The Cottage Cafe

The Cottage Cafe is a quaint restaurant, tea room and bakery located in downtown Bluffton (SC). Before I transitioned to a vegetarian diet, I had many really good meals there. And since then? ….It has been a little more difficult. It wasn’t until I began eating a plant based diet that I really noticed how meat laden most restaurant menus are, typically leaving a vegetarian diner with limited options.  Today highlighted that fact. If you happen to be vegan, it becomes almost impossible to find something to eat beyond salad (and sometimes, not even that!).  If you happen to live in a large or diverse city, I know that there are restaurants that cater to vegetarians, but Bluffton has not progressed that far yet. At The Cottage, all 9 specials contained meat, poultry or seafood. As did all 5 lettuce wraps, all 3 pot pies, 8 of 9 salads, 5 of 7 paninis, all 3 wraps and 3 of 4 of the “unique paninis”. They do offer 3 vegetarian pizzas and a “Veggie-Heaven Protein Burger” (Sounds appetizing.  They could’ve just called in a veggie burger.). But even though it may sound like I’m complaining (I’m not, just reporting my observations), that wasn’t what really gave me pause…It was the waitresses’ reaction to my friend who ordered a green juice for lunch (it was on the menu) due to extremely limited vegan options.  It was almost a sneer. It was also her reaction to me when I ordered a bread salad without the shrimp or crab cake that was supposed to go with it. (disbelief). In this day and age, as more and more people are limiting or excluding meat from their diet, you would think that waiters and waitresses would be a little more accepting and even accommodating. Restaurants need to jump on board and support people and their dietary choices. The Cottage Cafe has a great chef who serves well-prepared and creative dishes.  I know that he or she could also prepare some stellar and innovative vegetarian and vegan dishes beyond pizza and salad.  Hopefully as Americans begin to shift towards a more health conscious diet, restaurants will follow suit with varied menus to meet the needs of many diets. What has been your experience dining out?

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