Dafydd (dgh) wrote,


I am vegetarian. I am also indecisive. Because most restaurants have a small (non-zero) number of vegetarian options, these things go well together. This doesn't work in vegetarian restaurants, which is a shame, because I like to support vegetarian restaurants but I don't like to be faced with many choices.
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June 22 2007, 14:01:19 UTC 10 years ago

Read The Dice Man, and end menu stress.


June 22 2007, 15:12:41 UTC 10 years ago

OMG! I am also a vegetarian and *also* suffer from indecision (pretty bad). I think it is just that I have got so used to going with the only thing on the menu. Then when the food is bad, I complain about there not being many vegetarian options. Though, when someone takes me to a vegetarian restaurant thinking it's something I would like, I get annoyed that there is too many options and I can't decide what to eat.

If this is a common problem, I suggest to these restaurants: a method to end this indecision. Some way to categorise the food and display it according to "preferences" or something (eg. spicy food). Or, perhaps just an Indecision Choice (this would really get a lot of people who suffer this indecision as they'd probably think it isn't that common and this is a meal *just* for them. Restaurant could set a high price on it ;)).
If I were to open a restaurant, I think I would

a) make it a vegan restaurant
b) have no more than 3 menu options

It would be the ideal restaurant for indecisive veg(etari)ans.

A nice side effect: the fewer the options, the more you can concentrate on doing those options very well.
See this talk about the paradox of choice:


(There's another on the site, but I couldn't find it just now). Basically, people get paralyzed in indecision because they dramatically over-value the differences in outcome between two choices. Most of the time, especially in the case of a meal decision, the outcomes are so close together you might as well just select a small group and then pick randomly.
Rationally, I know that it probably matters very little what I choose. Generally I can immediately discard options on the basis that I won't like them, and am left with two or three that are equally good.
Personally I lament the lack of choice, but your dilemma made me smile.

I dislike TVP, but unfortunately many vegetarian restaurants arounnd here only serve TVP. This makes me sad.
I dislike TVP too. When I became vegetarian, I didn't dislike meat, but since then I've developed a pretty strong dislike for it, so I find food which imitates meat distasteful.

Nearly as bad are token vegetarian options, like mushroom omelette or ravioli in tomato sauce. These dishes are not bad in themselves, but become fatigued through forced repetition.
Or what I got a few weeks back: pasta bows in some sort of white sauce, and about 3 half-cherry tomatos. High-quality cheffing!
"I don't like to be faced with many choices."

Which is why you should always carry your dice bag with you...

Or a coin ;)
I've done that before, all it serves to prove is that you're a hideous geek.


10 years ago


10 years ago


10 years ago

I have a simple solution for you: ask for the "suggestion du chef" (I dunno how to translate that in English), that way you'll avoid choosing and you may have a nice chat with the chef/waitress.
why not simply to ask the waiter what do they have vegetarian there in the meal list. He can recommend and you can order the first one
If the menu is fixed and relatively unchanging, just start at the left and order the first thing you've not had before.

yes! i have often found this. i have never felt that i lack in choice because i am fulfilled by the options available to me in most restaurants. but enter a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, and i will eat whatever is closest to my usual meal choices.

this extends to supermarket shopping too though, i can't handle more than 5 meal plans per week. my favourite meal is breakfast, because people don't think it strange if you eat the same thing every day for this meal, but if you do for other meals they look at you askance.

i'm glad you enjoyed the animal verbing, i found it an amusing diversion from work, though sadly few customers joined in; i'd expected that it would be a universal success as entertainment...i must say, you did quite a bit better than we did at it though!
Meal planning — I'm very bad at this. Usually I settle for picking up things that seem useful: pasta, rice, onions, tomatoes, chillies, lentils etc, and try to throw meals together as I need them. This probably only works because I eat out far more than I should. Hopefully moving into a place with more people in soon which might make that easier.

Verbs — well, there were quite a few of us and I found it hard to stop thinking about it once we got going. It's amazing how many there are.


10 years ago