So far, the vegan thing is working out just fine. I’m still dropping weight at a modest pace –a pound or two every week. I’d like for the weight to fly off, but I also like to have a beer once in a while, and eat cookies.
Weight loss, while encouraged by my doctor, is a secondary effect of this whole project.
So far, the hardest thing has been dining out. Meals out are somewhat limited. When my father was in town last weekend, we didn’t do our annual pilgrimage to the local Chinese buffet. About the only thing I could safely have would be the iceberg lettuce on the salad bar, which almost nobody actually touches in the first place. Chinese restaurants use fish sauce, oyster sauce, chicken stock, pork and eggs in all kinds of things.
So, Chinese food is kind of on the no-fly list until I find a way around it.
We actually ended up eating at a Ryan’s, which wasn’t terrible. I constructed a really decent salad, had a baked potato drowned in salsa, bread, and fruit. I went ahead and ate the breaded okra, though who knows if it was cooked in the same oil as the chicken nuggets, the fish sticks, the cheese sticks, and God knows what else. You have to be a little bit realistic, I think.
Probably the Ryan’s in Los Angeles has an organic, fair-trade vegan island with a harvest-your-own mushroom bar.
Anyway, I checked in with several websites about vegan-friendly places (they barely exist in West Virginia) and even chain restaurants which have vegan options. At most of them you can find a salad, some kind of potato (served dry), and maybe bread (if you ask them not slather it with butter), but I reached out to a few to ask –“Hey, have you got anything that a vegan would like to eat that isn’t a salad? Maybe a nice veggie burger?”
Some places ignored me –like TGI Fridays, Lonestar Steakhouse and Dunkin Donuts, but I did hear back from a few people.
Thank you for your e-mail. We’re always looking for new ways to provide great guest service, and comments like yours help us to do that. We appreciate your concern about the availability of vegan-friendly dishes at Applebee’s. Our Menu Development team regularly reviews our menu and creates new items throughout the year. Guest feedback is an important part of that process. Thanks again.
If you have any other questions or comments, please give us a call at 888-592-7753.
Sr. Guest Relations Specialist
Case # 1905883
Notice how they didn’t just say, “Uh, no. Go graze in the parking lot, lawnmower man.” Instead, they answered my question by not actually answering my question, which sort of feels worse.
Outback Steakhouse referred me back to the menu.
There is nothing in our sauce or dough from an animal.
Thanks for the inquiry,
I ordered pizza that very night and it was glorious.
Eventually, I’ll check in with Lola’s and Pies and Pints.
However, Sarah’s Bakery was a no go. She uses butter in her pie crusts.
I’d make you a pie crust with crisco, but it goes against everything I believe in
That’s OK, I said. Some sacrifices have to be made.
I think it’s awesome she does what she does.
The absolute winning find was Bluegrass Kitchen.
Pathetically, I wrote Keeley Steele and asked her what kind of vegan things they had.
We have a lot actually. If you 86 dairy & chicken you can have the tostada or chimi (you can add tofu too)
Our new mock “chicken & dumplings” are vegan
Our housemade veggie burger is vegan…just get it with no cheese and not on brioche
And Monday is meatless monday…we have a few vegan regulars so we try to make sure we have something vegan running on that evening.
Tofu tacos with no dairy
We have vegan cheese, bacon & sausage for our breakfast sandwiches.
Let me know if you have any other questions
I ended up going out to the Civic Center last night where they were having the Small Farm Conference and a winter farmer’s market. Keeley and company had set up a stall and were selling Tofu Buffalo wings and they were wonderful –if you like tofu.
Not every vegan does, but it’s OK by me.