This is a small rant against the Shanghai Garden where I recently stopped for lunch. The Shanghai Garden has full-paged lunch menu, which includes a huge variety of entrees with rice and soup for a more "lunch friendly" price than the traditional dinner menu. After scouring this menu I found nothing with tofu. I asked the waitress if there was any dish in which tofu could be substituted for the meat. To this she rudely flipped my menu open to the "bean curd" section and pointed. Apparently these were my options.
I foolishly ordered the Szechuan bean curd (for some reason I had high hopes, even though I've eaten it before and it is excessively sweet and not very szechuan-y at all). It was as before... fantastically textured and fried custardy tofu in a cloyingly sweet cornstarch sauce. The obnoxious part of the story is when my bill came and I saw that I had been charged for a dinner entree (I was, after all, ordering from the Bean Curd section on the dinner menu), and that my humble lunch, with rice, was $15 (with tax and tip).
Let me be a little whiny for a minute: It really didn't feel fair that my lunch was significantly more expensive than the lunches of the people eating meat all around me. Tofu is cheaper than meat. Most of the lunch entrees could have easily subbed tofu for the meat. If I were prone to feeling sorry for myself as a vegetarian, I would have after this meal because there was an injustice done (minor as it is in the scope of the world) where I, as the vegetarian, got the short end of the stick.