The Joy of Dining Out, As a Vegan…

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Being Vegan is not easy, in fact it can be quite challenging! Going to dinners with friends and being the “complicated” one… Yes, I know I am a high maintenance order-er people, you don’t have to look at me like I am a crazy person! So forgive me if I need to know if your pasta is cooked with egg or you add butter to your tomato sauce. Maybe it would be helpful if people learned to cook with less ingredients, al la naturale instead of putting unnecessary s%*t! in their food! Anyways, back on subject… I get very pumped when I find places that I can go to and can eat like all the non-normal people do, cause let’s face it…we are normal, us Vegans, right? .

Last night went to Pappas Bros here in Dallas, a very popular steakhouse, for a work function. Steak and Vegan,how does that work? Well, let’s be honest, I was a fish out of water there, literally. It’s very challenging to stick to your guns and be the “complicated” person ordering food period, but at a steakhouse where the main focus is on MEAT, holy molly! I did have a moment of WTH am I going to eat here,even the salads were loaded up with meat and creamy salad dressing.

But the one thing I can’t stress enough is to always speak up and ask if they have a vegan or vegetarian menu options. If they don’t, don’t stress your pretty little head, at the higher end restaurants the chef can normally accommodate and make you something that is vegan. With vegan/vegetarians becoming a top trend, chefs are having to brush up on all things veggie.

So while everyone else was feasting on heart attacks and clog arteries last night I was devouring my heart healthy eats. The chef did an AMAZING job and it was so yummy and delicious. Here is what I had and yes, I took pictures of my food. My coworkers, by now, know that I am a picture freak! So no shame, besides always good to have a reference if you go back to the restaurant and it was made specially for you:

Appetizer: tomatoes over balsamic dressing with a pickled cucumber underneath

Salad with glazed walnuts, oranges, apples, spinach and other greens with balsamic dressing, absolutely delicious

Potato and leek soup- probably my favorite out of it all

So remember, these simple tips when going out for dinner:

1. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If the waiter doesn’t know what something is made of ask politley if he/she will  ask the chef, more often they will just say they will go ask, but you never know when you are going to get a cranky waiter..the joy of dining out.

2. Don’t assume just because something sounds healthy that’s it’s vegan.  I make sure to ask tons of questions if I am not at a vegan restaurant or it doesn’t have vegan/vegetarian marked plain as day on the menu.

3. Do your research before you go. If I know where I am going to go eat, whether it be for work, out with friends or a hot date, I will look up the menu online ( gotta love technology). It saves time and helps you to be prepared so you know the right questions to ask and  you will have a good sense of what you want to eat.  Helps you to be the less complicated order-er at the table and saves you the WTH panic moments that I have had on occasion…just like I did last night. Not sure what I was thinking….

4. Enjoy your food. Just cause I am vegan doesn’t mean I still don’t love food, I think I even enjoy it more now than I ever have. You need to love or at least like what you eat. There have been plenty of times that I have sent my food back cause I didn’t like it. Back to my first tip: don’t be afraid to speak  up and tell the waiter you don’t like your dish, more than likely they can bring you something else or if all else fails, have a bloody mary!

All Messiness, Stacie