Dining Out While Vegan
Sometimes slaving over a hot stove all night isn't an option. Here are some tips on eating out while vegan.
Last week I talked about cooking at home while vegan. During my Vegan Challenge, I've definitely improved my skills in the kitchen (and I've chopped up more onions and garlic than I'd like to admit), but sometimes you just want to relax and let someone else do the work for you.
Thank God for takeout.
While researching for the challenge, I discovered that many restaurants in Maplewood and Brentwood offer vegan options. Foundation Grounds in Maplewood has a number of delicious vegan sandwiches and wraps. Nosh in Maplewood has an appetizing Tempeh Provencal that is a great vegan option for hungry diners. Even Applegate's Deli in Brentwood has a vegan offering; the Veggie Sandwich is made to order and is sure to satisfy your appetite.
But while I'm a huge fan of sandwiches, I wanted something more. Something that I never thought I'd be able to enjoy this month as a vegan.
I wanted pizza. Ooey, gooey, cheesy pizza.
Thankfully, I didn't have to travel far to satisfy my craving. Whole Foods Market in Brentwood prepares vegan pizza to order daily. Instead of real cheese, they use Daiya, a vegan cheese substitute that melts, stretches, and tastes almost like the real thing. Loaded up with fresh vegetables and delicious pizza sauce, this pizza was the real deal. I was in heaven! Who said vegans can't enjoy pizza?
Looking to slip into your own version of food nirvana? Here are some tips for eating out while vegan.
A lot of restaurants have no problem with leaving off cheese or substituting chicken with tofu if you request it. And don't diss the veggie burger! While they don't taste exactly like meat, a lot of them come pretty close. And they're tasty in their own unique way.
Don't be afraid to ask your waiter or waitress about vegan options on the menu. You might have overlooked a selection on the menu. Sometimes, a chef will even be willing to whip up something especially for you; just be sure to call ahead and give them some notice.
Don't assume anything.
Just because something is vegetarian doesn't mean it's vegan as well. While that veggie sandwich on the menu seems innocent enough, there may be hidden animal products in the bread itself. It never hurts to ask "Is this vegan?" about any item on the menu.
Support businesses that offer vegan selections.
What's the best way to ensure that restaurants will continue to carry vegan items? Support them! Brentwood resident Susan Klement suggests Schlafly Bottleworks and Foundation Grounds. "Foundation Grounds even has vegan baked goods and agave nectar syrups for their lattes" she said.
Did you miss the first few installments of Foodie Finds: The Vegan Challenge? Here they are: