Vore and I live in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s my hometown and I love it. Not too big, not to small. But alas, not too vegetarian friendly.
But just because there’s not something vegetarian on the menu does not mean you’re stuck with iceberg salad and a tomato slice. Get creative! Here are a few of my tried and tips for ordering vegetarian:
Ask! This is by far the most important tip of the day. Even if there isn’t a veggie item on the printed menu, chefs are almost always willing to accommodate you. Your average restaurant is going to offer you pasta. For me, this is a serious let down. (So uncreative!) But nicer restaurants will usually craft a plate of the day’s sides for you. Many, many times the meat eaters say they’d rather have my plate. But the key is asking!
Use our steakhouse trick. Last night, we went to Fleming’s, a favorite of Vore’s. I don’t complain about going because of their killer wine list. On our last visit, the server charged us the full price of a family-sized side for each vegetable on my chef-made veggie plate. Not cool. This time, I ordered a baked potato on a large plate, then Vore and I shared the remaining family-portioned sides. And this time, there are leftovers in the fridge.
Make a swap. There are two restaurants we frequent who have salads I love, but the main feature is meat. One comes with hardboiled egg and bacon. Ask for extra egg and no bacon. The other comes with chicken and black beans. Extra beans, no chicken. Getting the hang of it?
Go Asian. Many Asian restaurants will sub tofu for any meat on the menu. Wow, does that open up some possibilities!
Take the last resort. Sometimes the group wants Outback. Sometimes you have to suck it up. This isn’t exactly the most desirable meal, but in a pinch, a loaded baked potato and a salad will work. Just make sure you ask them to nix the bacon.
Vegetarians, do you have any tried-and-true ordering tricks? I’d love to hear…