| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:11 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:38 am 
Offline
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: The land of maple syrup and beavers.
I am pretty new to this whole vegetarian thing, and even more so at this whole vegan thing. I don't go out to eat very often (as in, almost never) so this problem hasn't come up for me yet.

I am going out on Sunday with a couple of friends for a birthday. We are going to an upscale steakhouse/pub, and I've already looked at the menu. There are a couple of decent looking vegetarian options but have cheese (of course). One in particular is a pasta with cheese stuffed portobello mushroom, which is what I think I'd like but obviously minus dairy. Now, I don't think I've ever asked for substitution or to leave stuff out of a dish, I've never had much in the way of dietary restrictions and I'm not a picky eater for the most part. So I just don't know how to... go about this?

Any thoughts or tips?

_________________
Anyone for some German Shepherd Pie? - daisychain
Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
Dwarf-tossing for God: A Story of Hope - Invictus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:40 am 
Offline
Kitchens Planning Manchester
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:15 pm
Posts: 2553
Where do you live? That kind of affects my strategy sometimes.

_________________
"No one with hair so soft and glossy could ever be bad at anything." - Tofulish


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:41 am 
Offline
Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:43 pm
Posts: 10734
Location: Astoria, NY by way of San Diego, CA
well, you could call/email in advance and ask what you can order that would be vegan. that way, you know exactly what to order when you get there and you don't have to worry about your friends thinking you're weird or anything. In general though, asking to leave stuff out of a dish is not a huge deal. Sometimes the restaurant just doesn't get it and they still put cheese on your dish, and then it gets annoying with having to return stuff, but if you're nice about it and explain your diet (and you can always lie and say it's an allergy) then it usually works out ok. Or, sometimes, I just order fries and a salad because I don't want to have to deal with asking for substitutions. It's sort of depends on the situation and the restaurant.

_________________
I am not a troll. I am TELLING YOU THE ******GOD'S TRUTH****** AND YOU JUST DON'T WANT THE HEAR IT DO YOU?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:47 am 
Offline
Kitchens Planning Manchester
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:18 am
Posts: 2613
Location: England
I would definitely ring them. I would say that you're coming and you're vegan, and is there anything they can do for you. They'll either say yes, sound very knowledgeable and make some suggestions that look even better than what's on the menu, or they'll um and er a bit in which case you ask if they could make the dish you like the look of but without any dairy. If they say yes, then that's good. If they say no, then you could either ask the friends if you can go somewhere else or else eat before you go and pick at some fries.

_________________
http://cookingtheveganbooks.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:49 am 
Offline
WRETCHED
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 8646
Location: Maryland/DC area
At a steakhouse type place, I usually order whatever sides they have. I can make a meal out of steamed veggies, sweet potatoes or what not. Butter is probably the biggest issue with the sides but they can often leave it off. Do you want to share the menu?

Calling can also help but I've not had the best experience with trying to call ahead.

_________________
You are all a disgrace to vegans. Go f*ck yourselves, especially linanil.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:53 am 
Offline
Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:43 pm
Posts: 10734
Location: Astoria, NY by way of San Diego, CA
linanil wrote:
At a steakhouse type place, I usually order whatever sides they have. I can make a meal out of steamed veggies, sweet potatoes or what not. Butter is probably the biggest issue with the sides but they can often leave it off. Do you want to share the menu?

Calling can also help but I've not had the best experience with trying to call ahead.


yeah, that's true. calling can be tricky because anyone could answer and they might not know. emailing works better because usually a manager or someone knowledgeable is answering the emails or the email can easily be passed along.

and yes, share the menu with us. we can help you figure out what to eat!

_________________
I am not a troll. I am TELLING YOU THE ******GOD'S TRUTH****** AND YOU JUST DON'T WANT THE HEAR IT DO YOU?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:53 am 
Offline
WELFARIST!
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:57 pm
Posts: 5185
I call ahead as well. On my nephew's last birthday we went to a "Chophouse" (ugh) and I called ahead and they assured me that they had something vegan on the menu. It's usually pasta, and it was, but it was a really tasty one with tomatoes and mushrooms and a little more thought put into it than the usual plain marinara and noodles.

Sometimes, if I don't have time to call ahead or it's an impromptu visit sort of thing, I just order a pasta whatever sans cheese off the menu.

I was telling my sister the other day that the only time I really get excited about going out to eat these days is when I get to eat at a restaurant that caters to vegans/vegetarians because anywhere else I go, I usually just have pasta and tomato sauce and that's not too exciting in general. It's nice to have a menu with an array of items to choose from!

_________________
"I'm sorry! I'm Canadian!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:56 am 
Offline
WELFARIST!
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:57 pm
Posts: 5185
I also look up their menu online.

_________________
"I'm sorry! I'm Canadian!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:37 am 
Offline
Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 10412
Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Yes to all of these suggestions, especially calling ahead. Calling ahead ensures you some peace of mind, saves the kitchen some last-minute grief, and usually (when the restaurant is good and they aim to please) results in something great. The pasta with cheese-stuffed portobello doesn't sound like the best choice to veganize, simply because the flavour of the dish probably comes from the cheese, but maybe if you ask nicely they can jazz it up a bit with more sauce/veggies/herbs.

My parents and I recently went to a super non-vegan (or vegetarian) restaurant in an incredibly non-vegan little town, and the chef was happy to put together what ended up being a Provencal tomato, white bean, and artichoke stew that was absolutely delicious.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:56 am 
Offline
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:49 pm
Posts: 4404
Location: Toronto, ON
I never call ahead because I hate phoning people.

I look up the menu online ahead of time and see if there is something that is A.) already vegan, or B.) could easily be made vegan. When asking for something without cheese, I usually just ask for no cheese, I don't go into whether I'm vegan or not. That doesn't always work if you are wondering about things like stock, butter, etc., but I find it works well for cheese.

_________________
I like my bagels like I like my men - big and covered with earth balance & nooch. - Bunniee

http://veganforthewin.wordpress.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:02 pm 
Offline
Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:57 pm
Posts: 6516
Location: Boston, MA
My question about the portabella dish is if they are pre-assembled. I hate calling places, too. I usually try to make myself (if there's no email available or if I don't hear back from an email). And sometimes I just make sure to eat ahead of time (as unfun as that is).

_________________
I would eat Dr. Cow pocket cheese in a second. I would eat it if you hid it under your hat, or in your backpack, but not if it was in your shoe. That's where I draw the line. -allularpunk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:09 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:25 pm
Posts: 3658
Location: Nashville, TN
Yes to everything already said.

If we're in our hometown and have access to other food, I'll usually just grab a burrito at taco bell on the way there and then get drunk at the party.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:09 pm 
Offline
Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:59 pm
Posts: 645
Location: Boston, MA
I used to always just say that I was vegan, but restaurants didn't know what that was or care, and I ended up getting bits 'o stuff in my food anyway. So now, I always call ahead or tell the waitress/waiter I'm a vegetarian with a severe dairy/egg allergy.

_________________
Olives For Dinner
Facebook
Follow me on Twitter!
My tumblr


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:17 pm 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:00 pm
Posts: 1105
I've never had an issue just turning up and asking if something on the menu contains milk, and if so to leave that part out. I don't give them a reason unless they ask, which very occasionally happens when they want to know if they could accidentally kill me with trace ingredients. Since I'm allergic, albeit not dangerously so, I'd notice if they messed it up.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:19 pm 
Offline
Kitchens Planning Manchester
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:28 pm
Posts: 2536
Location: Connecticut
Definitely contact the restaurant ahead of time. I used to just order vegetarian items without the cheese but sometimes there are weird hidden animal ingredients. Luckily, I think more people know what "vegan" means now than they used to, but sometimes I fib and say I have an allergy just in case.

_________________
"I never do anything you say, Isa. When I cook from VWAV and it says to add one cup of flour, I add three cups of olive oil! Now who wants some forking muffins??"-ExpiredSanity
Tumblr
Cast Iron & Cupcakes
I guess I have a Twitter now


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:24 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5350
Location: United States of New England
lobsteriffic wrote:
I never call ahead because I hate phoning people.

I look up the menu online ahead of time and see if there is something that is A.) already vegan, or B.) could easily be made vegan. When asking for something without cheese, I usually just ask for no cheese, I don't go into whether I'm vegan or not. That doesn't always work if you are wondering about things like stock, butter, etc., but I find it works well for cheese.


this is pretty much exctly what i do.
ive never called or emailed a restaurant, ive never asked what vegan options they have. if im going some place new (and also a lot of times going to places i just havent been to in awhile) i will look at their menu online and sort of feel things out.
i dont like asking questions or for substitutions at a restaurant so i will just ask for some thing without the chicken or cheese or whatever.
there is a restaurant downtown we go to on occasion and they have a "santa fe chicken salad" so i get it without the chicken or the cheese. it sounds a bit odd asking for the chicken salad with no chicken but they've always done it for me. (ive also gotten eggplant parm without the parm!)
i dont try to overly stress if there is some secret non-vegan ingredient in it that i didnt think about or ask about. i just do what i can do.

i mean if you're comfortable calling ahead or emailing or asking questions then by all means do so. i was just pointing out other options if you're like me and have severe social anxiety and hate talking to people ;-)

also watch for premade things. i went to a Fridays or some other gross chain restaurant once and i dont remember what i ordered. i honestly think it was a salad and i asked for either no chicken or no cheese and they said everything got shipped premade to them.
premade salad? ew.
most non-chain restaurants dont seem to do that though.

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:33 pm 
Offline
Dying from Nooch Lung
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:01 am
Posts: 3382
Location: Chandler, AZ
This is all good advice. I usually just look at the menu ahead of time so that I know what I'm in for. I might end up with a sad salad, but meh. Just be cheery about it! Order some cocktails if that's your thing. And if your friend is cool, perhaps she'll consider going somewhere with more vegan options.

_________________
Half the lies I tell are not true.
"luckily us vegans dont go into cardiac arrest...but we do go into food comas" - Adam Crisis


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:38 pm 
Offline
Calls "cavemen" on that
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:53 pm
Posts: 2365
Call first for sure. I worked in an applebees for years, and the steamed veggie platter was pre-assembled every morning and DRENCHED in butter. I have found that other places do this too (prep in the morning etc)

Just call them and ask! Expensive places like Steakhouses are usually able to accomodate you. (chain places, not so much sometimes). My rule of thumb is that if I have enough advance notice, and it is an expensive place, I will call. Casual, chains and spur of the moment, I don't bother and figure something out when I get there.

Steakhouses can actually be great places to get vegan meals, since they usually have really good side dishes. That is, if you can handle the meat being wheeled up to the table. I can't do that anymore.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:52 pm 
Offline
Brain Made of Raw Seitan
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:16 pm
Posts: 1215
Location: ATX
Definitely call in advance! Upscale places often have a chef who gets kind of excited about coming up with a new dish. I went to two different upscale steakhouses with my family for my parents' anniversary and the chefs there actually made me amazing meals both times! (One was even in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin.) The omnis were actually jealous of a few of my courses. I got crazy stuff like tempura squash blossoms and veggies and adorable little balsamic watermelon appetizers. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:56 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:14 pm
Posts: 3560
Location: NJ/Philadelphia
LisaPunk wrote:
(ive also gotten eggplant parm without the parm!)

Wouldn't the eggplant be breaded in a milk/egg mixture?

I agree with everyone's suggestions. But I wouldn't chance the stuffed mushrooms, there are probably animal ingredients in the pre-made stuffing mixture so even without the cheese it would be an issue.

Salads minus the animal toppings are normally the way I go. With plain old oil and vinegar for dressing cause most restaurant salad dressings have egg, fish, or milk in them. Plus with a salad if they screw it up and you have to send it back it's an easier remake for the kitchen staff than something hot.

_________________
"Gnome kicking says a lot a man's character." - Babbette


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:13 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5350
Location: United States of New England
GraciaKai wrote:
LisaPunk wrote:
(ive also gotten eggplant parm without the parm!)

Wouldn't the eggplant be breaded in a milk/egg mixture?



it was from a sub shop and the eggplant wasnt breaded it just was fried. not sure it was really "eggplant parm"

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:28 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:14 pm
Posts: 3560
Location: NJ/Philadelphia
LisaPunk wrote:
GraciaKai wrote:
LisaPunk wrote:
(ive also gotten eggplant parm without the parm!)

Wouldn't the eggplant be breaded in a milk/egg mixture?



it was from a sub shop and the eggplant wasnt breaded it just was fried. not sure it was really "eggplant parm"

Ah, I'm always confused about eggplant dishes. I used to think I could get the Nona's veggie sandwich from Primo Hoagies without the cheese until I realized the eggplant was breaded in something. I don't think I ever got a clear answer from them, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't vegan safe.

Stop ruining the eggplant people!

_________________
"Gnome kicking says a lot a man's character." - Babbette


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:31 pm 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5350
Location: United States of New England
seriously. eggplant should always be a vegan safe food!
i didnt even think of the breading til you said something then i had to think about it and it wasnt really breaded, more fried.

kinda thinking i wont do it again though.

stoopid eggplant ruiners :-(

_________________
Unimpressed Baby Blog


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ordering at a non-vegan restaurant
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:35 pm 
Offline
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 4304
Location: The land of maple syrup and beavers.
I didn't think about the mushrooms being prestuffed, that's a good point.

I do legitimately have a dairy sensitivity so I wont mind using that as an excuse. I was thinking about calling ahead and thought it might be weird but maybe it's not so much :) I'll look at the menu again and give them a call.

Actually the restaurant popped up as a Groupon and I was the one who suggested it knowing it was close to our first activity (we are going to the ballet first to see Alice in Wonderland, looks very cool) and that my two friends would find something they like. We'll be in Toronto so I can't imagine I'll be the first person to ever ask for something vegan. Worse comes to worse, green salad and lots of booze will be my meal!! ;)

Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it!

_________________
Anyone for some German Shepherd Pie? - daisychain
Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
Dwarf-tossing for God: A Story of Hope - Invictus


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Gulliver, joshua, ScooterDiva and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer