If you have been a vegan for any length of time, you know it can be hard to find a restaurant that has food you can eat. America has an absolute love affair with meat and cheese. I wrote once about going into a Bob Evans and trying to get vegan. Anyway, it ain’t easy!
Vegan restaurant eating.
One of my greatest loves is to eat in restaurants. I love going out to eat and picking some little restaurant to try out. When traveling, I rarely eat at the chain places, preferring to try some little mom and pop place. Since turning vegan, that has all gone out the window.
Try ordering something that has no meat or dairy of any kind. The waitress fixes you with a steely gaze and asks, in a tone reserved for suspected felons, “You don’t want any meat or cheese with that?” Right away, you are branded as being some kind of nazi un-American hippy terrorist freak! Why, even Hitler ate meat and cheese. You must be worse than Hitler!
Recently, I had the pleasure of eating at The Owl House, in Rochester NY. Now I know this does youno good, unless you live close, but I wanted to share and it’s my blog so shut-up!
I ate at his place years ago, but it was then called the Atomic Eggplant. They went out of business and the place sat empty for some time. Now, it’s the Owl House.
We started with an appetizer of nachos. I know, you’re thinking, “Hell, boy, you can’t have nachos without cheese!” Well, they do make vegan cheese. The nachos had vegan cheese, cashew sour cream, a coleslaw kind of vegetable and roasted smoked tofu. These things were great. I wanted to just order a couple more plates of them and forget the main course.
When the main course came, I changed my mind. I had a seitan meatball sandwich. Seitan, for those of you who don’t know, is a meat substitue made of wheat gluten. I know it sounds awful, but I couldn’t telll the difference between real meatballs and these. They were great. To be honest, I don’t remember what my wife had. She said it was good, but I was so intent on wolfing down my meatball sub that we hardly spoke. There was nothing to be heard from our table but the gnashing of teeth and the sound of food being swallowed down the gullet.
For desert, we shared a chocolate moose made with avocado. Yeah,(smirk) it was terrible. Don’t order it if you go there. Just order four of them and send them to my address. Trust me, I’m a Doctor!
You can find places to eat as a vegan, it just ain’t easy. You are often okay going to an Indian or Chinese restaurant. They may not have that much without meat, but the ubiquitous cheese is a bit less.