Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Riverwalk in Pueblo, Colorado is a charming place to walk on a cool summer evening. In places, it is quiet and peaceful; in others, boisterous.
We chose a restaurant in the repurposed jail. Though there are many ramps, the place is not really very accessible. After 10 months of life on oxygen, I can assure you that not not everyone who needs a handicapped parking permit is in a wheelchair, I saw just one handicapped parking place and I was not entirely sure it wasn't left over from the building's previous life.
Still, the menu offered creative drinks and several options for a vegetarian. I didn't make the best choice. I should have asked more questions. My meal was chunks of squash, some onion, some peppers stirred in a garlic and adobo sauce and served in a grilled poblano. It was very flavorful and there was no place for the tastebuds to go to be refreshed. It certainly was not worth the price.
I told the waiter that it wasn't what I expected when he delivered it. I spoke to the manager who wanted to know what he could do to make me "happy." The chef came out and I explained that even a vegan (which I am not) needs some protein, suggested white beans in with the veggies would take care of the protein deficiency. We discussed the need to give the palate a break in the meal, maybe applesauce, a fruit couli, etc. He seemed to understand and appreciate the information. We had a nice dessert, a lemon tart with berries and meringue peaks. Then the bill. None of the concessions offered by the manager showed up on the bill. The chef did come out with two housemade chocolates and a card for a free dessert on a future visit. We were visiting overnight and had no expectation that we would be back at another time to use that free dessert.
I wanted to like the restaurant. I was thrilled that there were options for vegetarians and vegans. The drink was excellent. The food had potential. In fact, I think I will replicate the dish as a side dish with grilled tofu or a veggie burger. The key in that sentence is side dish.
I want to make two points:
1) I resent paying main course prices for side dish portions simply because I am vegetarian. My husband's meat-based meal was substantial and filling and cheaper than my vegetables; and
2) When the manager offers another meal to take home, to add a protein, etc., and the customer is not in a position to accept the offer, the bill should reflect some concession like a price reduction. In other words, don't imply promises you don't intend to keep.

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