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Mexican Food Not a good Vegetarian option

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I may have just had two bad experiences, but have found not much to choose at a Mexican restaurant that is veggie friendly. Today, I went to a Mexican restaurant and they only have a vegetarian burrito and fajita. It turns out they make their rice in chicken broth. I was hungry and made the choice to eat the burrito with the rice. It tasted very good, but I was not happy to have had to make that choice. I will avoid Mexican restaurants in the future or make sure to research the menu before I go to one. I also don't eat dairy so it leaves even less choices.
post #2 of 23
I hate it when they don't have good options when it would be so easy! Where are you from, we might have suggestions! There are 3 good Mexican restaurants in my town with good vegan options (no lard, no broth in the rice, vegan beans). I hope you don't give up on Mexican restaurants,! Now I want a taco.
post #3 of 23
You live in San Diego, right? Go to Pokez! Or Ranchos.
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"If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company."
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post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it is very odd to me when a restaurant goes to the trouble to offer a vegetarian dish, but it is not vegetarian. I am in Southern California and we have Mexican restaurants every two blocks. I have only been twice since eating vegetarian so maybe there are other great options that I have not tried. I have four restaurants that I thought would be considered, but had to leave it to my friend since she was visiting me. She picked the Mexican place and it was the only one that I could not pull up a menu online.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocrob37 View Post

I may have just had two bad experiences, but have found not much to choose at a Mexican restaurant that is veggie friendly. Today, I went to a Mexican restaurant and they only have a vegetarian burrito and fajita. It turns out they make their rice in chicken broth. I was hungry and made the choice to eat the burrito with the rice. It tasted very good, but I was not happy to have had to make that choice. I will avoid Mexican restaurants in the future or make sure to research the menu before I go to one. I also don't eat dairy so it leaves even less choices.

Why didn't you just get the burrito without the rice?
post #6 of 23
First, you live in southern California so you're culturally required to eat Mexican food, ok? It's like the law or something. I'm serious. If you give up on Mexican food you have to move out of state.
Second, with so many different choices for Mexican restaurants you're bound to be able to find veg-friendly ones.
Third, if you really can't find anything then make it yourself. http://www.veganmexicanfood.com/
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

First, you live in southern California so you're culturally required to eat Mexican food, ok? It's like the law or something. I'm serious. If you give up on Mexican food you have to move out of state.

Well that's pretty rough.

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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was hungry and don't really know what else was in it? I don't even think there were beans in it. I will go out of my way not to eat meat, chicken, fish or dairy and will order anything I can get with out them, but am not going to get so crazy where I can't eat when I go out. I am guessing there are a lot of foods we think are vegetarian and have ingredients that are not. I eat a plant based diet for heath reasons and also appreciate the fact that I am not contributing to the demand of these foods. If a food happens to have something in it that came from an animal, it does bother me but I can live with it on the rare occassion. I try very hard to order the right foods, but also realize that if there is a small ingredient that I don't want, sometimes I will be willing to make an exception. I rarely eat out so most of the time I know I am eating vegetarian, but it can be very hard while dining out. Even if you ask the server, you really don't know what you are getting and I am willing to deal with it when I have to.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
ElaineV, I don't disagree with you. I was in a situation where I was at a restaurant and had to make a choice to either eat or not. I chose to eat and will do my best in the future to find better options. Yes, not eating Mexican in SoCal is pretty challenging.lol I think Indian and Thai may have better options or maybe Middle Eastern.
post #10 of 23
Try these: http://www.vegguide.org/region/143/f...=name;limit=20
I searched for vegan-friendly in San Diego county and then filtered the results to show only Mexican food.
post #11 of 23
Not a very good thread title here.
post #12 of 23
I've actually heard that opposite about Mexican food. I know you have to check the beans for lard and chicken broth, but I know several vegetarians who love Mexican places because they always have veggie options. I'm not in your area and I don't eat in restaurants much, but I'm inclined to think you had two really bad strokes of luck. I'd keep trying
post #13 of 23
Tons of great veggie Mexican food places in socal.

some tips to ask before ordering or even before visiting a Mexican restaurant are:
-chicken broth in rice
-lard in beans
-lard in flour tortillas
-lard in masa for tamales

Many places have completely stopped using lard because it is so unhealthy.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
It is amazing how much one can learn from this site. There are so many things that I would have never known to ask or even considered certain ingredients would be in food. I had an amazing veggie taco at Chilis a month ago. It was the only thing I could find that was veggie. It was so good that it had to have had non veg ingredients, but they said it did not. I find that eating out is now a little more challenging, but I also now enjoy more variety and like all kinds of good food. I had a killer veggie pizza with eggplant the other day.
post #15 of 23
I live in So Cal too and it can be an issue when going to authentic places. Most don't have anything vegetarian besides a cheese quesadilla (not good for vegans). I think it will just take time to learn which places are safe and which aren't. Ask the basic questions and try to call ahead if you can. When I go to a new place, I go when it's slow, that way I can ask questions without bothering the staff.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
I guess I should have just made the point that it is hard to eat vegetarian when spontaneously going to a restaurant. I live near the beach and we have a few restaurants in the area. I like to just walk in the area and try new places so it was a spontaneous thing. Mexican food is awesome, but it is definitely high calorie and probably not a good choice anyway. I went to a Japanese place last night and after previously making the mistake of having Miso soup with fish sauce, I was able to order seaweed and brown rice. As far as I know, it was veg. I almost never go out to restaurants and for some reason this weekend is all about eating out. It is fun, but hard on the wallet and belly. ; ) I am actually going to try a vegetarian pizza at another restaurant I have never eaten at. It looks really good on the menu so hopefully it will be good.
post #17 of 23
Mexican food isn't always high calorie. Plus, calories aren't the enemy, you need them to survive. I've been to many places and gotten healthy Mexican food like veggie fajitas, a bean, rice, and cheese burrito, etc. Not going to lie, most of the time it is high calorie for me, but only because chips and salsa are my kryptonite
post #18 of 23
I think you just have to do some research. Spend a bit of time online (I've been known to call and speak with management), find out who makes the effort to serve healthy, clean veggie dishes and spend your money there. I'd die without red chile.......
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavenderboozer View Post

I think you just have to do some research. Spend a bit of time online (I've been known to call and speak with management), find out who makes the effort to serve healthy, clean veggie dishes and spend your money there . I'd die without red chile.......

Agree. I love checking out menus online
post #20 of 23
Traditional Mexican restaurants have virtually nothing veg*n friendly. They even put shrimp and fish in the "vegetarian" section of their menus. They don't even know the meaning of vegetarian, so you can't trust them.

However, upscale/trendy Mexican restaurants and Southwest type places (Qdoba, Moe's, Salsarita's, etc) have lots to offer.
post #21 of 23
I'm content with romaine or spinach and salsa and guacamole. Yummy salad. I prefer to avoid salt, though, so I don't usually eat out.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

Traditional Mexican restaurants have virtually nothing veg*n friendly. They even put shrimp and fish in the "vegetarian" section of their menus. They don't even know the meaning of vegetarian, so you can't trust them.

However, upscale/trendy Mexican restaurants and Southwest type places (Qdoba, Moe's, Salsarita's, etc) have lots to offer.

I love Moes. It's great to have the options of both beans and tofu at a "fast food" type restaurant. Plus you can get a free meal on your birthday.
post #23 of 23
We have some long established are restaurants with some progressive ideas. They are smart enoug to keep up with the trend toward cleaner eating and offer true vegetarian dishes. I think more will have to follow suit as the veg consumer movement grows.
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