I gave this restaurant a 2 star rating although I felt it was more like 1. The reason I did this is because I feel everyone deserves a second chance. Let me explain:
I just moved to Newfane, and I was very excited to learn there was a Chinese restaurant only 5 minutes from where I lived. I am a vegan. This means I try where possible to exclude all animal products from the ingredients in what I eat. It doesn't mean that I can't deal with cross-contamination, which I understand is necessary in restaurants that do not exclusively offer vegan.
I called the restaurant ahead of time to ensure I could order a vegan meal. I was assured if I came in, they would give me what I wanted. I talked with the girl at the counter and asked her to prepare tofu and broccoli with a white sauce which contained no animal products including seafood, like fish sauce.
She did not understand my request, and I needed to explain it to her several times. I could tell she was becoming very impatient with me, and at one time told me she could just not do it. After going back and forth with trying to explain my request, I gave it one more try. Please make me tofu and broccoli. It's ok to fry the tofu in the deep fryer. Please just ensure when you cook my food in the large skillet, to wash it out first and then add in the tofu and broccoli and sauces / ingredients. Please just ensure the sauces you add into the large skillet do not have any animal products in them. That is all I am requesting.
Finally, she gave the cook the order, but I knew she was not very happy with me. I don't think as a new patron of this restaurant I should have been made to feel this way. There are a lot of vegetarians and vegans in Asia, and I would have thought the staff would have been more educated on vegan food.
When my food was done, she tossed it on the counter with the bag wide open. She did not even motion for me that my food was done. She went and helped 2 other customers. I felt very disrespected as a new customer there and really do not want to go back unless the owner can assure me I will be treated with more compassion and respected for my vegan lifestyle.
I moved here from Cheektowaga. There I was a patron of 2 Chinese restaurants. The staff were more than wonderful to me. They listened to my request and made my meals according to my needs. I even became friends with them and talked about life in general. One of the restaurants told me that I was their best customer!!! Admittedly, I love tofu and broccoli and often get that for take outs --sometimes a few times a week.
I also am opening up an animal sanctuary this year, and we will have many vegans that will visit us soon. This Chinese restaurant would be in the best position to receive our business if they only offered a vegan menu or even just educated their staff on vegan requirements.
I am hoping that my comments get to the owner, Sandy, and that the owner will respond. I am anxious to see changes that can accommodate vegans very soon.
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