21 October 2006

Dining Out As A Vegetarian

Vegetarian and Vegan Fast Food

To keep up with the times, McDonald's is offering a McVeggie burger in California and New York City. This is a trial run, and support for this tremendous addition is vital so that the rest of the world can also have access to this quick, animal-friendly burger. No animals were harmed for this burger—talk about a "happy meal"!

Burger King's new BK Veggie™—a flame-broiled vegetarian burger—enjoyed a successful introduction. Each time a Burger King customer sees "BK Veggie™," it is a reminder that "having it your way" doesn't have to mean taking a bite out of Bessie.

Remember going to Baskin-Robbins when you were knee-high to a grasshopper? Awaken the kid in you by trying the chain's dairy-free and gelatin-free Ices and Sorbets, which are just as yummy and cooling as ice cream—without the pus and hormones.

The French fries, hash-brown nuggets, breadsticks, English muffins, and CrissCuts at Carl's Jr. are all vegan. In the restaurant, there is an all-you-can-eat salad bar that offers a variety of fresh vegetables and a three-bean salad that can be topped with fat-free Italian dressing. Carl's Jr. also offers Great Stuff™ baked potatoes, which can be ordered with all-vegetable margarine.

Head to Wendy's for a plain baked potato, Deluxe Garden Salad (ask for "no cheese") with the red Italian dressing, or French fries. You can also ask for a veggie sandwich, which includes everything that would normally be on the burger except the meat—there's even a button for it on the cash register.

Several of Taco Bell's dishes can be veganized simply by deleting a few ingredients. The 7-Layer Burritos can be vegan with five layers—just forgo the cheese and sour cream. The tacos, nachos, and Mexican pizzas are vegan when you ask the cashier to hold the meat, cheese, and sour cream.

Subway's Veggie Delite—on Italian bread, minus cheese and mayo—is delish! Want to spice things up a bit? After visiting Subway, visit the nearest grocery store, purchase some fake lunch meats, and load up your sub!

Arby's offers a garden salad or a side salad with Italian dressing and baked potato. Finish it all off with an apple or cherry turnover.

A great alternative to Subway is Quiznos Subs. It offers a veggie sub that's filled with guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mushrooms—just be sure to order it without the cheese and ask for the balsamic vinaigrette instead of the red wine vinaigrette. Grab a side garden salad and some potato chips, and your stomach will be appeased in no time.

If you stop at Roy Rogers, you'll find baked potatoes, sides of veggies, and a salad bar. And their mashed potatoes are vegan if you forgo the gravy.

Swing by a Petro truck stop, and you'll find the Iron Skillet restaurant, where you can refuel with the stacked salad bar and spaghetti with meat-free sauce.

Backyard Burgers, a restaurant chain in the South and the Midwest, offers a delicious garden veggie sandwich.

The Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich and Boca Burger are vegan at Cheeburger Cheeburger, which can be found throughout the Midwest and the South and on the East Coast.

Chipotle offers the Vegetarian Fajita Burrito, but be sure to order the black beans because the pinto beans are cooked with bacon.

The Broiled Portobello Stack at Claim Jumper is vegan if you ask for an unmarinated portobello mushroom.

Coco's offers a delicious Boca burger that's vegan if you order it without the mayonnaise.

A hot veggie sub is your vegan option at Cousin's Subs.

The Daily Grill, located throughout California, offers a vegan grilled vegetable plate.

5 & Diner has several vegan options, including a vegetarian burger and the Veggie Delight.

The vegan option at Flamers Grill is the Veggie Pattie.

You have several vegan options at Hard Times Café, including the Café Veggie Burger and the Veggie Chili. Be sure to tell your server that you don't want any dairy products in your Veggie Chili.

Harvey's, with locations in Canada,offers the vegan Veggie Burger.

Houston's offers a veggie plate and the Vegetarian Burger. Just be sure to order the burger on vegan bread.

The Garden Po' Boy, the Portobello Wrapini, and the Spinach Veggie Wrap are your vegan options at Jason's Deli. Be sure to ask about the vegan status of each of these dishes because it varies by location.

John Harvard's offers a grilled portobello mushroom and a veggie burger. Be sure to check the vegan status of your choice when ordering.

Kelsey's, with locations in Canada, has several vegan options, including Kelsey's Vegetable Burger, the Roasted Vegetable Wrap, and the Vegetable Fajita. The vegan status of these dishes varies by location, so be sure to check with your server when ordering.

The Veggie Stack Sandwich is your vegan option at Mimi's Café, which is located on the West Coast.

All of Moe's tacos, fajitas, salads, and burritos can be made vegan by substituting tofu for meat and skipping the cheese. Just be sure to ask for a vegan tortilla.

Located throughout Florida, Pollo Tropical offers Caribbean-inspired fast food, including several vegan options such as the Vegetarian TropiChop entrée. Other vegan items include Balsamic Tomatoes and Bananas Tropical. The chain's black beans, French fries, white rice, yellow rice, boiled yucca, and corn are vegan too.

Pyramid Brewery offers a Boca burger that can be substituted for any nonvegan burger on its menu. The Margarita Pizza is also vegan.

A veggie sub without the cheese is your vegan option at Quiznos.

The Natural Burger without the Safari Sauce and the Morningstar Garden Grill are the vegan options at Rainforest Café.

Shari's offers a flame-grilled Gardenburger as its vegan option.

Ohio's Swenson's Drive-In offers the Veggie Special.

Tubby's, with locations in Michigan, has the vegan Hot Veggie Stir-Fry Sandwich.

Village Inn has a Boca burger that is vegan if ordered without mayonnaise and cheese.

World Wraps, with locations in Washington and California, offers its vegan customers the Tofu and Mushroom Teriyaki and the Bombay Curry Veggie.

(source: vegcooking.com)
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Vegan Fare at Restaurant Chains

A delicious vegetarian Boca burger and a fresh garden salad are your options at Bennigan's.

Macaroni Grill has several vegan options, including all the pastas with garlic and oil and its Capellini Pomodoro. Try these tasty bites without the cheese: Tomato Bruschetta and Penne Arrabbiata. When opting for a salad, choose the house or garden without the cheese and top it with the restaurant's balsamic vinaigrette, Italian dressing, or roasted-garlic vinaigrette.

Hard Rock Cafe offers a vegetarian burger, a veggie sandwich, and salads.

The pizza sauce and dough at Chuck E. Cheese, Little Caesars, and Papa John's are vegan, while Pizza Hut uses vegan sauce, and its Thin 'n Crispy and dessert crusts are vegan. By omitting the cheese and choosing your favorite vegetable toppings, you can easily make a delicious vegan pizza.

Cici's Pizza is inexpensive and will deliver to your home. Just make sure to ask about the vegan status of each item on your pizza. Cici's also offers a pasta-and-salad buffet with many vegan options.

The Sizzling Vegetable Skillet and the steamed vegetable plate are your vegan options at Applebee's. Additionally, several of their nonvegetarian menu items can be made vegan by omitting or substituting ingredients.

Boston Market has several vegan options, including the steamed vegetables, zucchini marinara, tossed salad (without the croutons and dressing), apple cobbler, chunky cinnamon applesauce, cranberry walnut relish, and fruit salad. The servers will also happily customize sandwiches upon request.

Bruegger's Bagel Bakery has several breakfast and lunch options for vegans, including its blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, cranberry orange, pumpernickel, and rosemary olive oil bagels, which can be topped with fresh vegetables, Dijon mustard, or vegan hummus spread. Bruegger's also serves several vegetarian sandwiches—which can be made vegan by leaving off the cheese and dressing—as well as several vegan soups, including Chili Cilantro, Gazpacho, Tuscan, Minestrone, Garden Split Pea, Marcello Minestrone, Roasted Roma Tomato, Vegetable Tomato Lentil, and Ratatouille.

All of Manhattan Bagel's bagels are vegan, except for the jalapeño cheddar cheese and egg varieties, and their bialys—a flattened onion-and-poppy-seed bagel—are also vegan. The Manhattan Grille and Vegetable Garden sandwiches can be made on a bagel, a roll, or a tortilla and are vegan if you omit the spreads and cheese.

Another great place for bagels, breads, soups, salads, and sandwiches is Panera Bread. A bagel with Roasted Garlic Hummus is one vegan possibility. Each location varies its menu options, so just ask about their vegan options before ordering.

Even Denny's—known for its traditional breakfasts, lunches, and dinners—has some vegan options. Denny's vegan foods include oatmeal, English muffins, bagels, grits, applesauce, fresh fruit, vegetable plates, seasoned French fries, baked potatoes with several vegetable toppings, garden salads with light Italian or oil-and-vinegar dressing, and sandwiches that can be made with several vegetable options. It also serves a vegetarian burger.

Ruby Tuesday offers a fabulous veggie burger that's vegan if you leave the mayo and cheese off. It also offers a yummy veggie burger wrap and has a terrific salad bar.

Johnny Rockets features the Streamliner, a vegan Boca Burger with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle, and mustard. Cheers also offers a vegan veggie burger.

Subway offers sandwiches that can be made to order without meat and cheese—load up on the wide variety of veggies, along with some mustard and vinegar.

O'Naturals, a restaurant chain in New England, offers healthy, all-natural fast food for diners who want great food to go. Its menu features a large vegetarian selection, and vegan items are marked for easy identification.

At Chili's, you can have the tostada chips and salsa as appetizers, followed by the veggie quesadillas—replacing the cheese and sour cream with extra vegetables—or the Cadillac Fajitas without the meat.

P.F. Chang's is one of the most vegan-friendly restaurant chains around. Its vegetarian menu is terrific, and everything can be made vegan, from appetizers such as Tofu Lettuce Wraps to entrées like Orange Peel Tofu.

Taco Bell sells tasty and inexpensive bean tacos and burritos—just ask for guacamole and rice (both vegan) to be substituted for the cheese and sour cream.

Almost every restaurant will have at least one vegan dish available. By making educated choices and asking the server for assistance, dining out can be a delicious—and cruelty-free—experience.

(source: vegcooking.com)