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.