I don't know how many of you know Michael Saripkin, alias Mississippi Mike or better yet, The Raw Food Critic or The Raw Gourmand.
He was featured on one of Matt Monarch's interviews a few weeks back talking about how the only restaurant near him is fast food and not much in the way of health food stores either, yet he has gone raw and changed his health.
Anyway, he basically reviews raw food recipes, products, and restaurants- all things raw and has had quite the success story of transformation. I receive his newsletter reviews on Facebook.
Here is what he had to say about his recent trip to a local restaurant in New Orleans that virtually had nothing raw on the menu for him. I like the way he handled this and the wonderful outcome:
One look at the menu told me that I would have to be creative. The choices ranged from nachos covered with cheese and choices of meats, French Dip sandwiches, Shrimp Po-Boys, burgers and even salads. Ah, but there’s the rub. The salads were chef’s salad, covered with meats and cheeses, Caesar salads with anchovy dressing, chicken salad, of course topped with chicken, or the classic “garden salad.” The problem with the traditional garden salad, is that it is offered as a side item, complete with NOTHING. This was the case here. A garden salad consisted of chopped lettuce, tomatoes, croutons and cheese. Partially raw, partially vegan, and totally unacceptable for the raw diner.
So Stephanie, our waitress took everyone’s orders, and approached me last. I briefly explained my dietary requirements. I told her to ask the chef if they would prepare me a salad. I told her that the chef could use any fresh vegetable, and even add any fresh fruits. She seemed accommodating, and only asked if there were any particular vegetables or fruits that I wanted. I told her that it was just the contrary. The chef could use any of these items that were available, since there are no fruits nor vegetables which I will not eat.
Our server went to the kitchen, and ten minutes later, brought me a huge “pasta” bowl of fine raw delicacies. I started digging in, and discovered that the chef, Sherita, included romaine lettuce, celery, tomato, mushroom, onion and bell pepper. Everything except the lettuce was very thinly sliced and crisp. Upon closer examination, I discovered thinly sliced apple, honeydew melon, pineapple and orange slices.
The salad was almost too much to eat….of course you notice I said almost. I enjoyed each crunchy bite, and look forward to visiting the Checkered Parrot on another trip to New Orleans.
Remember, no matter where you go to eat, you can eat raw/vegan. However, before you open your mouth to eat, you must open your mouth to order. Do not be afraid to ask. You are paying the check, so order what you want. If they will not prepare it, then no harm done. You have discovered a restaurant where you do not want to dine again, because they do not appreciate you as a patron. But, if they want you to return, just like the Checkered Parrot did for me, they will go out of their way to accommodate your needs. My bib is off to Sherita, Stephanie and the management of the Checkered Parrot.
So when you think you can't speak up and order what you like- do it anyway! You are paying the bill with your wallet and your health!