01 September 2011

Vegan in da (yard) house!: National restaurant chain dazzles with awesome meat-free options

Vegans, you know the drill. Your friends want to meet for dinner and drinks at one of those ubiquitous “casual dining” restaurants (T.G.I. Fridays, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Uno, etc.), and being a good sport, not to mention a little parched, you join them. And while it’s fun throwing back a few cold ones and hanging with your pals, your taste buds and stomach leave sorely disappointed because there's abso-freakin-lutely nothing to eat there.

If this has happened to you, there’s good news. The Yard House restaurant chain (a bar and grill with over 30 locations in a dozen U.S. states) has just teamed up with Garden Protein International (makers of Gardein plant-based foods) to veganize 25 different menu items.

What does this mean for vegan eaters? Just consider this: How many times have you been in a mainstream pub and were able to order vegan dishes like Boneless Jerk Chicken Wings, Classic Beef Sliders, or Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza right off the menu? If you’re like me, the answer is “none.”

But now at the Yard House, we vegans (or anyone who wants to give flesh a rest) can do just that. Hopefully, other chain restaurants will learn from the Yard House example and get on board with some tasty vegan cuisine. (Hello, chain restaurants! Are you listening?)

In the meantime, let the Yard House know you appreciate their meat-free options and encourage them to expand it! Click here to go to the Yard House homepage and learn more about their menu, their music, and their 100+ taps of beer; or click here to access the restaurant's feedback page, where there's a form for leaving comments and suggestions. Happy noshing!

Update 9/2 @ 3 p.m. ET: Yard House cannot guarantee that the dishes are 100% vegan. As always vegans should use caution when ordering at any non-100%-vegan establishment. Be sure to inquire as to whether dairy and egg products are included in the dish and if they can be removed.

Official statement from Yard House:
Yard House offers a variety of menu selections made with gardein™ that do not contain meat, fish, poultry, shellfish or product derived from these sources, but may contain dairy or eggs. Please note that Yard House is not a vegan environment as we share cooking surfaces, equipment, and storage areas with both animal and non-animal food products. Although we will make every effort to meet your dietary needs we cannot 100% assure there will be no cross contact.

Elizabeth Gordon | Facebook
Elizabeth is an Asian-Appalachian writer, activist, and college professor living in north central Massachusetts. Once an avowed carnivore, she was a vegetarian for 15 years before making the conversion to veganism. She is passionate about trying to live a life that lessens, rather than contributes to, the amount of cruelty and suffering in this world. Follow Elizabeth on her Vegosphere blog and Facebook page.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/45688285@N00