41 E. Sixth Street
After work yesterday I met up with my husband at Cadillac Ranch, one of the newer restaurants to open in downtown Cincinnati this past summer, to enjoy Happy Hour and sample the menu. We entertain a lot of out of town guests and make a point of familiarizing ourselves with all the local eateries so that we can offer informed choices to our guests, and Cadillac Ranch was one of the few we hadn’t yet tried.
Three months after opening, the web site is still under construction, so their menu wasn’t available, but we decided to give them a try anyway and see what they had. Although their smoking patio was doing a brisk business, the cavernous restaurant itself was nearly empty when we were seated by the hostess, which surprised us. Usually restaurants are very busy during Happy Hour.
I wish I could say I was shocked to discover, upon opening the menu, that there was not a single vegetarian entrée on the list, but I’ve gotten over being shocked and surprised in Midwestern restaurants. I’m used to opting for a salad and a hot appetizer or side dish, while my meat-eating companions enjoy an overabundance of choice. I try not to let it bother me too much, as restaurants in general have gotten better about offering at least one or two veggie choices, which is a far cry from what it was like when I first became vegetarian nearly 25 years ago.
Thing is, at Cadillac Ranch there wasn’t even a hot vegetarian appetizer on the menu! The only choice available to vegetarians was chips & salsa, and the only other vegetarian item on the menu was a small salad. I noticed that there was a baked potato and several hot vegetable options available as side dishes free with an entrée purchase, and I took note that on the kid’s menu there was a “pasta with marinara” choice listed. If a server would have come over to our table I would have inquired about the possibility of ordering one of the entrée sides on its own, and I would have asked if the marinara sauce was vegetarian – as it is usually a good bet. HowEVER, we sat in our booth, directly across from the bar, for over ten minutes and no one bothered to introduce themselves, nor take our drink order, nor offer a list of the night’s specials, nor even look our way – nothing. It wasn’t for lack of staff, as we saw at least four hanging around the bar laughing and cutting up, but we couldn’t catch their eye and the bartender, who looked our way several times, seemed indifferent. We didn’t feel it was our job to chase down the wait staff, so we informed the hostess of the problem and walked out. Life is too short to patronize uninterested restaurants.
My frustration over the lack of vegetarian options paled in comparison to the apathetic and unresponsive wait staff. We certainly won’t be revisiting this restaurant, and needless to say it will not be recommended. If this is the way Cadillac Ranch runs their business, they don’t deserve to be around by next summer. It’d be no big loss as far as we are concerned.