It is with a little trepidation that I write this blog, for a Vegetarian visiting a Steak house is probably not the most ideal situation, however....... I was in a group of people who wanted to go so I toddled along.
There are no photos as it was too dark in the restaurant to take any without industrial flash, and I didn't have the camera with me with the flash on.
So, we had a table booked, and we were seated on a little table behind the main doorway. As mentioned before it was very dark, so dark in fact that our friend could not manage to read the menu, which was printed on black & red paper. The waitress was very good, however, and read it out to her.
I chose to have....Portobello mushroom and beef tomato: cooked on the stone served with red onion, rocket and a Dijon mustard and balsamic dressing on toasted ciabatta.
I asked for it without red onion and was told this was fine. However the side vegetables served with the meal was red onions, mushrooms, peppers and courgettes mixed together, and I couldn't have that without the onions. As my husband wouldn't eat this either, we asked if it could be swapped for a garlic mushroom side dish. This was ok.
The others all went for a steak.
The steaks arrived first, carried one at a time, as I imagine the lava stones are quite heavy, and mine arrived last. I was quite surprised to find a total of three regular sized mushrooms, sliced and cooking on the stone, and six slices of small salad tomato. The red onion was very present and had flavoured all the ciabatta on which it lay. No one came back to do a satisfaction check, there was a large party (perhaps two) in the other room, resulting in us being abandoned somewhat. Our friends did not get their vegetables either, they had also ordered some garlic mushrooms so presumed they had been swapped as ours was.
The concept of the stone is good for steak, however, trying to eat a boiling hot tomato that doesn't cool down any is not the easiest of things, I had to rest the tomato slices on my bread to cool them down. The mushrooms just shrivelled up. But really, I have seen more food as a garnish on a pub food plate.
Finally, at the end of the meal the waitress returned to take our plates, at this point I decided to question the small amount of food. It went something along the lines of this......
"Food was nice, but I expected a Portobello Mushroom?"
"Oh, yes, sorry meant to say, we ran out"
"And the Beef Tomato?"
"We ran out of those too"
"And I asked for no onions, the salad (as in rocket) was covered in it"
"You didn't ask for salad"
No, the salad that came with the ciabatta and meal, it had onion on it, I asked for no onion"
LOUDER: "You didn't order salad!"
"The salad, comes with the meal, it's on the menu"
SNOTTY "Well, I don't know what comes out of the kitchen"
"Fair enough, well to be honest, I am not happy with paying £9.00 for three small mushrooms and a small tomato"
"I'll speak to the Chef"
With this she left. Ten minutes later she returned and said the Chef said I could have it for £4.50 - which I agreed too. When the bill arrived the deduction was made, but my friends had been charged for their mushroom dish, by this time we just wanted to leave.
Our friends actually enjoyed their food, but due to the attitude of the waitress it ruined a good night out.
As I said at the start, it seems a bit unfair for a Vegetarian to criticize a Steak House, but you know, there are times, especially if they have to welcome parties, that Vegetarians will have to be catered for, that's why I decided to go ahead and write up my blog.
Feel free to add your own views, would be interested to read them.
Contact details below:
The Pompeii Steakhouse
1-3 Abbey Street
Phone: 01228 402440