Monday, August 2, 2021

Meatless Monday Part 4: Eating Out

Photo by Bob Brinkmann.
I am continuing my Meatless Monday Series today with a look at how to do Meatless Mondays at restaurants. Links to the previous posts in the series are at the end of today's post. 

Last time, I wrote about how some of my favorite Meatless Monday meals and how I manage meatless Monday at home. But what about restaurants? What do you do if you are out to eat on a Monday? 

I am happy to report as someone who LOVES to go out to eat that it is getting easier and easier to go meatless at restaurants. In fact, I have a personal rule about eating out. If there is something interesting on the menu that is vegan or vegetarian, I always order it. This means that I generally eat vegan or vegetarian about 80% of the time. 

Plus, many specific ethnic restaurants have lots of vegetarian and (usually) vegan options. Thus, you can usually steer your friends to particular restaurants where you know you can get something you can eat. I have some favorites that I like so I am pretty safe at Chinese restaurants (spicy eggplant, steamed vegetables with tofu, or vegan spring rolls), Thai restaurants (a range of vegan curry dishes and vegan pad Thai), Italian restaurants (eggplant parm, pumpkin ravioli, pasta with pesto), and Middle Eastern or Greek restaurants (hummus and pita, all kinds of salads, baba ganoush, stuffed grape leaves).

You can also talk to the wait staff and ask what they recommend that is either vegetarian or vegan. Most of the time, they can make a menu recommendation or they know whether the chef can pull something together that is off menu.

However, if you really can't find what you want, and you are not a strict vegetarian or vegan, don't beat yourself up over it and order what looks good to you. Just commit to finding another day of the week to eat meatless. Or, if you want to maintain meatless, order a side salad, some vegetarian sides, or appetizers and let it go. Going out to eat is not just about the food. It is also the people. I never let my inability to find exactly what I want get in the way of having a good time with my friends and family.

The final post in the series will take a look at how you can deepen your commitment to Meatless Monday. Previous links in the series are below.

Meatless Monday Part 3:  Five Favorite Go To Meals

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