soup base was vegetable stock or chicken stock. She replied vegetable, hurray! Then the soup came... with a nice little pile of cheese on top. Ugh, I felt my heart sink a little. Ok, not a huge deal, a little cheese won't kill you or an animal, I thought. So I ate the soup, which was actually really good.
For the rest of my meal, I ordered the warm spinach salad with no cheese. When it came, I looked down in the dim light and saw a strip of something odd. Maybe a caramelized onion? Nope. A piece of prosciutto, Italian bacon. Oh my god, has it really been that long that I forgot prosciutto was a meat, not a cheese? Dead pig. On my plate. My fault. Nausea. I did my best to eat around it, and not waste my food. But still I knew there was pig fat on my spinach, and I wanted to cry. In fact, I almost did cry a few times. I still keep apologizing to the poor pig in my head for its sacrifice and suffering. I named him (or her) Spinach. Creative, right?
It's one thing to watch my family eat veal. While slightly horrifying, I can remove myself from that. But to have meat on my own plate... That hasn't happened since my dad threw turkey on my plate at Thanksgiving, despite my assurances that I didn't want any. I learned something, at least. I need to be more clear about my dietary concerns when ordering at restaurants. I hate to be a bother, but it's worth it in cases like last night. I'M SO SORRY SPINACH THE PIG!