The Restaurant Dilemma



The past few weeks have presented a few challenges for my husband and I, as new Vegans.  It’s not that we’ve been put in situations of temptation—I don’t mean to be flip, but we really haven’t felt the slightest bit tempted, we are so convicted in our attitudes against consuming anything animal, that it supersedes all other instincts—it’s more that we are not adept enough at catching all the possible incidences of non-vegan ingredients in foods.

The complication recently has been trying to accommodate our new vegan parameters with the carnivorous wants of my 85 year old mother.  Meat-eaters can be such die-hards, especially in the elder years.

First, we had my mother’s 85th birthday to work around.  We’re a small family and don’t go in for parties, as a rule, but we did want to go out for a nice meal to celebrate.  I did some research, and found a place where we could all be satisfied — or so, I thought.

We live in a small town, and vegan options in the immediate vicinity are few and far between. We have a great little lunch-cafe that we stop into regularly on the weekend for veggie wraps and smoothies and such, but dinner menus pose a problem, so we went to the nearest city to a quite nice restaurant where the service was very good and the food was too.  My husband had a lovely quinoa curry, and I had a ravioli which I was careful not to get sauced with cream, but with oil. So far, so good.  My mother had pulled pork, (much to my disgust, but I try not to bug her too much, and after all, it WAS her birthday).

There were no other options on the menu for our vegan diet-needs, and it was only when we driving home that it dawned on me that the pasta I had eaten had most likely been made with egg. Bah!

As for dessert, my mother had some decadent cake and I had an absolutely delectable raspberry-strawberry non-dairy sorbet.  I told our waiter I was coming back just for that.

Fast forward to Easter weekend and we are again on the horns of a dilemma.  We spent the bulk of Easter – Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday morning singing in the choir at our church, so my mom wanted to treat me to a meal out rather than having to prepare something on Sunday.  As I said, the options in town are pretty scarce.

We ended up going to a nice pub/restaurant in the town down the road where both my husband and I had a substantial veggie burger and mom, once again had pork, only this time it was schnitzel.

I noticed the description of the veggie burger detailed an “aioli”, so I asked our server if he could find out if the “aioli” had mayonnaise in it. (It was my husband who piped up with, “We’re Vegans”, so I guess it’s official.)  It did, so I ordered it without and opted for a tomato-onion jam, and a corn-relish.  Yum.

We also discovered that my mother’s dish came with a side of sauerkraut, which I read was supposed to be good for you. Mom’s not a fan, so I scooped up the bulk of it and put it on the burger.

The burger was good, but the pasty white bun was as I always remembered them, like a mouthful of cotton wool.

Not sure what was in that burger or the sauerkraut, but let’s just say, my night was not a good one. At 3:00 a.m., I was sitting in the dark in my kitchen, eating an organic banana to try and calm my stomach. Hmm.

The best part about Easter eating was without question tasting raw, organic chocolate for the very first time!  We had both given it up for Lent and let me tell you, the first thing we put in our mouths on Easter Sunday morning was a piece of melt-in-your-mouth Giddy Yoyo (see my sidebar for the link) raw, wild Equadorian vegan chocolate.

This chocolate is very pricey and so we quickly designated it our “weekend chocolate”. Ha ha.  That notion lasted about an hour.

Oh, but this guy did pay us a visit:




8 thoughts on “The Restaurant Dilemma

  1. The hidden ingredients are definitely tricky! It’s something I’m finding I need to try to be more aware of, as well. I’m going to look into that chocolate, too!

  2. I know what you mean about your mum, I have recently turned vegetarian and my boyfriend isn’t exactly supportive and it is starting to put a strain on us. He won’t cook for me anymore, he complains about my cooking and will leave the house to buy himself junk food instead of eat my cooking. It’s hard to find a middle ground because they may never understand your choice to go vegan. I try to make a conscious effort not to complain about his eating choices, so that he won’t feel the need to complain about mine. It may just take some time for the people around us to adapt to our decision. That’s my two cents, anyway.

    • My two cents? (if you don’t mind them coming from a totally outside party): My mother won’t be with us forever, but if your boyfriend fails to at least respect your choices, you need to look at the big picture. If your values are that different, perhaps it’s time for another sort of change. Of course, I don’t know how old you are, but I’m guessing I have at least 20 years on you, and I’ve been there ( in other respects). If I’m way off base, just tell me to mind my own business. ( I’ve just had too much coffee maybe.)

      • No, not at all, I value honest opinions above white lies 🙂 If it continues as it is, I plan on having a discussion with him about it so we can both evaluate what our life choices/goals are

  3. I’m so glad you started this blog. I look forward to the recipes and products that you share. Here is my friendly two-cents worth. #1 daughter became a vegetarian in high school (because of a boyfriend). She stayed with it all through college and several years after. She never expected the world (or me) to revolve around what she wanted to eat. She could always find something to eat here and never complained. She just avoided the meat. A few years ago, her then boyfriend (now husband), was a carnivore and COOKED for her, so she started eating some meat again. Now they are both vegan – for much the same reasons as you, I would guess. Personally I am trying to be a benevolent consumer of whatever I eat. There are human beings picking tomatoes in near slave-like conditions, for example, not just animals kept in horrid conditions. So – although I am still a meat-eater, I try to get as much of my food as possible from my local farmers market or other local sources for fruits/veggies as well as animal products from small family farms where all God’s creatures are more likely to be well-treated. I’m nowhere near 100% successful, and poor hubby has had to do almost all the shopping/cooking this past year, so we have had to slip quite a bit. Now that I’m getting back on my feet, I’m looking forward to renewing my CSA veggie box. Not sure why I got the urge to be so long-winded! 🙂

  4. Hi Kathy! Thanks for checking out the blog, and for your comment. I absolutely agree with you that we need to concern ourselves not just with the conditions in which animals suffer, but those that affect human beings as well. I belong to a Catholic organization entitled Development and Peace which tries to make a difference for the impoverished, the war-torn, and the exploited of our world. I would never suggest that animals are more important than human beings, just that they deserve better treatment from us, their caretakers. I believe that all of God’s creatures deserve better.

    I hope to see you back soon,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s