It amazes me how from one restaurant to the next the experience can be completely opposite. I’ve learned that it’s not the restaurant so much….it’s the chef. As a vegan I’m often placing the fate of my meal in the chef’s hand. Other than requesting no mushrooms- I give them fair game as I understand they are doing me a favor.
I took some out of town friends for a quick pre-flight drink to Capital Grill. Everyone ordered a bunch of appetizers and I asked if they could make me some bruschetta (not on the menu). That was chef Alan’s hint that the vegan was in the building. So I got my bruschetta and was then brought a teriyaki stir fry tower! On the house, vegan, and chef walked it out himself. He told me that when I come in he gets to be creative and loves it. I left Capital Grill Steakhouse, as a vegan, full and satiated.
A few nights later a group of us go to check out a new place in town. Owned and run by a “celebrity chef” that was on Hell’s Kitchen and Chopped. As he walked around greeting the tables my husband mentioned to him that I was a vegan and asked if he could make me something as there wasn’t much on the menu. His response was, “why are you vegan?!” He clearly did not approve of my life decision, not sure why he thought he was allowed an opinion. I gave my typical, “anything you make is great, I just don’t like mushrooms”. I started with a salad that was drowned in vinegar so I couldn’t eat it. When my dinner came out even my husband looked defeated for me. A plate of risotto, drowned in balsamic and covered in mushrooms. I tried a bite, I tried one more. I put my fork down and made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I got home.
People like chef Alan at Capital Grill are amazing and the reason we keep going back there. Needless to say, I will never go to Axton in Pompton Lakes again.
Thank you chef Alan for giving a sh*t!