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I think I'd rather spend that $20-$30 for one meal on a bunch of stuff at Madison Market and create a weeks worth of dinners. If you don't know how to create a weeks worth of meals (for one person, maybe two...never tried) on $30 then you A) don't know what you're doing and B) are wasteful and should just hand over you're money to me, the poor, and the homeless (LOL...take a joke, will ya?)
But seriously, I am happy they exist simply for the fact that meat eaters can see that us vegans don't starve and have more options than twigs and leaves.
The price is usually tolerable on any level if you leave a restaurant feeling like you " got what you paid for" however you wish to qualify the notion. "The portions were huge", "The service was wonderful", "Everything was seasoned perfectly", etc. When a restaurant that has already been busy on a regular basis (for years) still has frazzled service, under seasoned foods, and portions that beef up (wink) the starch and dumb down the vegetables (hello? vegetarian restaurant?) you feel in general...,underwhelmed. The preparation of food and the love of a specifically designed palate/food philosophy don't have to be mutually exclusive. Why can't a vegetarian restaurant accept their role in the system as a meatless venture and then feel free to explore truly exciting flavors and seasonal offerings? Fuck your Auntie AND her Moosewood cookbook. Make it worth my TIME and my money will follow.