It's Not Vegetarian - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-17-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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It's Not Vegetarian

I have a bit of a rant/complaint. I am vegetarian. For medical reasons. I cannot eat dairy or eggs or meat or else I break out in psoriasis and eczema.

I have always told people the difference between Vegetarian and Veganism, is the difference between saying you're agnostic or Christian. There are strict Vegetarians out there who do not consume any animal products, but the reasons for being vegetarian may not be ethical reasons. Or vegetarians may still use animal products like leather, etc. [I don't use leather because I'm poor and it's expensive, hahahaa]

Veganism is an ethical abstinence of all animal products including leather.

I am a strict Vegetarian for medical reasons.

I went to a restaurant with a friend, and was surprised to find a lot of vegetarian options. So knowing me, I got excited. It's rare to find these in Colorado Springs. Well taking a closer look at their options, almost every single one of their vegetarian options had some kind of cream, milk or cheese.

Oh joy. You don't have meat in it. But I'm allergic to dairy so I can't have it.

I'd like restaurants or places of business to use the labels clearly defined for vegetarian subculture. Lacto-vegetarian, Ova-vegetarian, etc.

Because Vegetarian leads me to believe you have at least something for someone who is allergic to dairy and meat to eat something at your place.

I do not eat cheese. I wish some people would understand this. That not all vegetarians eat milk and consume dairy products. Rant/complaint over
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#2 Old 09-17-2014, 02:48 PM
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You're asking a lot! I'm fortunate to find ANY vegetarian dishes in a restaurant. When I do find them, there is definitely going to be cheese involved. I'm lacto-ovo, so that isn't a problem: unless my diet gets to be loaded with cheese and dairy! I definitely need to balance it. Frequently, I've found that the vegetarian dish is a pasta in a nasty cream-based sauce. I find myself eating at home more and more often these days!
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#3 Old 09-17-2014, 06:50 PM
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Like you I have a medical condition that limits what I can eat. I find it much easier/cheaper to just skip restaurants. When I travel on business I get a motel room with a micro and just hit the local grocery for some fruit/veg/nuts.

Why not just invite your friends over for a vegetarian dinner? You'll get the food & the socializing without the hassle.
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#4 Old 09-17-2014, 09:24 PM
 
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I agree with the others. If you have a very specific diet you really can't expect restaurants to accomodate you and just need to do the at home and with friends thing. That is mostly what I do. But what about if you found places that had vegan offerings? Wouldn't that work in a menu item, no dairy, no meat, really you are coming close to vegan.

Can you look up some vegan places that might be in your vicinity and see if they work for you.
I do sympathise. I am vegan BUT I eat no mono or diglycerides, no palm oil, no coconut or coconut stuff, no chocolate, very limited nuts and hardly any saturated fat.

So no earth balance, avocado puddings and chocolate brownies for me. I eat at a couple of places 1) salad bar with a bit of oil and lemon (hardly worth it), 2) vegan sushi and 3) Subway and a nice little vegan place I know.
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#5 Old 09-17-2014, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SoulTofood View Post
I have a bit of a rant/complaint. I am vegetarian. For medical reasons. I cannot eat dairy or eggs or meat or else I break out in psoriasis and eczema.

I have always told people the difference between Vegetarian and Veganism, is the difference between saying you're agnostic or Christian. There are strict Vegetarians out there who do not consume any animal products, but the reasons for being vegetarian may not be ethical reasons. Or vegetarians may still use animal products like leather, etc. [I don't use leather because I'm poor and it's expensive, hahahaa]

Veganism is an ethical abstinence of all animal products including leather.

I am a strict Vegetarian for medical reasons.

I went to a restaurant with a friend, and was surprised to find a lot of vegetarian options. So knowing me, I got excited. It's rare to find these in Colorado Springs. Well taking a closer look at their options, almost every single one of their vegetarian options had some kind of cream, milk or cheese.

Oh joy. You don't have meat in it. But I'm allergic to dairy so I can't have it.

I'd like restaurants or places of business to use the labels clearly defined for vegetarian subculture. Lacto-vegetarian, Ova-vegetarian, etc.

Because Vegetarian leads me to believe you have at least something for someone who is allergic to dairy and meat to eat something at your place.

I do not eat cheese. I wish some people would understand this. That not all vegetarians eat milk and consume dairy products. Rant/complaint over
Technically.... Dairy is vegetarian, so the restaurant isn't at fault by saying it's vegetarian. (Though I have a particular axe to grind with the ones who put parmesan on something and call it vegetarian.... But that's just me, most other vegetarians seem to be ok with it).

Vegetarian just means not eating animals, anything else is just bonus points (I don't know what the points count towards, possibly a Prius). And I think asking for further labelling of their foods, seems a little over the top. The fact that restaurants are labelling food, or just having a vegetarian option in the first place, is awesome.

I do understand that makes it rough on you. My partner can't understand how something can have egg in it, but people call it vegetarian (I understand, I still won't eat it, but I understand). Dairy is pretty much in everything, which makes going out to eat really hard.

There's still a few options though.

1.Get Happy Cow on your phone, it's a good app, will tell you the vegetarian 'status' of a place and you can read the reviews. Which brings me to option two....

2. Go to vegan friendly places.
If you're not eating animals, eggs or dairy, then vegan restaurants and restaurants that serve vegans are the best places for you to eat. I'm a strict vegetarian, if I could, I would eat exclusively at those places because they're delicious.

3. Try and find some ways to 'hack' your meals.
If I go out to an Italian place, I ask for no cheese and if I'm really brave, enquire as to whether they can put some pine nuts or cashews on top instead. Mexican? I ask for avocado instead of cream cheese. Indian? I straight up ask them if it's vegan. It might just be my area of the world, but most of the Indian places to eat know exactly what I can and can't eat if I say 'vegan' and they're happy to find me a nice curry of some kind.

4. Ring up beforehand and ask.
It's inconvenient, but it's just something you might have to start doing. My family has a whole list of things we don't eat (with a lacto-vegetarian, a strict vegetarian, wheat/gluten/chilli/strawberry intolerances and allergies.... We're a restaurant's nightmare ). Still, forewarned is forearmed.

I hope some of those suggestions work out for you. It's sucky to not have a lot that you can eat when you go out, so I understand why you're frustrated with that.
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#6 Old 09-18-2014, 04:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by H=N/C View Post
Like you I have a medical condition that limits what I can eat. I find it much easier/cheaper to just skip restaurants. When I travel on business I get a motel room with a micro and just hit the local grocery for some fruit/veg/nuts.

Why not just invite your friends over for a vegetarian dinner? You'll get the food & the socializing without the hassle.
Because sometimes, friends invite you over. And I have to deal with it.

"You eat salad"

Inner monologue, "Uh yeah I eat salad, but I don't exactly call that a filling meal coming from a restaurant, homemade salad sure, a garden side salad not so much"
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#7 Old 09-18-2014, 08:42 AM
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Chinese places don't use much dairy. Tofu and steamed vegetables over brown rice, no sauce. American restaurants, I pull a meal together out of two or three sides and ask them to use olive oil instead of butter with the vegs and potatoes. Portobello sandwiches taste way better to me than veggie burgers, and the closest sports bar offers them. Italian, I go for angel hair pasta with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. Or vegetable pizza without cheese. Or a vegetable Stromboli without cheese. Indian restaurants: veg dishes with no ghee or paneer. My favorite Mexican brunch place knows me as the one who asks for their "veggie omelet breakfast burrito" without the eggs and the cheese. None of these places are necessarily known as being vegan-friendly, but even when the menu doesn't list those dishes, they're all easy orders to fill.
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#8 Old 09-18-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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Chinese places don't use much dairy. Tofu and steamed vegetables over brown rice, no sauce. American restaurants, I pull a meal together out of two or three sides and ask them to use olive oil instead of butter with the vegs and potatoes. Portobello sandwiches taste way better to me than veggie burgers, and the closest sports bar offers them. Italian, I go for angel hair pasta with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. Or vegetable pizza without cheese. Or a vegetable Stromboli without cheese. Indian restaurants: veg dishes with no ghee or paneer. My favorite Mexican brunch place knows me as the one who asks for their "veggie omelet breakfast burrito" without the eggs and the cheese. None of these places are necessarily known as being vegan-friendly, but even when the menu doesn't list those dishes, they're all easy orders to fill.
Colorado Springs isn't a very vegetarian state. I'm from California, you walk in Whole Foods and expect vegan. You walk into a Whole Foods in Colorado Springs and they actually have very little premade vegetarian options. Springs is a meat and potato kind of place. And not everyone around here is accommodating.

Odd questions:

Is the chicken teriyaki without the chicken at Jack and the Box vegan?

I asked them to make it without chicken.
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#9 Old 09-18-2014, 12:49 PM
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Colorado Springs isn't a very vegetarian state. I'm from California, you walk in Whole Foods and expect vegan. You walk into a Whole Foods in Colorado Springs and they actually have very little premade vegetarian options. Springs is a meat and potato kind of place. And not everyone around here is accommodating.
That's a more specific complaint than what you laid out in your original post: pre-prepared grocery store food with table space for eating in. I thought you were talking about restaurants, so my response was tailored to getting plant-based dishes out of restaurants that put cheese in all their vegetarian options.

No state in the US is very vegetarian, not even California or Oregon, but the veg minorities in those places have a lot of buying power and clout. I've been to Whole Foods stores in the South, in the Midwest and on both coasts. Your Colorado Springs branch sounds like no Whole Foods I've ever shopped at, and that's a shame if your friends pick that place a lot for getting together. I have no experience with your Colorado Springs Whole Foods, though I would have expected more from a town that includes a large university community. They can't be preparing vats of quinoa mixes or "General Tso's vegan chicken" if there's no market for it there.

A restaurant kitchen isn't being accommodating by agreeing to leave the cheese out of a dish. That's a very basic level of service to provide, veganizing by subtraction. Stromboli without cheese is no harder to prepare than Stromboli with. That's what I was talking about: ordering plant-based dishes at restaurants where it's not on the menu but where the dish isn't assembled and cooked until after someone orders it. That goes for mid-level chain restaurants like Macaroni Grill/Olive Garden, but not for a Pizza Hut drive-thru where the personal pizza has already been assembled with cheese before it's even been ordered. I hope you can find some nice places to eat out there, and that you're letting WF know they'd have a good customer if they had anything you could make a meal from. Next time they get that request, they won't be hearing it for the first time.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 09-18-2014 at 12:52 PM.
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#10 Old 09-18-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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I don't do dairy because of eczema and psoriasis, also. I find that it's easier to find gluten free menu options than vegetarian ones. When I do go to a restaurant, which is very rare, I am not afraid to take a good close look at the menu and ask questions. Normally, I can find something that I am very happy with without it being necessarily just a salad. Most times, however, I do avoid the hassle and spend the money on a nice bouquet of flowers and a lovely home-cooked meal. It's a win-win for me.
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#11 Old 09-18-2014, 01:14 PM
 
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That's a more specific complaint than what you laid out in your original post: pre-prepared grocery store food with table space for eating in. I thought you were talking about restaurants, so my response was tailored to getting plant-based dishes out of restaurants that put cheese in all their vegetarian options.

No state in the US is very vegetarian, not even California or Oregon, but the veg minorities in those places have a lot of buying power and clout. I've been to Whole Foods stores in the South, in the Midwest and on both coasts. Your Colorado Springs branch sounds like no Whole Foods I've ever shopped at, and that's a shame if your friends pick that place a lot for getting together. I have no experience with your Colorado Springs Whole Foods, though I would have expected more from a town that includes a large university community. They can't be preparing vats of quinoa mixes or "General Tso's vegan chicken" if there's no market for it there.

A restaurant kitchen isn't being accommodating by agreeing to leave the cheese out of a dish. That's a very basic level of service to provide, veganizing by subtraction. Stromboli without cheese is no harder to prepare than Stromboli with. That's what I was talking about: ordering plant-based dishes at restaurants where it's not on the menu but where the dish isn't assembled and cooked until after someone orders it. That goes for mid-level chain restaurants like Macaroni Grill/Olive Garden, but not for a Pizza Hut drive-thru where the personal pizza has already been assembled with cheese before it's even been ordered. I hope you can find some nice places to eat out there, and that you're letting WF know they'd have a good customer if they had anything you could make a meal from. Next time they get that request, they won't be hearing it for the first time.
Let's see.

I went to Jack and the Box, hey can you make me a teriyaki chicken bowl without the chicken, sure

I went with a friend to a Chinese restaurant, they had no vegetable teriyaki,so I asked, hey can I have this without the chicken. The sauce and chicken is made together. Well **** me.

I go to Olive Garden, half their list is nothing, but dairy and allergen ingredients. I also found out their oil is an oil butter mix. That's what they told me, because I told them about my diet. The chef came out, the manager came out, the server kept apologizing. I felt embarrassed and felt like I was being an *******. Eventually they figured out something I could have. Which was grilled vegetables, which they don't use butter and some kind of pasta plain. Plus they gave me olive oil and vinaigrette for my dressing because even their Balsamic had cheese in it. Then they gave my friends a free dessert as an apology for not being as accommodating as they liked.


I really hate eating out. But I have been on and off work with long periods of time with no money. So if a friend invites me out for dinner, or invites me for lunch you bet your sweet ass I'm going to take the offer. I don't always have the groceries to host big meals like I use to or make food for everybody as I like.

In California Whole Foods has these Vegan Donuts, and man do I crave them from time to time, they had vegan cakes year round.

In Colorado Springs, I'm friends with a few of the managers, I got them to change from a Beyond Meat BBQ chicken burrito to grilled vegetables as an option. But they don't have slices of cake year round, they don't have vegan donuts. [I know this is sounding strange] They don't have vegetable only sushi rolls. But the managers are very kind to listen to request.

The problem is Whole Foods in the Springs, as I have talked to the managers, say they don't make enough vegan sales. If they did, they would sell more of the specialty items. The problem is a lot of their vegan items, don't sell well at all.
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#12 Old 09-19-2014, 07:02 PM
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Let's see.

I went to Jack and the Box, hey can you make me a teriyaki chicken bowl without the chicken, sure

I went with a friend to a Chinese restaurant, they had no vegetable teriyaki,so I asked, hey can I have this without the chicken. The sauce and chicken is made together. Well **** me.

I go to Olive Garden, half their list is nothing, but dairy and allergen ingredients. I also found out their oil is an oil butter mix. That's what they told me, because I told them about my diet. The chef came out, the manager came out, the server kept apologizing. I felt embarrassed and felt like I was being an *******. Eventually they figured out something I could have. Which was grilled vegetables, which they don't use butter and some kind of pasta plain. Plus they gave me olive oil and vinaigrette for my dressing because even their Balsamic had cheese in it. Then they gave my friends a free dessert as an apology for not being as accommodating as they liked.


I really hate eating out. But I have been on and off work with long periods of time with no money. So if a friend invites me out for dinner, or invites me for lunch you bet your sweet ass I'm going to take the offer. I don't always have the groceries to host big meals like I use to or make food for everybody as I like.

In California Whole Foods has these Vegan Donuts, and man do I crave them from time to time, they had vegan cakes year round.

In Colorado Springs, I'm friends with a few of the managers, I got them to change from a Beyond Meat BBQ chicken burrito to grilled vegetables as an option. But they don't have slices of cake year round, they don't have vegan donuts. [I know this is sounding strange] They don't have vegetable only sushi rolls. But the managers are very kind to listen to request.

The problem is Whole Foods in the Springs, as I have talked to the managers, say they don't make enough vegan sales. If they did, they would sell more of the specialty items. The problem is a lot of their vegan items, don't sell well at all.
It's pretty normal to feel like you're being a complete pain to a restaurant, when you ask for something to eat and they have to make something special. The thing is, customer service is about giving the customer a solution they're happy with. You helped them do that and, maybe by you being there, it means now they know they have a gap they need to fill in their menu. The only way to make it easier to eat out, is by asking non-veg friendly places to make us something veg-friendly (though I don't recommend that in a steak house :P). Businesses get the hint, as you've seen. Truth is, it's just better for them to accomodate us. We're one of the deciding factors in where a group of people eat.

Which brings me to your friends, if they're asking you out to dinner then that's awesome. But maybe you need to make sure that they understand you need to be somewhere that you can eat food! If money's a bit tight, I understand not wanting to drag them to a restaurant they might not like the food at. But when you can, do exactly that! Once I took my friends to a vegan restaurant, they were happy to not have to go anywhere else. Everyone could eat everything on the menu!

And I get how hard it is to live somewhere that's not veg-friendly.... But imagine this- No Whole Foods. At all.

I've found more veg*n friendly places now I live in the city in Australia, but when I lived in the country, it was harsh. I just didn't eat out at all.

Last edited by Tiger Lilly; 09-19-2014 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Incomplete sentences because tired.
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#13 Old 09-19-2014, 07:26 PM
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Let's see.


I go to Olive Garden, half their list is nothing, but dairy and allergen ingredients. I also found out their oil is an oil butter mix. That's what they told me, because I told them about my diet. The chef came out, the manager came out, the server kept apologizing. I felt embarrassed and felt like I was being an *******. Eventually they figured out something I could have. Which was grilled vegetables, which they don't use butter and some kind of pasta plain. Plus they gave me olive oil and vinaigrette for my dressing because even their Balsamic had cheese in it. Then they gave my friends a free dessert as an apology for not being as accommodating as they liked.

That's interesting you had so much trouble at Olive Garden. I once went to an Olive Garden a few years back as a vegan and the staff were very accommodating. I was easily able to find several vegan items (and they were adamant that the oil based sauce over my linguine was vegan). I just googled a general menu for Olive Garden and found the following items on it that are vegan, though the menu might vary from place to place?:

http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/tusc...mmus/prod80798
http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/minestrone/prod80735
http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/cucina-mia/prod80412
http://www.olivegarden.com/menu/rasp...nade/prod81052

I wouldn't feel apologetic for asking for something to accommodate your needs. You are paying for the food and service so you have that right.

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#14 Old 09-27-2014, 02:21 PM
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Because sometimes, friends invite you over. And I have to deal with it.
That's a separate issue. If your friends insist on cooking then a vegan restaurant isn't an alternative anyway. How about just eating before you go out? Or skipping dinner? It won't kill you.

You know, you complain about having no money for groceries, but you eat fast/restaurant food. And you aren't willing to learn some basic tech skills and do small jobs on freelancer.com (which you clearly didn't even click on). Or even just odd jobs like cleaning pools or painting fences. You have exactly the life/problems you choose for yourself.
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#15 Old 09-27-2014, 05:27 PM
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I resigned myself to not eating out or eating at home before going to a restaurant, knowing all I was going to get is a salad (and a pitiful one with some iceberg lettuce and a couple shreds of carrots, o and a cucumber or pale tomato slice if you were lucky!). I also always carry one or two pieces of fruit and a granola bar whenever I go out. Day trips, I pack lunches in a cooler. And traveling (unless it's to stay with family where I can make meals) I just eat fruits, veg and as nutritional of snack foods as possible that don't need to be cooked (and count my blessings if theres a restaurant that has food that I can eat). In recent years, many places have menus online, so it is easier to see and plan ahead on whether or not they have options you can eat (and if it's worth the trouble to go there). For special occasions when you go to a REALLY fancy place, you can often call a few days ahead of time (like when you make your reservation) and let them know your dietary needs so they have advance warning (and most upscale places are pretty accommodating if you let them know beforehand). However, you can't really do that with a "family type" or chain restaurant. Unfortunately, businesses can't always cater to a small minority of people, especially in a place where it's extremely uncommon. Or, they may make an honest attempt, but due to lack of knowledge of some of these things, fail to accommodate. I've always looked at it as a "it is what it is" kind of situation, and deal with it by eating at home.
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#16 Old 09-29-2014, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SoulTofood View Post
I have a bit of a rant/complaint. I am vegetarian. For medical reasons. I cannot eat dairy or eggs or meat or else I break out in psoriasis and eczema.

I have always told people the difference between Vegetarian and Veganism, is the difference between saying you're agnostic or Christian. There are strict Vegetarians out there who do not consume any animal products, but the reasons for being vegetarian may not be ethical reasons. Or vegetarians may still use animal products like leather, etc. [I don't use leather because I'm poor and it's expensive, hahahaa]

Veganism is an ethical abstinence of all animal products including leather.

I am a strict Vegetarian for medical reasons.

I went to a restaurant with a friend, and was surprised to find a lot of vegetarian options. So knowing me, I got excited. It's rare to find these in Colorado Springs. Well taking a closer look at their options, almost every single one of their vegetarian options had some kind of cream, milk or cheese.

Oh joy. You don't have meat in it. But I'm allergic to dairy so I can't have it.

I'd like restaurants or places of business to use the labels clearly defined for vegetarian subculture. Lacto-vegetarian, Ova-vegetarian, etc.

Because Vegetarian leads me to believe you have at least something for someone who is allergic to dairy and meat to eat something at your place.

I do not eat cheese. I wish some people would understand this. That not all vegetarians eat milk and consume dairy products. Rant/complaint over
I have trouble with some menus, as well. However, I have developed a few options for coping....

I recently went to a Cuban restaurant in Memphis, (known for BBQ, etc). Every option had meat. I ordered 3 sides.... black beans, white rice & plantains. The guy looked at me like I was crazy. "That's it"?!!! Yeah....that's it. It was delicious.

My wife & I go to this great place to eat pizza. I still order the same pizza, but without the cheese. They make it & I eat it.

Also, I eat a lot of Asian food. It has no dairy to worry about, and usually consists of rice & veggies.

If I get a veggie sandwich, salad, etc. that has something I don't want on it.....I tell them to leave it off.

I'm like you....the "veggie options" may or may not be real options.

Order what you want and eat what you want.

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#17 Old 09-29-2014, 04:28 PM
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Chinese places don't use much dairy. Tofu and steamed vegetables over brown rice, no sauce.
This is true. Unfortunately, the sauce really does add a lot of flavor to the dish- and some Chinese restaurants use a brown sauce which contains oyster. But even then there may be a possible work-around: they may be able to make it with a white sauce, or just steam or sautee the dish without using any sauce at all.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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