Veg menu items in pubs without goat's cheese?! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-18-2009, 06:16 AM
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Hi there

I've just joined VeggieBoards.

I live just outside Farnham in Surrey, having only been in the UK for one year now (I'm an Aussie). I'm wondering if anyone can tell me why it's nigh on impossible to visit a pub that doesn't have, as their (usually) single vegetarian option, something with *&@&$* goat's cheese in it????

I try not to eat much dairy as it doesn't agree with me, and I just cannot believe the limited range of vegetarian options in pubs - it's either vegetarian lasagne (which I really like, but honestly - gets a bit boring), or baguettes with brie, or a tart with goat's cheese.

Where are the vegetarian curries? Where are the hearty winter soups with lentils in them? Where are the vegetarian chilli dishes? And WHY - oh why? - does nobody offer anything with tofu? (how easy is a stir fry?)

If anyone can point me in the direction of a pub in my area that offers something a little more original, I'd be really grateful. I have been actively searching for a year now and it's got to the point where I am about to give up.

Cheers, happy 2009 to everyone,

Maree
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#2 Old 01-18-2009, 08:52 AM
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Hi Maree and welcome! I know what you mean about pubs, they're not the best of places to find dairy-free vegetarian food, or vaguely imaginative vegetarian food. It's even better when there's five types of meat and then underneath it says 'Vegetarian Option available' - it's like going into a restaurant and saying 'I'll have the food, please' and seeing what turns up, except in a pub you know it's going to be cheese... Having said that, I have seen some pubs that have something a bit more interesting on offer for vegetarians, although as a vegan I don't often attempt eating in pubs.



Perhaps you could ask one or two of your local pubs if they'd be willing to make a dairy-free vegetarian meal if given advance warning? Some places are willing to make vegan meals if ordered in advance (and particularly if you're planning a visit as part of a group). You never know, it might give them some ideas for their regular menu. I don't know your area so can't recommend any pubs, but other people here might be able to help.
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#3 Old 01-18-2009, 09:49 AM
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Unfortunately in my experience the best you can hope for in almost any pub is chips that aren't fried in beef dripping. Traditional, old fashion pubs sometimes fry their chips like that.

Not really a meal though, are they?



Phoning a pub before you go and asking if they can provide dairy free vegetarian options is a good idea. They might say no, but that's the worst that can happen and they'll be losing out of your custom so chances are, they'll want to keep you happy.



I know this is a bit different, but in any good Italian restaurant you can take your own vegan cheese and have pizza made, so perhaps offer to take an alternative ingredient of your own if they really have nothing but cheese.



Pubs are not great though! I was perusing a pub menu with a vegan friend a few weeks ago and there was not one single vegan option on the menu, including the chips.
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#4 Old 01-18-2009, 11:56 AM
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if one of these wetherspoons is near you, they might have the 5 bean chilli, or the Sweet potato, chickpea & spinach curry, or the Sun-dried tomato & char-grilled vegetable spirale pasta (you could ask them to leave the cheese off the top) or the dreaded baked potato with beans (i used to get this in nearly every pub i ever went to! yay!) or you could throw together some chips and onion rings and veggies, etc.



http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/pubs/...rchPub=farnham



i think it seriously might be worth mentioning this issue to the pubs you visit. i'm guessing that they're trying to go with whats trendy and what they think patrons want, but you're a patron, and if its not what you want, if everyone else is serving the same thing, and if you'd keep coming back and buying food and bringing your mates if they had a veggie curry, then flipping tell them that! preferably in writing, presented in a postive constructive way.



you're more likely to get what you do want, if they know, they've got an incentive to give it to you (money and demand and support are good ones), and you help them fix it.
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#5 Old 01-19-2009, 04:08 PM
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I'm not vegan, but I loathe goat's cheese - WHY do they put it in everything vegetarian!??
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#6 Old 01-19-2009, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldfish View Post

I'm not vegan, but I loathe goat's cheese - WHY do they put it in everything vegetarian!??



its one of those trendy ingredients like balsamic vinegar, caramelised onions, corriander/cilantro and rocket, innit? they bung it in everything cos it makes the food look posh.
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#7 Old 01-19-2009, 06:35 PM
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"I just want sausage, mash and a bit of cake! Not twigs fried in honey or a donkey in a coffin."

--Bernard Black (Black Books)





Why can't things me simple? People don't really want that pretentious food!



I forgot to mention the good old jacket potato. Lucky I like them! Though I remember going to Whitby a couple of years ago and every time I ordered a PLAIN jacket potato with DRESSINGLESS salad they got it wrong. I was served butter or cottage cheese or coleslaw with it. I was really quite offended! You have to be strict. I reckon telling people you have a serious dairy allergy is usually the way to go.
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#8 Old 01-20-2009, 06:43 AM
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I think baked potatoes are usually cooked with butter so I stay away from them altogether.
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#9 Old 01-20-2009, 07:07 AM
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I think baked potatoes are usually cooked with butter so I stay away from them altogether.



Where did you hear that?



Jacket potatoes in restaurants/pubs are just tossed into an oven to bake in the morning and then kept in a steamer tray for the rest of the day. Some pubs cook jacket potatoes from scratch in microwave before serving.



Treating the potato with butter would be a bad idea for the pub as 1) it costs extra 2) more time consuming to coat the pototo in butter before baking 3) potatoes coated in will go rancid/taste funny quicker than potatoes not coated with butter.
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#10 Old 01-20-2009, 07:13 AM
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The Fox put in Farnham has vegetarian chili, veg lasagna, a tomato/basil/mozerrela sandwich and a few more items besides goat cheese. http://www.thefoxfarnham.co.uk/ Just gotta look around
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#11 Old 01-21-2009, 08:27 AM
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I know just what you mean about unimaginative pub food. One of our locals got new landlords late last year, so I took the opportunity to chat to them about vegetarian options. The landlady expressed great interest, and commented that vegetarians had told her they want curries, chillis and pies in the winter.... 3 months later they've stil got on their (unchanging) specials board Cheese, potato & broccoli bake or ratatouille and feta pancake!



Another local pub does know good veggie food though - and does Yorkshire puds filled with various stews, veggie sunday roast and yummy vegan pasties with mushy peas and gravy! It's in Cumbria though - so not much use to you.



Have you tried looking at Veggie Places website?
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#12 Old 01-21-2009, 08:54 AM
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When I first moved to the village I live in the local pub had a huge vegetarian menu. Must have been about 6 different meny items and few of them were full on vegan with no subsitutions! And then a year later, the menu was completely changed and almost all of the vegetarian menu items were removed. When I spoke to the pub landlord he said that nobody was ordering the vegetarian menu items so therefore he had them removed from the menu.



So, upset about lack of vegetarian menu items? Ask yourself how many times you eat out and ask for vegetarian menu items per month? Vegetarians need to create the demand for vegetarian items.



If there is no demand, its no wonder landlords remove or don't bother with vegetarians,
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#13 Old 01-21-2009, 09:14 AM
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I see what you're saying Mr F - and as I've just said, I do ask for interesting options (sometimes with success; sometimes without!) but not everyone likes causing a fuss when they eat out and so - confronted by the same unimaginative choices - they prefer to stay away.



It's a bit chicken and egg really isn't it?!
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#14 Old 01-21-2009, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Shockingpink View Post

I see what you're saying Mr F - and as I've just said, I do ask for interesting options (sometimes with success; sometimes without!) but not everyone likes causing a fuss when they eat out and so - confronted by the same unimaginative choices - they prefer to stay away.



It's a bit chicken and egg really isn't it?!



Yes, it really is. Do vegetarians not go out to eat because there is very little for them or do restaurants not bother with vegetarian options because vegetarians don't go out to eat?



I guess its up to us to eat out even more to push the trend in the 'veggies are demanding restaurant meals' upward
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#15 Old 01-21-2009, 10:08 AM
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Eh, goat cheese is one of the few specific cheeses I miss from cheese-eating.
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