While dining at a steakhouse with a vegetarian might not seem like much fun at first, Mr. Cruise relishes in it. Why? Because he gets to bust out his vegetarian at a steakhouse jokes. Here are a few of his favorites:
Guest: Do you serve vegetarians here?
Restaurant maître d’: Of course, how do you like them cooked?
Question: What do vegetarians and vampires have in common?
Answer: They don’t eat at stake houses.
And this is the one he told as we were sitting down to our recent meal at the Pinnacle Grill on Holland America’s ms Noordam:
Question: What did the steakhouse chef say to the vegetarian?
Answer: Sorry, I can’t listen to your rantings right now. More important things are at steak!
But while it might be fun to dine with a vegetarian at a steakhouse, it often isn’t fun dining as a vegetarian at a steakhouse, especially a cruise ship steakhouse. Cruise ship steakhouses rarely have any vegetarian entree choices on the menu, so I usually end up eating a makeshift “vegetable plate” made up of sides. It’s always fine, but it certainly isn’t the upgraded dining experience one hopes for at a specialty restaurant.
So imagine my delight at seeing TWO vegetarian appetizer options and TWO vegetarian entree options on the Pinnacle Grill menu on the Noordam. Did Mr. Cruise and I finally find a cruise ship steakhouse we can both enjoy? Read on to find out! But first, here’s the menu, followed by photos of everything we ordered.
Pinnacle Grill Menu 2023
*From the Noordam in January 2023 – the menu may not be exactly the same on every Holland America ship
Pinnacle Grill Food Pics
Pinnacle Grill Review
We were limited to one soup/salad/appetizer, one entree, and one dessert with our dining package. There was also a complimentary bread service with two spreads (herbed butter and red pepper cream cheese), unlimited sides, and complimentary confections served as we waited for our desserts.
Mr. Cruise went with the lobster bisque, beef tenderloin with lobster dumplings, and not-so-classic baked Alaska. His steak was cooked as requested and he enjoyed everything he ordered.
I decided to go with items that seemed “steakhousey.” And since you’re supposed to eat meat at a steakhouse, I opted for the two items prepared with “Beyond Meat.” While I’m not particularly picky and the panko fried stuffed mushroom caps and Beyond Meat kofta were perfectly fine, they weren’t as flavorful or interesting as I’d hoped. The kofta was a Beyond Meat patty dressed up with a bit of glaze, a few veggies, and a tiny mound of bulgur salad. Honestly the Beyond Meat burgers available at Dive In were much better (and didn’t cost extra). Next time I’ll go with the forest mushroom soup and heirloom tomato and eggplant tarte tatin. That being said, it was better than anything I’ve had at any other cruise ship steakhouse, so I considered it a win. As for dessert…
I expect steakhouse desserts to be giant like the baked Alaska Mr. Cruise ordered. However, my chocolate souffle was sized for an actual rabbit, not a full-grown human woman who loves chocolate in mass quantities in addition to her “rabbit food.” Next time I’ll go with the baked Alaska so Mr. Cruise can try some of the complimentary confections (I’d tipped the whole tray into my mouth before he had a chance to dispute the fairness of the distribution).
Would We Eat At Pinnacle Grill Again?
I almost never find specialty cruise ship restaurants worth the extra cost (on top of what you’ve already paid for the included meal you’re not eating) and I would probably not choose to eat at Pinnacle Grill again if it were just me (especially because I find the included food on Holland America so good). But Mr. Cruise fancies himself a foodie and enjoys a slightly elevated cruise dining experience. And not having to confess to the waiter that “I’m a vegetarian” when there’s nothing suitable for me to order from the menu was a huge plus. Kudos to Holland America for providing multiple vegetarian offerings. And for that reason alone, we would definitely opt to eat there with Mr. Cruise again.
Now, before I declare “class dismissed,” one more joke:
Question: What did the vegetarian wear to the Lido pool after finishing her meal at Pinnacle Grill?
Answer: A zucchini.
And with that…
Homework (10 points): Share your experience dining at Pinnacle Grill to the comments. Then go check out my review of Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant on Holland America.
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