Author Topic: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything." Update p 50  (Read 13295 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 09:17:20 PM »
Vegetarian means different things in different parts of the world. In South America, being vegetarian means you don't eat red meat.

mich3554

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2013, 02:59:56 PM »
Last night, we went to a churrascaria and I paid particular attention to this salad bar after reading this thread earlier.

Let me preface this that I am the ultimate carnivore, so I attempted to look at this from a vegetarian standpoint.

The salad bar contained every single green veggie that you can think of, roasted.  I could have eaten my weight in roasted veggies itself.  There were no less than 6 salads that contained some kind of grain....rice, couscous, lentils and a few more that I didn't recognize.  The cheese platter looked equally awesome and I could have done some pretty decent damage here as well.  At the end of the salad bar was a huge cesear's salad (my personal fave and I visited his a couple times), along with pans of flavored rice, garlic mashed potatoes and black beans (I need to play around with this recipe, as these were awesome).  Not sure where the restaurant got this, but managed to get heirloom tomatoes and had a tomato and mozarella plate that my b/f revisited a couple times too.

The skewers that came around included grilled pineapple, shrimp and some sort of firm fish (maybe mahi?....didn't get a chance to try this) along with the rest of the carnivore offerings (lamb, beef, turkey and pork).

Quite frankly, I have not seen salad bars this nice in restaurants which are actually salad bars alone.  This is the third churrascaria that I have tried in 3 different cities and all of the salad bars have been equally well endowed.

I think that the more grievous error by the OP's MIL was not necessarily the choice of a restaurant, but dictating the date. 

baglady

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2013, 03:29:04 PM »
Last night, we went to a churrascaria and I paid particular attention to this salad bar after reading this thread earlier.

Let me preface this that I am the ultimate carnivore, so I attempted to look at this from a vegetarian standpoint.

The salad bar contained every single green veggie that you can think of, roasted.  I could have eaten my weight in roasted veggies itself.  There were no less than 6 salads that contained some kind of grain....rice, couscous, lentils and a few more that I didn't recognize.  The cheese platter looked equally awesome and I could have done some pretty decent damage here as well.  At the end of the salad bar was a huge cesear's salad (my personal fave and I visited his a couple times), along with pans of flavored rice, garlic mashed potatoes and black beans (I need to play around with this recipe, as these were awesome).  Not sure where the restaurant got this, but managed to get heirloom tomatoes and had a tomato and mozarella plate that my b/f revisited a couple times too.

The skewers that came around included grilled pineapple, shrimp and some sort of firm fish (maybe mahi?....didn't get a chance to try this) along with the rest of the carnivore offerings (lamb, beef, turkey and pork).

Quite frankly, I have not seen salad bars this nice in restaurants which are actually salad bars alone.  This is the third churrascaria that I have tried in 3 different cities and all of the salad bars have been equally well endowed.

I think that the more grievous error by the OP's MIL was not necessarily the choice of a restaurant, but dictating the date.

Sounds delicious and I want to go there! But keep in mind not all churrascarias are created equal. You happened to go to one that had a kick-butt salad and side bar. They aren't all like that, as PPs have mentioned.

Unless (a) this particular restaurant *does* have a great salad/side bar and (b) OP has expressed a fondness for it, I do think it's rude on principle to insist on taking a guest of honor out to eat at a place whose *specialty* s/he can't eat, whether that's a festival-of-meat place for a vege/pescetarian, Red Lobster for someone who keeps kosher or is seafood-allergic, or Noodles R Us for someone on a carb-restricted diet.
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Bluenomi

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2013, 06:58:31 PM »
Now I have invited a vegetarian to a churrascaria before but to be fair it was my birthday and I did warn her it was a meat fest and she didn't have to come if she was worried about not being able to eat much. As it turned out the place was terrible and the people who got the vegetarian platter were the best fed  :P

Asking about the date is fine, setting the date for the GOH is rude. And you never tell them where you are taking them unless it is to a place they have told you they are dying to go to for whatever reason.

sammycat

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything."
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2013, 08:29:51 PM »
I think the vegetarianism and actual restaurant are almost red herrings here.

Basically the MIL is trying to force her own desire to eat at this restaurant on the OP when it's her (OP's) special day. If MIL was truly serious about celebrating OP's birthday she'd let OP choose the restaurant, and on a date that suited OP, not MIL.

It's as though MIL wants to dine at this particular place (which is fine in and of itself), and is using OP's birthday as an excuse to do so, which is not fine. At all.

spookycatlady

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything." - Update
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2013, 08:12:05 AM »
OP here

So, the Dude called his mom last night.  MIL has tried many a Brazillian BBQ (not going to attempt spelling) and wanted to share the experience with us.  Because I was such an enthusiastic carnivore prior to me getting very sick last year, she assumed the vegetarianism was just a temporary state of affairs.  He explained that it wasn't, as every time I experiment with meat, I get an increasingly dramatic result.  Except he gave her a rather hilarious and graphic description. I could hear her laughing on the other side of the phone.

She's coming to town on Friday; we're going for sushi.  I mentioned to the Dude that I would be happy to try the restaurant on her birthday in a couple of months, but he said, "Why would we purposely pick a place that you'd be left out of the bulk of the experience?  No, we'll go somewhere else."

As for my labelling myself as vegetarian, it's just easier to explain than using the term pescatarian.  At least in where I live, most people will ask a self-identified veggie about fish.  An added personal complication is that I don't care for cooked fish. It's not for health reasons, but the smell and flavour is extremely unpleasant to me; I would happily just have boiled carrots and a side salad if it meant I didn't have to eat fish.  However, the way I was raised means that if someone were to put a plate of something I find personally unpleasant in front of me, but it isn't medically prohibited, I will eat it with a smile on my face and thank the cook for an excellent meal.

However, this is how the invitations usually play out:

Friend/Family I haven't seen a while: Come over for dinner!
Spooky: Awesome, we'd love to!
F/F: Any dietary issues or allergies?
Spooky: I had to go vegetarian, but I'm happy to eat side dishes, please no extra effort required!
F/F: What about fish?
Spooky: Shellfish seems okay and raw fish is fine, but I don't really do cooked fish.  But really, please don't worry about me, I'm perfectly fine with sides.  Can I bring anything?

It seems to work.  I really don't want anyone to have to modify their entire meal plan around me. I just thought that since the reason to go out happened to be about me, maybe I could be a little selfish this time. And it did!  Yay, eHell!

rose red

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything." - Update
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2013, 09:18:03 AM »
She's coming to town on Friday; we're going for sushi.  I mentioned to the Dude that I would be happy to try the restaurant on her birthday in a couple of months, but he said, "Why would we purposely pick a place that you'd be left out of the bulk of the experience?  No, we'll go somewhere else."

Actually, since you ended up picking your choice of a restaurant for your birthday (as you should!), she should get to pick her choice for her birthday.  Several posters have experienced awesome salad bars.  Perhaps you can call them up or research if this restaurant is one of them.

Fleur

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Re: "Let's celebrate your birthday at a place you can't eat anything." - Update
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2013, 11:13:09 AM »
She's coming to town on Friday; we're going for sushi.  I mentioned to the Dude that I would be happy to try the restaurant on her birthday in a couple of months, but he said, "Why would we purposely pick a place that you'd be left out of the bulk of the experience?  No, we'll go somewhere else."

Actually, since you ended up picking your choice of a restaurant for your birthday (as you should!), she should get to pick her choice for her birthday.  Several posters have experienced awesome salad bars.  Perhaps you can call them up or research if this restaurant is one of them.

I don't know, it was the OP's husband who said this, not the OP. The mother can always go there herself  if she is very keen to try it. If it were my birthday, I would want to go somewhere everyone could enjoy unless it impacted on me ( as in the situation in the OP)

lady_disdain

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Now I have invited a vegetarian to a churrascaria before but to be fair it was my birthday and I did warn her it was a meat fest and she didn't have to come if she was worried about not being able to eat much. As it turned out the place was terrible and the people who got the vegetarian platter were the best fed  :P

Asking about the date is fine, setting the date for the GOH is rude. And you never tell them where you are taking them unless it is to a place they have told you they are dying to go to for whatever reason.

I really disagree. It is up to the host to choose the date and venue. The guests can choose  to accept or decline. Extending the choice of restaurant to the guest is a courtesy. Of course I think it is nice to choose but it isn't required (and can lead to all sorts of etiquette pitfalls by itself - what if the guest chooses a restaurant that is out of the budget the host had set aside for the event, for example?).  A host can be thoughtless about their choice (such as the OP's example) but the guests always have the right of refusal. And it would be terribly rude of the potential host to complain or emotionally blackmail their guest because of the refusal.

artk2002

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Now I have invited a vegetarian to a churrascaria before but to be fair it was my birthday and I did warn her it was a meat fest and she didn't have to come if she was worried about not being able to eat much. As it turned out the place was terrible and the people who got the vegetarian platter were the best fed  :P

Asking about the date is fine, setting the date for the GOH is rude. And you never tell them where you are taking them unless it is to a place they have told you they are dying to go to for whatever reason.

I really disagree. It is up to the host to choose the date and venue. The guests can choose  to accept or decline. Extending the choice of restaurant to the guest is a courtesy. Of course I think it is nice to choose but it isn't required (and can lead to all sorts of etiquette pitfalls by itself - what if the guest chooses a restaurant that is out of the budget the host had set aside for the event, for example?).  A host can be thoughtless about their choice (such as the OP's example) but the guests always have the right of refusal. And it would be terribly rude of the potential host to complain or emotionally blackmail their guest because of the refusal.

In the ordinary course of hosting and guesting, I would agree with you. However, when there's an event specifically intended to honor someone, a "take it or leave it" attitude is wrong. That attitude makes it all about the host and not the honoree. Given your position, I would be fine holding an event honoring the Temperance Society on a Sunday morning at my local strip bar. Not much of an "honor" is it? Choosing a location and time that are inappropriate for the supposed guest of honor is no honor and is rude.
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baglady

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Now I have invited a vegetarian to a churrascaria before but to be fair it was my birthday and I did warn her it was a meat fest and she didn't have to come if she was worried about not being able to eat much. As it turned out the place was terrible and the people who got the vegetarian platter were the best fed  :P

Asking about the date is fine, setting the date for the GOH is rude. And you never tell them where you are taking them unless it is to a place they have told you they are dying to go to for whatever reason.

I really disagree. It is up to the host to choose the date and venue. The guests can choose  to accept or decline. Extending the choice of restaurant to the guest is a courtesy. Of course I think it is nice to choose but it isn't required (and can lead to all sorts of etiquette pitfalls by itself - what if the guest chooses a restaurant that is out of the budget the host had set aside for the event, for example?).  A host can be thoughtless about their choice (such as the OP's example) but the guests always have the right of refusal. And it would be terribly rude of the potential host to complain or emotionally blackmail their guest because of the refusal.

In the ordinary course of hosting and guesting, I would agree with you. However, when there's an event specifically intended to honor someone, a "take it or leave it" attitude is wrong. That attitude makes it all about the host and not the honoree. Given your position, I would be fine holding an event honoring the Temperance Society on a Sunday morning at my local strip bar. Not much of an "honor" is it? Choosing a location and time that are inappropriate for the supposed guest of honor is no honor and is rude.

Art, in my state you might be fine with that! A lot of strip bars don't serve alcohol.  8)

But seriously: In the birthday dinner situations I've been involved in (as treater or treat-ee), there's almost always been a choice offered ("So, would you like to go to ThisPlace or ThatPlace?"). If there isn't, it's because the treater knows the treat-ee likes a certain place, or has been wanting to try it. ("So, we'd like to take you to NewBrewpub for your birthday, are you interested?")
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lady_disdain

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Now I have invited a vegetarian to a churrascaria before but to be fair it was my birthday and I did warn her it was a meat fest and she didn't have to come if she was worried about not being able to eat much. As it turned out the place was terrible and the people who got the vegetarian platter were the best fed  :P

Asking about the date is fine, setting the date for the GOH is rude. And you never tell them where you are taking them unless it is to a place they have told you they are dying to go to for whatever reason.

I really disagree. It is up to the host to choose the date and venue. The guests can choose  to accept or decline. Extending the choice of restaurant to the guest is a courtesy. Of course I think it is nice to choose but it isn't required (and can lead to all sorts of etiquette pitfalls by itself - what if the guest chooses a restaurant that is out of the budget the host had set aside for the event, for example?).  A host can be thoughtless about their choice (such as the OP's example) but the guests always have the right of refusal. And it would be terribly rude of the potential host to complain or emotionally blackmail their guest because of the refusal.

In the ordinary course of hosting and guesting, I would agree with you. However, when there's an event specifically intended to honor someone, a "take it or leave it" attitude is wrong. That attitude makes it all about the host and not the honoree. Given your position, I would be fine holding an event honoring the Temperance Society on a Sunday morning at my local strip bar. Not much of an "honor" is it? Choosing a location and time that are inappropriate for the supposed guest of honor is no honor and is rude.

If we go to extremes, we can always find a rude way of doing something that isn't rude per se.

I see inviting someone to dinner as a gift. The person giving the gift should consider the recipient's tastes, likes and needs but they choose what they are giving. That isn't rude or all about them. Your example, however, is similar to someone giving a fur coat to a animal rights activist. That doesn't make choosing what you will gift rude but it does make that gift rude.

nyoprinces

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You can add me to the list of people who've experienced great salad bars at Brazilian restaurants - the two I've been to have both had excellent salad bars, and I'd even say one was the best I've ever seen. It was so good, if I were hosting a vegetarian for a meal out, I'd actually be more likely to suggest the Brazilian restaurant than most other things. Amazing fresh veggies, some of the best seafood soup I've ever had, and tons of salad options. I think it's one of those things that might sound like a passive-aggressive cruel thing to a vegetarian receiving the suggestion, but seem totally natural and sincere to the person issuing the invitation.

Aeris

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You can add me to the list of people who've experienced great salad bars at Brazilian restaurants - the two I've been to have both had excellent salad bars, and I'd even say one was the best I've ever seen. It was so good, if I were hosting a vegetarian for a meal out, I'd actually be more likely to suggest the Brazilian restaurant than most other things. Amazing fresh veggies, some of the best seafood soup I've ever had, and tons of salad options. I think it's one of those things that might sound like a passive-aggressive cruel thing to a vegetarian receiving the suggestion, but seem totally natural and sincere to the person issuing the invitation.

Then honestly, the onus is on the inviter to make it clear why they would think this made sense. I'm a vegetarian, and I've only ever been to one Brazilian restaurant - the salad bar was totally meh, and the entire point was clearly meat, meat, meat, meat, and more meat. Now that's cool, if that's what you're going for. But before reading this thread it would not have occurred to me that there might typically be more going on at restaurant who's theme and concept seemed centered around meat.

But if someone said "Hey, I'd love to take you to Blahblahblah place for your birthday. Now I know that might sound weird, but their salad bar is the most amazing thing in the entire world, with tons of vegetarian stuff and trust me, I'd want to take you there if it was the only thing they served!", then I'd get what they were trying to do. And that could be interesting.

But without some qualifier, I'd be seriously perplexed why they were picking that type of restaurant for me.

Sharnita

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There are also some vegetarians who are distressed by the sight of meat.  Now normally when going out my opinion would be "that is their cross to bear" but if it is a dinner for their birthday I would be a bit cautious about bringing them to the Kingdom of Meat.   OTOH, if they loved meat but had to give it up for medical reasons I probably wouldn't suggest that either.