No Cheese on Those Veggie Tacos, Please

Dining out has become, well, interesting since I decided to change my diet. Elimination of dairy alone drastically cuts down my choices. A trip to the cafeteria at work has become depressing and almost maddening, but I have managed. The foods I have been able to get include:

  • lentil soup–vegetarian but probably not vegan
  • build your own salad–I already miss ranch dressing and I had a super gassy afternoon from all the beans I added
  • waffle fries
  • grilled vegetables

I’m giving myself slack when it comes to meat, so I’ve also had a gyros without tzatziki sauce, and a roast beef panino with no cheese. I had to turn down an invitation to go out to lunch last week because the restaurant the group was going to had no desirable menu options that didn’t have cheese.

I went to the Yardhouse today, which is one of my favorite spots. Great atmosphere, huge menu, lots of beers to choose from. I perused the menu before my visit. I couldn’t have any my usual choices: tortilla soup, spicy Thai chicken pizza (even though they offer a chicken substitute), mac and cheese, classic sliders. So, today, I opted for the Hongos y Rajas tacos, which have shiitake mushrooms, roasted pasilla peppers and grilled onions with lemon sriracha aïoli, jack, feta, avocado and red chili threads:

These were delicious! I’m gonna guess that they aren’t vegan, but I’m really jazzed about them. Truthfully, I never would have ordered these before. An added bonus is that I haven’t tried them with the cheese, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

It’s interesting how differently I look at menus now. A lot of restaurants are great at pointing out vegetarian or gluten-free options, but I mostly have to study the ingredients of a dish to determine if it’s vegan. I won’t get complainy about it. Many people “choose” to be vegetarian for cultural or religious reasons. Allergies can’t be helped and reactions can be life-threatening. But vegan diets? I am thinking that it will be some time before menus point out vegan dishes. All I really want is a server who won’t get confused if I ask whether or not something is vegan or if they have a cheese substitute.

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2 thoughts on “No Cheese on Those Veggie Tacos, Please

  1. Kinenchen says:

    Dining out can be rough. I tend toward Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Japanese restaurants because they usually have something that doesn’t terrify me. If I weren’t allergic to gluten, I’d probably do Italian (spaghetti marinara, pasta primavera). You’re a brave woman.

    • Melissa says:

      Dining out will either a fun challenge or a frustrating experience now. Going vegan may limit my options, but I’m discovering and re-discovering a lot of foods and dishes. I don’t know if that makes me brave. Being allergy-free makes it a lot easier. However, I am really mindful about gluten-free options since I met you. Halfway through my first taco today, I lamented the fact that the tortillas weren’t corn tortillas. And I’m anxious to try Gardein, but I’m bummed that it’s not an option for you.

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