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Thread: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

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    Cavy Slave
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    Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    So, yeah, it's the weird line between, well, it's our choice so part of it's our fault, but they could do more to cater to a larger range of customers or maybe just use less meat to be nice to animals. Anyway, decided to start a thread where we can list the worst things about eating out when you're a vegetarian.

    1) Almost everything (even the salads!) has meat in it so, at best, you need to ask them to alter a dish (and if they forget, you need to send it back and wait longer to eat), and, at worst, most things are pre-prepared so you need to make do with side-dishes or salad.

    2) Everyone (from friends to waiters/waitresses) seems to think vegetarian dishes=salads. (Don't get me wrong; salads are great. But that doesn't mean I want to eat it for every meal).

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    Cavy Slave SquigglyPigs's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I'm not vegetarian but I can imagine how hard it must be sometimes! I live in a very vegetarian/vegan friendly town and so we have many restaurants that specifically cater towards them. We even have many restaurants that ONLY carry vegan dishes. I definitely think that some areas of the country/world cater better to specialized diets than others. It would be very difficult to find a good vegetarian dish in my old hometown (a small town in Minnesota).
    I would get really sick of salads if that was the only thing they had to offer all of the time.

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I'm guessing by your tone that you might be a minor, and so you might not have control over where you live, but if you live in an area where vegetarianism/vegan lifestyles are common, it's a lot different and people tend to react differently to you. We live just outside Portland, Oregon, and most people don't bat an eyelash when we ask to omit meat/cheese/animal products, because it's relatively common. Many pizza places offer vegan cheese and other vegan/vegetarian options, as do many other fast food restaurants. When my husband visited family in Kentucky, though, he had a harder time and everyone thought he was a nut. One Subway worker actually kept asking him what kind of meat he wanted with his veggie patty on his veggie sandwich.

    Beyond that, remember that you're doing something outstanding for animals AND the environment by avoiding meat and/or animal products and that's something to be proud of and feel good about, so don't ever let someone's attitude toward you (perceived or otherwise) get you down or discourage you.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner spudsthepiget's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    It can definitely be disappointing to go out to eat and find out that the place doesn't have anything vegetarian. I've been vegetarian for 19 years now, and I've experienced it quite a lot. I've never understood though why people always think that vegetarians eat only salad. I love pasta; I can usually find a pasta dish at most places I go that doesn't have meat in it.

    One thing I've started doing is writing to chain places that I go to and asking for more vegetarian options; most companies love to get feedback and aim to create more customers. I wrote to Olive Garden recently about their last promotion not having anything vegetarian, and they were really nice about it. The promotion that they're running right now has a couple vegetarian options and they sent me a gift card. Same with Longhorn Steakhouse; I told them that I would love to go there with my family but all they had for me to eat was sides, and now they have a vegetarian pasta dish and a couple of soups. I've always thought that if something bothers you, change it.

    Good luck finding more places! Trust me, there are some good vegetarian places out there.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPiggies7's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I'm not vegatarian. BUT I will refuse to eat steak and somtimes lamb. It's just disgusting...

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I am a Pescaterian. This means I eat fish. I have to because I am not getting enough protein (According to my doc). I do, however eat more veggie stuff then I do fish. (Don't tell my doc). The worst thing about eating out is there is not much of a variety. I live in Maryland and thank God we actually have vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Also I like to go to Asian restaurants because they have great veggie selections.

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    Cavy Caged
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    My mom went from being a vegetarian to being pescaterian, she will only eat line caught fish and we live in florida so a lot of restaurants buy their fish from the local fishermen. she gets lucky by being where she is though.

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    Cavy Slave SpiderCall's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    By the looks of some of the things said Ive been lucky The only regular problem I have is that a lot veggie things have peppers which I can't stand. A waitress in a restaurant actually said "I thought all vegetarians ate peppers" and got huffy about it when I asked for something sans peppers. This one doesn't was my response <_<
    Even while visiting Germany where everything comes with added pork, even potato, I haven't had a problem getting veggie I feel lucky now.

    I guess my worst pet peeve has to be a when you say you are vegeterian and you get offered fish though. It does my head in. A supermarket at christmas two years ago did an advert on how annoying we veggies are to feed and said they had the perfect thing. A 3 fish bake.

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    Cavy Slave Liliane's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I feel very lucky to live in the Bay Area. Here, we have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Gracias Madre is one of my favorite restaurant, in San Francisco: Vegan Mexican food. A-MA-ZING!

    When I was in France, I hated it though, because people would look at me weird when I would ask for a vegan dish and would not understand it.

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    Cavy Newbie Popcorn.piggies's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I think it mainly depends on where you live. In England I can go out to a restaurant and know there will always be a vegetarian and vegan menu with 3-5+ options, however some places I visit on holiday I have to eat salads, pizza or pasta. I would say being veggie is relatively easy where I live: ingredients are always labelled on packaging and there is a whole Sections at the supermarket with vegetarian meals. I think the hardest part is constantly explaining to people why you made the choice to go vegeterian and why you believe the meat industry is wrong as some people get very defensive.

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    Cavy Slave Chaylee's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I live in the south, and a lot of people don't even know what vegan means, so there aren't really many options for me when going out to eat. The only place I've ever been that has anything besides salads, which like @Rosewhite said always have meat and cheese in them, is the Mellow Mushroom and they make awesome vegan pizzas.

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    Cavy Slave SkyKimimota's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I live in the Milwaukee, WI area, and while it's not hard to find vegetarian options, I don't ​think there are any restaurants just for vegetarian/vegans. I love to eat pasta and vegetarian pizza though, Papa Murphy's has an awesome one (my non-vegetarian family likes to eat my pizza along with theirs :/) Sedona, Arizona, is really awesome regarding vegans though! I went there for the summer, and a lot of places had v's and gf's, or some other sign, above food options to indicate vegan and gluten-free food.

    Some of my family is kind of inconsiderate regarding my being vegetarian though My grandparents and I were looking to eat out one time, and my grandmother said "can't you just eat chicken like your cousin?" No, I'm not gonna eat chicken just to make eating out easier for you.

    Does sending letters to fast-food places really work? During my vacation, my family had us go to eat at a Jack-In-the-Box. The only options without meat are fries, soda, and maybe egg rolls, the best I could do was to request a salad without meat. We went there for breakfast one morning days later, and the best option then was a grilled cheese. It would have been way worse for a vegan! "Mmmm yes I'd love some toasted bread." There are none around here, but I thought it might still be a good idea to ask about more vegan options.

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    Cavy Slave daydreamer89's Avatar
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    Im not a vegetarian or vegan but I often eat and cook vegetarian dishes. (at this point 2 of my 3 meals are meat/animal products free though)
    We live in puerto rico and I always assumed that it would be really hard to find good meat free meals here and it was for the longest time... recently though things have changed and almost every place you go to eat will have a meat free option (or a whole part of the menu) that is actually YUMMY! more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants are popping up and its really nice to see. though i guess we have it a lot easier here as one of the meal staples here is rice and beans and which is yummy on its own and a lot of the time even if its not a menu option you can ask to have the meat replaced by 2 extra sides (like 1 salad and 1 mixed veggies etc)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Worst things about eating out as a vegetarian

    I'm vegan and have been for 9 years, before that I was vegetarian for 6. Eating out can be difficult until you figure out menus. Do your homework. Many chains have made it much easier to know what is in their menu items. Red Robin's website has a build your meal tab, you can tailor it to vegan or vegetarian and it will show you all the items on their menu that are safe. Depending on your location some things get confused on the site, but over all it is a very helpful tool. Chili's has digital menus at the tables and it also has a tab that lists everything that may be a food allergy or dietary restriction.Taco Bell is actually extrememly vegan and vegetarian friendly. Subway now has a vegan sandwich patty for their subs and most of their breads are vegan. At Panera Bread's you can ask to see their nutritional info/food allergy binder. It lists every allergen in every item they sell. Use those allergy lists to your advantage. You can find those on the internet. Almost all list if something has eggs or dairy in it. And a server and tell you if something has meat in it. There is also an app you might want to try called Happy Cow, it lists many vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants. Do your research on a place and once you figure out what you could eat and it looks good to you, suggest it to your family. It took my sister 10 years to admit this vegan thing was a phase. I am the only veg in a meat and potatoes family and I started when I was 12. Don't think negatively on this. I know going out can be discouraging, but once you figure out how to get the right information, get on the right websites, you are going to find there is lots of places for you to go.

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