San Chez Bistro

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 2 reviews )

38 W Fulton (at Division), Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 49503

Serves meat, vegan options available. Ask for separate vegan menu.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Beer/Wine, Spanish, Tapas, Non-veg

2 Reviews

First Review by happycowgirl

Disappointing - Edit

I ate at San Chez Bistro (the cafe) for the second time yesterday and was very disappointed. It seems inexcusable to me that a restaurant of this caliber seems confused about what vegan means. First of all, you have to request a special vegan/vegetarian menu. This special menu must be a reprint of some of the recipes from their main menu because almost all of the recipes have meat and eggs in them with the option to swap these ingredients out for things like mushrooms and their mysterious non vegan egg substitute.

There were approximately 3 vegan lunch meals that weren't salads. My husband ordered a falafel type sandwich and that seemed to go well, it even came with some tasty (if very greasy) potatoes. One of the other vegan sandwiches had an option to swap the meat for mushrooms but still came with eggs, so that was obviously not an option. This sandwich, by the way, was clearly labeled as vegan on their menu but just as clearly, was not vegan. I ordered the third choice which seemed to be vegan. Apparently it was not and I had to clarify to the waitress several times that yes, I am vegan and that means I won't eat an egg substitute that is not vegan. They ended up dropping the fake non vegan eggs and adding extra spinach and guacamole to my sandwich which they charged me extra for. I basically ended up with the same sandwich as my husband only I was charged extra to make it vegan.

Overall this was a very frustrating experience. I would love to love this restaurant. It's in a great location and is a fun place to go. But, unless you're in a mood for a salad where you have them hold the animals foods, I'd avoid this place until they put some actual effort into their vegan menu.

Pros: location, in a beautiful building, friendly staff

Cons: not vegan friendly

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Secret Vegan Menu - Edit

Here's the deal, once you're seated you have to tell the server you're vegan and they bring you out a special vegan menu. It's awesome that they offer a vegan menu. The trouble is, unless you know to ask for it, you'll never know they have it. That really ticks me off. It would be wonderful if they could put a small note or asterick on the bottom of the regular menu that lets customers know there is a "vegan menu available upon request" or something like that. Better yet, list the vegan items on the main menu and put a green leaf or asterick next to the items that can be made vegan. It is not only vegans who enjoy eating vegan food.

Ironically, I found out about the secret vegan menu *after* we ate. So I ordered off the regular menu that eveyone gets when they're seated. The regular menu has a pretty impressive "vegetariano" section, so I give them kudos for that. It was just such a let down finding out at the end of my meal that I could have ordered off the vegan menu and had a much easier go of it. Oh well, don't make the same mistake I did.

Helpful staff. Beautiful interior. Kid-friendly.

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