Birthday Flop!

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Hello!

Last night Eric and I went out for his birthday. Here we are prior to leaving for a late dinner. Do you notice a certain shirt I am wearing?? Yup, that is the same flower shirt I was thinking of buying a while back (remember back in March when I brought you into the change room with me?). I actually found it on the sale rack 75% off the other week!!!! :) Sometimes it pays to wait.

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I ended up taking him to a place called Oliver and Bonacini. We had never been there before, and in the spirit of trying new restaurants, I booked us a reservation.

Little did we know we were not going to have a good experience at this restaurant! :(

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To our disappointment, the patio was full so we opted for a booth in the bar area.

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Decisions, decisions…

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They brought us bread to the table, which I let Eric have (he was starving and about to chew his arm off!).

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I ordered 6oz. of Sauvignon Blanc and Eric a beer.

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Then it came time to order our apps and main course and this is where the fun started.

I asked the waiter if the vegetarian plate could be made vegan (there was some soufflé in it with egg whites) and he said he would check with the chef. So he came back and told me that the chef could prepare me a vegan plate and that it would be a ‘surprise’. I was like, sure…no problem! Sometimes I like when chef’s can just bring our their skills and whip up something really cool.

And then the waiter starts asking me questions about being a vegan. He goes, “Yea I have two friends that are vegan. You know, you should be a vegetarian but not a vegan. My friends started to waste away from being vegan. You can be a vegetarian, but you just shouldn’t be a vegan. It’s just not good.”

I know, right? What does someone say to that?

I said that while it is challenging it can be done properly is one is aware of what their body needs. I also said that vegetarians can be unhealthy too if they are not getting an adequate diet. I really had to bite my tongue though because I wanted to tell this guy, a la Stephanie Tanner, HOW RUDE! I mean how can you be a waiter and tell someone that how they are eating is WRONG? I was so miffed that someone could be so ignorant!

He went on and on too! Like this conversation didn’t end.

Oh and then he got on about the honey part. He goes, ‘Oh honey, I just don’t understand. It’s honey, come on!’

Obviously, I know that many people don’t have issues with honey or understand why that it isn’t vegan. I was like that too when I first started out. And then I made Glo Bakery completely vegan by removing the honey from all products. It doesn’t bother me that this waiter has a personal issue with veganism, what bothered me is that he was completely rude to me and left a very bad taste in my mouth, especially on an occasion that was so happy and celebratory. I just brushed it off and we carried on with dinner and just ignored the jerk.

My salad was nothing special. Spinach and mushrooms with vinaigrette.

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Eric had Caesar salad that he said was good:

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Then my surprise vegan platter came out and I will admit it was pretty interesting…

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  • Watermelon and tomatoes in a vinagrette

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  • EXTREMELY garlicky hummus on bread

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  • Vegetables
  • White bean puree croquettes
  • White rice (in back left)

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Where do I start? First I will voice a couple complaints:

  • The vegetables were dripping in oil
  • The food was heavily salted (I mean heavily)
  • The croquettes were deep fried

It bothers me when chef’s think that they need to douse vegetables in oil and salt to make them taste good. I don’t know about you, but if I was cooking for a vegan, I probably wouldn’t deep fry anything either.

The hummus bread had huge chunks of garlic in it. Way too much garlic. I felt like I was fuming after one bite! I ate half the bread, all the rice, all the vegetables, 2 croquettes, and all the watermelon and tomatoes. I was stuffed at the end. :)

Eric had a lamb burger and fries…

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Eric didn’t like the burger and he said the fries were really salty (I tried one and they were, much like my food).

All and all, it was a really disappointing experience. Don’t you just hate when you take someone out for a special dinner and it is a flop?? I felt so bad!!!

We made the best of it though…

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After dinner, Eric dragged me to see GI Joe for a late show at 10:20pm. Let me just be brief and say this- it is 2 hours of my life that I will never ever get back. ;) Horrible. The acting, the cinematography, the script. Everything. Dear God.

And then on the highway on the way home, we got stuck in traffic on the 401 for 40 minutes! So we didn’t get home until 1am. I reclined my chair as I was so tired.

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It was sort of just ‘one of those nights’, ya know? I still feel so badly because I feel like Eric didn’t have a good birthday. :(

I tried to make the best of it by being goofy and silly after dinner though…

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Sadly, this restaurant experience reminded us why we don’t go out to eat. It is expensive and we can often make much better food at home for so much less. Live and learn I guess!

I am sorry for the downer post guys! I would never hide my true feelings on this blog though. And I would never pretend that everything is fine and dandy when it was not.

What you see is what you get! Bad experiences happen to the best of us, right?!

~~~~~

This morning Eric’s mom is working on the alterations for my bridesmaid dress. Let’s hope we get this thing fitting a bit better!

Off to bake…

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

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anne August 14, 2009

Wow, I can’t believe how RUDE (and wrong!) that waiter is.

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Marika August 13, 2009

Aw, that’s terrible! I know how you feel– I just wrote on my blog about the negative restaurant experience we had for my mother’s birthday dinner…

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Mandy Unruh August 13, 2009

Oh girl, I could not agree with you more! We have had many a disappointing birthday, anniversary, celebration, etc. dinner. We feel bad for not trying more restaurants and then when we do, we feel punished! So much bad food out there. And because I love to cook, it just seems pointless…you were a good sport!

xoxo

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Julia Kalish August 12, 2009

Hi Angela – What a horrible waiter! NOBODY should have to explain or defend why they are vegan. So I’m thinking about what I will say if I’m ever in that situation – here’s a rough draft: “Thank you for your concern. I’m not familiar with any scientific evidence that vegan diets are bad for you, but I can say that I feel strong and healthy eating a vegan diet. I also feel really good that I’m not contributing to the needless slaughter and suffering of millions of animals each year.” What do you think ;)

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Christina August 12, 2009

Aww I’m so sorry your night was a flop. The nerve of that waiter! That makes me so angry – you should have complained! Who is he to judge, especially when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

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Georgia August 12, 2009

We went there for my friend’s wedding in St. Catharine’s the other day (we went there for the shower). It was pricey BUT the portobello burger was realllly good. i was impressed. Sorry for the bad experience.

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hmmm August 12, 2009

Well, to play devil’s advocate…he probably didn’t realize what he was saying could be seen as annoying/grating. He was probably trying to make conversation and didn’t think about what he said. Its kind of like telling people you are a marathoner…you get all sorts of “why do you do that? i only run if i am being chased!” comments. I’d just roll my eyes at the guy. Doesn’t excuse him being dense, but doesn’t seem complain worthy either.

And as someone who has worked in the food industry for years, always beware of a “surprise” from the chef, no matter where you are or who they are. Chefs often get creative which is fine…but its not necessarily going to be what you want. Always ask how things are prepared and be specific. It may seem annoying, but when you go out…its best to be prepared. As an example, I don’t eat dairy so I ALWAYS check to make sure things don’t have dairy where I won’t expect it. And with vegetables, butter is often used when cooking. When they can’t use butter, they often salt or oil to compensate, particularly if preparing en masse.

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Richard August 12, 2009

One way of dealing with the “rude waiter issue” is to immediately (at the time of the incident) ask to speak to the manager, and then request that another waiter be assigned to your table. You don’t even have to fully explain “why”, other than to say that you found certain comments “inappropriate”. The waiter’s behavior was inappropriate, and obviously made you uncomfortable. It would also help management to know why patrons didn’t have an enjoyable time. BTW, happy birthday to Eric.

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allijag August 12, 2009

Sorry that waiter was so terrible (seriously – that is so rude!) and that your food wasn’t so hot. But hey – it’s all about the company you keep, rigth? :)

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Kristina August 12, 2009

So sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Oliver & Bonnicini, as it is one of my favourite restaurants! And welcome to my town :o) (looks like you were in Oakville).

Please give it another try, but only after you have complained to the manager for both the food and service. Heck they may even invite you back ‘on them’!

I’m neither vegan nor vegetarain so it was interesting to read about your challenges eating out.

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Faith August 12, 2009

I’m so sorry that the waiter was so ignorant…I really don’t understand how people can act like that. At least you got to spend the night with your man on his special day!

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Susan August 12, 2009

Aww, that’s too bad :( Funny how you can go to these fancy restaurants and have a bad experience, then go to these dungy hole-in-the-wall places and have amazing food. I hope you gave that guy a crappy tip! I get really annoyed when people criticize the way I eat, especially when they’re complete strangers. I totally understand how that irked you.

Ha, I expect to be dragged to GI Joe soon. Thanks for the heads up :P

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Maureen August 12, 2009

There is nothing worse that the oh Honey unless it is oh Honey calm down. I am with you on the cost of eating out when you are Vegan there is not much to choose from on most menus. I think I am going to start eating before I go out with friends in future then I can order a small salad or soup and save my money and my taste buds from bad food.

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Sharon August 12, 2009

Was this in Oakville? I’ve heard plenty of bad reviews about the service at Oliver & Bonacini…bad hiring manager I guess.

I agree with calling ahead when dining out with special requests. Then the kitchen knows about ahead of time and is ready instead of having it thrown at them in the middle of a dinner rush. A friend of mine has celiac and always will notify the restaurant and usually is happy with the meals.

Why are chefs these days OBSESSED with salt? I swear everything I order is doused with it!

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Holly August 12, 2009

I had to laugh at your comment about the spoons! My guy is the exact. same. way. He eats his cereal with soup spoons, haha!

Also- when nights like this happen, I often times flip it around in my head and realize it’s a night/birthday you guys are *certainly* not going to forget :o) I used to go to a lot of concerts and when it rained during them, I started to realize, wow, I will never forget this experience. It changes your whole perspective!

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Charlotte Leonard August 12, 2009

I bet Eric still had an amazing birthday because he got to spend it with the love of his life :)!!

I’m so glad that you tell it like it really is Ange, something I notice is that bloggers often don’t get real with their readers and pretend to have nothing but happy experiences. I think that everyone has had one of those nights and you shouldn’t have to always spin it in a positive way, because it was a negative experience!

Nothing gets my blood pressure up like extra oil, butter, or salad dressing on my food… eeeew! All you can say is WHY???? LOL

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Sana August 12, 2009

Aaaww, I am sure Eric really appreciated the effort you went to for him. I do think its quite rude that the waiter could not be more open minded about your eating choices. I do agree with you though, I have been to many restaurants where when I asked them not to use oil in my food or asked for dressing on the side, the waiters were rude.

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Tay August 12, 2009

Awww I’m so sorry that it wasn’t the complete experience that you wanted. But it’s the company that TRULY matters and it seems like you really knew that since you tried to make the best of the situation and have fun with it! :-) That’s your glow shining through!!

To second your rant, I too hate when they feel they need to douse everything in butter and oil. And I mean everything. Things you wouldn’t even think would need it. I want to taste the FRESH VEGGIES and not the SALTED OIL!!

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eliza August 12, 2009

That waiter was totally inappropriate, and it is too bad the food was too salty. I would complain politely with the manager, you probably will get something for free!

I’m wondering what other’s experiences have been re: eating out. When I worked managing at a restaurant/inn we usually appreciated it when people called ahead to notify us of their allergies/diet requirements. It makes it easier for the place to serve you some tasty eats if they can anticipate your presence.

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Laura August 12, 2009

I’m sorry about the overall experience, but you are right, that is real life. The blouse is gorgeous!

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Natalie M. August 12, 2009

Awww… I’m sorry things didn’t go better for you guys… but I’m sure Eric was just happy to be with you no matter where you guys were…

you’re a hell of a wife… GI-JOE?!? LOL wow Angela… a trooper indeed.

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Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now August 12, 2009

Sorry it was a bad experience, but I’m sure he really appreciated that you wanted it to be a great night for him! You even went to a boring movie for him. Now that’s love!!

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Kristilyn August 12, 2009

Aww, that sucks that you guys had such a bad experience. Interesting what the chef came up with … does he know what vegan means?

I’m not surprised that GI Joe was horrible. They’ve had so much hype for the movie, but I wasn’t too impressed by the trailers. Movies are one thing the Husband and I just don’t go to anymore, either, unless we really want the BIG SCREEN experience or if we have a coupon from someone (my parents give them out at Christmas). People talking and crunching on food, the people who always kick your chair, etc., etc.

I hope you guys have a better night tonight!

K

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Ariel August 12, 2009

Haha Oakville place! I’ve heard that restaurant is bad news from other people too…

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Katy August 12, 2009

Yeah, as a former server and current vegan, I would DEFINITLY complain about that kind of comment. So inappropriate!
My meal last night was awesome… but only because of you! I made my bf and I the choco-coco swirl pancakes and they were soooooo good. I totally failed at making the swirl (more of an “o”) but whatevs. At the end of the meal he asked me where I got the recipe and I said “its all thanks to Angela at ohsheglows.com” and he was like “cheers to Angela at oh she glows”
and then we water-glass cheersed you. :)

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Sheri August 12, 2009

So sorry you dinner was not what you hoped it would be. But thanks for being honest about it! I have had bad restuarnt experiences and they suck! But it looks like you still had a great date!

Thanks about the warning for GI Joe my hubby wants to see that I may just have to sway him another way! ;)

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*Andrea* August 12, 2009

gah bummer. you looked gorg though ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 12, 2009

Thanks for your comments!

I think I will contact the restaurant and complain…

The shirt is from Bebe…it was out in March though, so I think it is pretty much obsolete unless they come out with new colours which they often do for popular shirts. :)

I got Eric 2 new paris of sneakers, 2 t-shirts, and large spoons (its an inside joke that he always complains about how we don’t have enough large spoons for his cereal! haha)

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Katie August 12, 2009

What did you get Eric for his birthday??

Just think about all the fun you’ll get out of this inside joke that you share. Just mention the place or his birthday and I’m sure you can make it funny somehow, even if it means mocking the waiter ;)

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