Losing hope in eating out - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-29-2004, 10:07 PM
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I have walked in and right back out of the last three restaurants that I tried to get lunch at in the past three days.



1. Chipotle --- after waiting in a long line, I saw the chef cooking about 40 chicken breasts and some other red meats on a grill. He had "red" blood or animal fat wiped all over his apron. And he was flipping meat with a ladel that he had just used to cook the vegetables. I almost puked, considering they are supposed to be a "respectful" vegetarian place.. not for me anymore!



2. Rocco's Pizza --- after looking at their menu which contains veal, fried chicken and lamb chops, I gagged and said this is not a pizza place from what I see on the menu. I couldn't eat at a place that probably cooks their jojo fries in beef fat...



3. Local bar and grill --- that contained almost all meat dishes. Why should I support a place that can't even offer one vegan or even vegetarian dish??



I know this last month has been the turning point in my life where I finally stop eating at places like this and eventually stop eating pizza (the only thing in my diet that is non-vegan).



How have you dealt with similar situations? I can't starve and I find it hard to always eat at home or find a "safe" place to eat. Any suggestions ???



Thanks,



John
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#2 Old 03-01-2004, 12:15 AM
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No, I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions. I'm not as particular, so I have no trouble finding vegan meals when eating out. In fact I was out a lot this weekend so 5 of my last 6 meals were at restaurants. Saturday: Mancino's spaghetti, Quizno's sub. Sunday: Blimpie's sub, Fazoli's spaghetti, Burger King veggie burger.

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#3 Old 03-01-2004, 12:27 AM
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I can relate my personal story (it might help) - when I first went vegan I was *very* finicky about such things and rarely ate out because of it. Somehow, lately... I've come to stop caring so much. I mean yea, it's kinda funky to use the same serving peice for the meat and veggies, but I won't go ballistic about it. And I probably will still eat the vegetables. For me, it was a matter of getting comfortable with what I am trying to accomplish. I want to help the animals - being whacked out about where to dine, doesn't help the animals. It just feeds your own insanity. I think if you can grow into it... just try to calm down about such things.



In a way, it kind of helps to be open-minded about the "junk food diet." When you're stuck eating out, don't look for a proper meal. If french fries, or a big pretzel stick and gatorade are your only options - go for it. Just take in some fuel, and eat a hearty, proper meal at a different time.



I guess my advice to all frustrated vegans is to think outside the box. A vegan diet generally does not = three square meals. Most practically, it involves a lot of snacking.
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#4 Old 03-01-2004, 12:28 AM
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Well... I've got a few suggestions.... find some more veg-friendly places, if possible. Or, stop looking in the kitchen at places that also cook meat.



Seriously, though - you might find it very difficult to eat at places that serve meat if you're not willing to eat something that has been touched by a "meat-tainted" ladle or grill (they certainly don't have "veggie only" pans, I'm sure).



I eat out a lot because I travel a lot for work. I basically live with the mindset that I do what I can - eating a plate of grilled veggies that were grilled next to sausages (or after sausages!) is OK with me because (a) I'm not spending my money on animal products and (b) I have to eat and (c) stressing over whether my food came into proximity or contact with meat isn't worth my mental anguish.



It's hard to find that balance, and though two years later I'm close to finding it, I still struggle from time to time.



Best of luck to you.



Amy
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#5 Old 03-01-2004, 07:27 AM
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Did you try ethnic foods? Indian restaurants always have veg*an choices! You could also fare well in Thai or Chinese restaurants.

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#6 Old 03-01-2004, 08:49 AM
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i eat out a lot too

and i really dont have many problems



i eat middle eastern food, i avoid falafel because it is usually cooked with kibby



chinese food is usually pretty safe too, depending on the place



indian places normally have vegan food, definitely vegetarian food. talk to them and chances are they can convert something vegetarian to vegan for you



i have a hard time with italian. there is usually egg in both their bread and their pasta



we have one "vegetarian" restaurant here in new orleans called old dog new trick. they serve fish and they lie about whats vegan and whats not



i have more confidence in the restaurants that dont even claim vegetarianism than in old dog new trick



a lot of health food stores have a hot foods section

avoid whole foods, their selection usually sucks



local ones are the best, but fresh fields and food for thought are usually good
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#7 Old 03-01-2004, 08:58 AM
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The Whole Foods that I go to in St Paul MN has just remodeled and redid their entire deli. Now there's so many vegan items that I have to hold back from taking a heaping order of each!



I've had success when I go to nicer restaurants to just ask (very nicely) if the chef can "whip up" something for me. Most of the time I get something very yummy and vegan!
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#8 Old 03-01-2004, 10:18 AM
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This wouldn't work very well for a mall or food court, but I have had fairly good success with calling places ahead of time during the day (if my bf and I are going out that night) and asking questions about potential vegan dishes. I almost always get someone who is really nice and can suggest something that sounds great. Even better, they ask when we are coming and to give a heads-up to the host when we get there. So far, I've had some amazing meals. I also write a follow-up letter to the management about the service and my appreciation for their attention, and sometimes, some suggestions about how some of the their menu items can be easily adapted. I know it takes some of my time, but I hope that providing positive feedback will help to make more places veggie-friendly.
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#9 Old 03-01-2004, 10:42 AM
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I have the same problem. Very few restaurants around here have vegan options. I know I could get a salad with balsamic vinagrette but I want a meal, not just a wimpy salad. There are a number of Chinese food places around but they use chicken stock in almost everything. For the most part, I eat at home as much as can.
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#10 Old 03-01-2004, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scareyvegan View Post

i eat middle eastern food, i avoid falafel because it is usually cooked with kibby



Ok, I'll let you off!
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#11 Old 03-01-2004, 01:23 PM
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Chinese food here in Albuquerque is too catered to American's. You can get steamed veggies with rice. How utterly exciting. I ordered Mo Poo Tofu the other night with no pork and got a huge plate of tofu (no veggies or anything else) in sechuwan sauce. However, Indian has proven quite fruitful if not a bit expensive and so has Middle Eastern and Greek. I find most sub places have something for vegetarians, even if it is just a salad sandwich. I doubt the bread is vegan, though. There's a great place in my town called "Nothing but Noodles." All dishes (except for beef stroganoff) start out vegetarian until you order the meat with it. 3 or 4 of them actually start out being vegan -- the Eastern dishes if you hadn't guessed. (I think they prepare the meat in its own little place and then combine it with the food on your plate.) I celebrated this great find by eating there 3 times this weekend! With some effort, you may be able to find places like this in your town.
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#12 Old 03-01-2004, 01:26 PM
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You may have have already seen these lists, but being newly vegan they have helped me out tremendously. Between the two lists I have been able to successfully find food I can eat when I am out and about. It also helps prevent me from having to ask a lot of questions about what is in the food when I am out because they have already done the research for you. I mean, I still ask about things to be doubly sure but these lists help keep the questions to a minimum. I hope they help!



http://www.sword2skyvegan.net/selections.html



http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.ne...stFoodRest.htm
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#13 Old 03-01-2004, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope224 View Post

This wouldn't work very well for a mall or food court, but I have had fairly good success with calling places ahead of time during the day (if my bf and I are going out that night) and asking questions about potential vegan dishes. I almost always get someone who is really nice and can suggest something that sounds great. Even better, they ask when we are coming and to give a heads-up to the host when we get there. So far, I've had some amazing meals. I also write a follow-up letter to the management about the service and my appreciation for their attention, and sometimes, some suggestions about how some of the their menu items can be easily adapted. I know it takes some of my time, but I hope that providing positive feedback will help to make more places veggie-friendly.



That's awesome! I need to start keeping that in mind. I like the giving feedback to businesses bit. It gives me a chance to let them know there's a market for things I want, as well as gaging various aspects of the company (how much they really care about what I want, what sort of employees they hire -- ie., careless waiter, careless cook?)
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#14 Old 03-01-2004, 01:34 PM
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I haven't read the replies so I don't know if this has been suggested already - but try Eastern food, Thai (I fell in love with thai at first mouthful), Chinese and Indian resturaunts are great places to eat out because the food is art prepared by a top-nosh chef rather than the work of a spotty burger flipping adolecent. The service at these joints are better too.
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#15 Old 03-01-2004, 01:47 PM
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thai often has fish or oyster sauce, so you have to be sure to order it w/o fish sauce or you might get a surprise.



It's amazing how much food relies on animal products for flavoring when they could quite easily use non-animal products (soy sauce for fish sauce, veg broth for chicken broth, etc).
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#16 Old 03-01-2004, 05:27 PM
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I think you need to find a veg restaurant (i know, not always easy/convenient) and order anything you want off the menu without worrying about what you're eating. That always makes me feel better after I have a crap meal from a regular restaurant.

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#17 Old 03-01-2004, 06:38 PM
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Indian food is great if you're vegetarian, but it often contains dairy, so it's not so good if you're vegan. Most of the time, ghee (clarified butter) is used. But Indian food is both delicious and veg-friendly, so if you're ovo-lacto, I'd recommend it.
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#18 Old 03-01-2004, 06:59 PM
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well, i would actually recommend thai/chinese/indian food... the thai places i frequent are great, and will take the egg out of anything and replace meat w/ tofu instead. many sauces are soy-sauce based that they use. their menus are pretty honest and straightforeward, and note the vegetarian options. same with chinese/japanese. and there is tons of vegetarian indian food... there are actually two indian restraunts by me that are 100% VEGETARIAN, and one chinese/korean cafe that is 100% Vegetarian. they are mostly vegan as well.



if you want to find vegetarian/vegan restraunts around you, try this site...



http://www.vegdining.com/Home.cfm



you just type in city and state, and it gives you all the veggie restraunts in your area.



as for other places... many italian chains use semolina pasta that has no egg in it... i'm pretty sure olive garden does. you can probably call and find out. and there are various restraunts that serve veggie burgers, sandwiches, subs, pitas, etc. some examples are dennys, chilis, baker's square, quizno's, subway, and many other places. hope this helps a little!



Quote:

Originally Posted by scareyvegan

i eat middle eastern food, i avoid falafel because it is usually cooked with kibby



ok, what is KIBBY and why do they cook falafel with it? i have eaten falafel may a time and was not aware that it could be cooked in the same pan as some kind of meat stuff....



julie

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#19 Old 03-01-2004, 07:44 PM
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GREEK FOOD! I adore it! I frequent a greek restaurant around here that is very veg friendly. I am such a big fan of it!



I always get the falafel, greek salad (no feta), and sometimes hummus as an appetizer.. I never ate out that well even as an omni! There are more vegan items there, but I am almost afraid to stray from my usual.
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#20 Old 03-01-2004, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magyka View Post

I have walked in and right back out of the last three restaurants that I tried to get lunch at in the past three days.



1. Chipotle --- after waiting in a long line, I saw the chef cooking about 40 chicken breasts and some other red meats on a grill. He had "red" blood or animal fat wiped all over his apron. And he was flipping meat with a ladel that he had just used to cook the vegetables. I almost puked, considering they are supposed to be a "respectful" vegetarian place.. not for me anymore!



2. Rocco's Pizza --- after looking at their menu which contains veal, fried chicken and lamb chops, I gagged and said this is not a pizza place from what I see on the menu. I couldn't eat at a place that probably cooks their jojo fries in beef fat...



3. Local bar and grill --- that contained almost all meat dishes. Why should I support a place that can't even offer one vegan or even vegetarian dish??



I know this last month has been the turning point in my life where I finally stop eating at places like this and eventually stop eating pizza (the only thing in my diet that is non-vegan).



How have you dealt with similar situations? I can't starve and I find it hard to always eat at home or find a "safe" place to eat. Any suggestions ???



Thanks,



John



Hmmm...I generally don't eat at pubs, because pub food is of course normally burgers, sausages, etc. But there is one here in town that has lots of vegetarian choices on the menu..it's still rare, but occasionally I go there. Other than that, I have to say that when I eat out I make sure to only go to veggie friendly places. One place I eat at often is a HF deli. They're used to seeing 'picky' vegans (some of them are picky vegans), so I know I can trust the food. I don't know, every place I go has a lot of vegetarian choice.



As to pizza...you know, I've gotten so used to my own veggie/cheeseless pizza that I don't like the other kind at all...nor do i miss it. I make great crust, add lots of my favorite veggies and occasionally even spring for vegetarian cheese. So you don't have to give up pizza... I also ask for this when ordering pizza at a restaurant. Leave off the cheese and add lots of olives, onions, peppers and mushrooms...I'm happy.



B
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#21 Old 03-01-2004, 08:42 PM
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www.happycow.com



or www.happycow.org



i cant remeber which, you can search for vegan/veggie places in your area.



fun fun.



Rebel Girl
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#22 Old 03-02-2004, 09:29 AM
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kibby is basically meatballs, made from lamb i believe



its fried and a good majority of middle eastern restaurants fry the kibby and the falafel in the same oil in the same fryer together
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#23 Old 03-02-2004, 11:52 AM
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i'm in hong kong where there is a huge langauge problem when it comes to specifics (minor details)



but my requests are generally:



indian dishes (generally spinach aloo, eggplant curries, and channa masala are safe-ish) just ask for no dairy if your vegan.



chinese be careful of oyster sauce (ts darkish though) and chicken stock (i have no idea if i'm eating that but just pray that i'm not. Also they seem to think fish is vegetarian.



thai (be careful of fish related sauces and flavourings)



i just ask for all the above with the most common non vegan product i do worry often that i'm eating animal products but thats really the most i can do apart from eating at vegetarian restaurants.



I think it helps if you can find one or two regular places, it certainly makes me feel more confortable although it does require searching.
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#24 Old 03-02-2004, 11:58 AM
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