I went to the Red Cabbage Cafe because it is known for its Vegetarian Menu. Beneath the title, "Vegetarian Menu", it states that they use chicken stock in many of their items. When I inquired with the chef, I discovered that almost all of their so-called "vegetarian" items contain chicken stock. The mole, the enchiladas, the chile relleno. There is a "Vegetarian Mexican Plate" which contains chicken stock in virtually all of their items except, perhaps, the guacamole. They have a chile relleno with soy beef that, ironically, is made with chicken stock. I didn't ask about whether the rice and/or beans have any chicken or other animal stock in them.
I can understand the confusion from the employees, as many people who call themselves vegetarian still eat fish and/or might not mind if their food was cooked on the same grill/pan/wok as meat dishes. The owner, however, seems to be well-aware of these distinctions because she wrote it on the menu. She advertises "vegetarian menu" with Mexican specialties that supposedly cannot be tried by vegetarians elsewhere. I'm not sure why she'd do that. On one hand, she doesn't hide that fact, as she states the fact that chicken stock is in the recipes, but at the same time she calls it vegetarian. Even if the meat-flesh is removed from the recipe, the item is still not vegetarian. She seems to appreciate that fact -- perhaps more than in the past. I visited the Red Cabbage two years ago and ate many of the items that have chicken stock. The old menu didn't disclose this fact. For some reason, the newest menu now does. I am thankful for that fact, though this restaurant is removed from the rest of Vallarta, tucked away in a neighborhood about fifteen minutes' walk from the Romantic Zone away from the center of town. I wouldn't have patronized this restaurant, as all I could eat -- other than salad -- was guacamole and black bean soup. Neither was particularly good, though the guacamole had excellent texture while lacking in flavor.
The staff was gracious, understanding, and helpful.
I would not recommend this place for strict vegetarians. Strict vegetarians and vegans are in the same boat for this place, with little offered other than what one can get at any place: salad, guacamole, chips and salsa.
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 25, 2012
Cons: Vegetarian Menu not Vegetarian, Misrepresentation of vegetarian food, Out of the way