Saturday, 16 May 2009


Tootsies vegetarian offerings are the stereotypically unimaginative dishes thought up by an obvious meat-eater - I suppose what you'd expect from a restaurant trying to be known for its burgers. Veggie options include the bog standard 'Puy lentil and vegetable' burger, cliche 'Goats cheese, roasted red pepper and aubergine' sandwich, and predictable 'Butternut squash risotto'. Since I don't like to deprive my partner of his cravings, and Tootsies actually does produce a decent burger, I have been to Tootsies on more than one occasion. I have had the 'Puy lentil and vegetable' burger a couple times and found it fairly dry and boring. It seems too similar to the frozen bean burgers you can buy from any supermarket. The majority of vegetarian food falls into the category of things that I could make at home, such as the 'Nachos' with guacamole, sour cream, cheese and salsa and the 'Italian penne', essentially pasta in tomato sauce.

Having said that, the
ambiance in the restaurant is generally good, full of young professionals and families having a relaxing meal in between their shopping. The service has been slow at times, and having sat at an outside table we watched a server approach the couple who had arrived after us sitting next to us, initially ignoring us. Personally, when it comes to service, I find nothing more frustrating than not being able to get your servers attention.

My final gripe deals with the 12.5% 'optional' service charge automatically added to your bill. Now I have no problem leaving tips, but find it inappropriate to have a tip added on for me. Now, in all fairness you can tell your server when they leave the check that you do not feel that they were worth 12.5% of your total bill and ask them to either reduce or remove it. But honestly how many of us are going to do that? I also think that by almost ensuring the servers receive this automatically added tip that they are less inclined to provide good service and it removes our right to evaluate the service we received and reward our servers as we see fit.

As you may have guessed I would not really recommend Tootsies for a nice vegetarian meal. The food is mediocre and predictable and the service can be frustrating. However, with low expectations I will probably again sacrifice myself for a meat-eating loved one.

Food: 5
Service: 6
Atmosphere: 8
Price: ££

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