Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Launching diatribe in 3... 2... 1...

Fucking vegans. Fucking self-righteous, picky vegans smugly thinking they're saving cows' lives by not eating them. Guess what: no matter how much soy, tofu and other bland alternatives for real food you eat, factory farms are going to keep right on abusing animals by the millions. Your dietary choice is as futile as it is foolish. The only thing you accomplish with it is depriving your body of essential nutrients and robbing your palate of the many pleasures of meat and cheese. offer.

Phew. Okay. I'm better now.

So last night, smack in the middle of the dinner rush, a check comes back full of modifiers like "no salt on fries," "no onions," sub this and sub that. As though that wasn't annoying enough, at the bottom of this particular dupe, a modifier screamed in red capital letters "VEGANS," signifying the whole table would not eat dairy.

Line cooks hate picky patrons. Special requests like these force you to work against the routines and muscle-memory you've developed after assembling a certain dish hundreds of times. If it's a slow night it's not such a big deal. But when it's busy and you're cranking out dishes with machine-like efficiency, your attention divided among the 10 other things going on at that moment, habit can easily override a mental note to, for instance, not salt the fries.

One order at last night's vegan table was a salad, that, among other pesky substitutions and modifications, was to contain no onions. I began assembling it precisely as I had done for dozens of other identical salads. I held the cheese and used vegan-friendly vinaigrette, but falling victim to habit's robust influence, I mistakenly sent it out with onions. Another vegan ordered a popular vegetarian sandwich that is supposed to contain basil mayo. Forgetting that this spread is technically a diary product, I slathered it on the bread and sold it.

Naturally, these two plates were promptly sent back. And, naturally, upon seeing my plates return to the kitchen, I erupted in rage and commenced to spout profanity and fume with hatred. Nonetheless, I choked back my scorching disdain for these costumers and dutifully remade their plates.

Perhaps my anger at vegans is misplaced. Perhaps my tirade should be directed at myself for falling short of my duty to please diners. I mean, I don't make BigMac's; These kind of mistakes are simply unacceptable. And surely, in this great, free country of ours, everyone should have the right to tailor meals to suit their personal tastes.

But then again, maybe vegans should just eat at home where they can be as fussy with their food as they please.

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