Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Hard Lesson to Learn: Vegetarians Buyer Beware!

My husband and I recently had a horrible experience at a restaurant lately. I wanted to share it with you so you could learn from our mistake. Here is my husbands review:
Evo - Worcester, MA: "My wife and I are vegetarians and love Worcester for the quality and quantity of restaurants that have veggie options. Today we made a trip to Worcester to attend the annual vegetarian fest at Worcester State College. At the event we picked up a brochure that listed Evo as being veggie-friendly and having vegan pizza and sandwiches. We figured we'd give it a shot.

Upon arrival we were thoroughly excited. The restaurant has a cool look and indeed, the menu is very veggie friendly. My wife ordered a tofurkey panani and I ordered a tofurkey wrap. As we waited for our food we were initially talking about coming back to try a number of other options we saw on the menu. All of that changed....

Our food arrived and we dug in. We happily munched away on our lunch until my wrap fell apart and I noticed that the contents were not tofurkey at all. I had been eating a turkey sandwich. My wife's sandwich was indeed tofurkey, but mine was chalk-full of meat. Unfortunately, I had given my wife a bite of my food, so we both ate meat unknowingly. We were both physically sick when we realized the mistake.

For a restaurant that serves so many vegetarian and vegan options, we both felt like this was an unforgivable mistake. When told of the mistake our waitress didn't seem to understand the gravity of the situation. In fact, she didn't apologize and she still tried charged us for the sandwich!!!

Still being charged was the last straw. My wife, now in tears, approached the manager. The manager was much, much more understanding and apologetic. There were countless apologies and the manager took both of our sandwiches off of the tab.

The whole situation was disgusting and embarrassing. Needless to say, we'll never go back to Evo."
Now this restaurant was chosen as Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2009 in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette Reader's Poll! We learned a hard lesson that day; buyer beware. It is OUR responsibility to make sure our food is vegetarian. And just because a restaurant is advertised as being great for vegetarians does not mean we can let our gaurd down. In fact if we had done some research (on we would have discovered that this has happened a few times before.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? What did you do about it?


  1. Oh, makes me ill to think about this happening. So sorry for you and hubby! What's awful is that now you feel like no matter where you go you will have to ask and re-ask the server, which will lead you to like the "freak" vegetarian. Makes me so angry. It's a reason why I love having a vegetarian restaurant in my town. NO chance of meat on the plate.

  2. you should post this on yelp too. how awful!

  3. Yuck. It has happened to me a few times (I'm 13 years veg and unfortunately mistakes happen). It's really upsetting when it happens and when the server doesn't take it seriously it's even worse. I am not a 4sq user but am wondering if it's worth trying it just to share these kind of veggie tips...

  4. It's happened a couple of times. Usually I figure it out pretty quickly and they politely fix the problem. A month ago, though, I was out drinking and ordered a veggie burger. Everything seemed fine until a couple of hours later when I got violently ill. I returned to the bar that had sold me the burger and the bouncer wouldn't even let me in! I tried to explain the situation to no avail. Then I tried to sneak around him and he punched me in the head!

  5. I can see this from two points of view. One, being a former restaurant owner, and two being a vegetarian myself!
    In the food business mistakes happen, but that turkey went from the cook to the server, both of which should have inspected it before it left their possession. It was absolutely right that the manager give the comps, but the server I am sure was just an hourly employee and only cared about what she was doing after work.
    I think you've done the right thing. This has happened to me before and I don't think there is much more you can do other than what you did. If you don't get good results from the server, then definitly see the manager.
    So, good job!
    and definitley better luck next time.

  6. wow, I can't believe that!! Not only because they served you meat, but wanted to charge you for their mistake!

  7. WOW! That is absolutely unbelievable! Sorry to hear about your experience.

  8. I haven't been veg for very long so nothing like this has happened to me (yet). I'm glad you wrote about it though so now I'll know to pay attention that what I ordered is what I got.

  9. Oh my gosh! That's makes me sick and disgusted for you! What a horrible experience!

  10. HOW horrible!!!! I can't believe this!


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