So you found yourself a vegan. Good for you. Now, you must look after them if you hope to not appear to be a jerk. You may be lucky enough to live in a super veg-friendly city. Chances are, if someone close to you is simply vegetarian, eating out is not even an issue. In gastro-snob Paris and even in pork and seafood heaven (literally if heaven is a real place, because if they’re there, they’re dead meat!) Samoa, eating vegetarian is ususally easy. I have to admit, in Samoa I ate a LOT of chips and my group all fell upon restaurants with fresh vegetables with gay abandon. Hmmm… I don’t have pictures, but perhaps I should do an article on eating vegetarian in Samoa?
Anyway! Unless you are at a very up-market restaurant with an over inflated opinion of itself, eating vegetarian out is easy. Despite this, it is a pet peeve of mine to look at a menu online or on a walk-by and see vegetarian appetisers or entrees, no veg mains, and have the restaurant self-proclaim to be “veg friendly”. Yeah. Right.
But still, vego brothers and sisters can almost always order off the menu- pizza, curry, pasta, sushi (most of the time), bruschetta, salad, pie, burgers, veg stacks, crepes… crepes… crepes…what was I saying? Oh yeah, vegos have it easier.
Having been vegan for three years and still eating a lot of vegan food, I found that eating vegan is a different matter. Eating vegan with friends requires skill. Being the non-veg friend of the vegan requires a touch of sensitivity and loveliness, but I know you’re up to the challenge.
THE AWESOMENESS OF INDIAN
Absolute easiest vegan eating out/taking out option: Indian. By far. Not only will your subcontinental staff understand what the hell a vegetarian is, they will possibly already have vegan, vego and jain food labelled on the menu. You don’t need to ask about egg or eggless tofu and fish sauce (Thai) or can you get this without cheese (Pizza and Pasta). If anything, you might need to ask whether they use Ghee or Veg oil. Ghee is clarified butter, so avoid. And this isn’t a weird question, just a standard “I want to know about the food” thing anybody could ask.
The other lovely thing about Indian is never having to encounter eye-rolling and explaining everything you’ve ever eaten in full. Your vegan will love not having to put up with/do this.
Of course, eating out isn’t all Chai and Dosa (unfortunately), so stay tuned for the rest of the world and cuisines to avoid to make your vegan a happy camper.