Oh, so you wanna go meatless for Lent, but you don’t want to cook every day for a month and a half? Or you’re doing the no-meat Fridays thing all year round, but your buddies keep rolling their eyes when you say you can’t go out with them to Outback Steakhouse for dinner.
Well, take it from a (former) card-carrying full-time vegetarian– you totally can go to Outback. You’ll wind up eating pasta primavera, a Bloomin’ Onion, a baked potato and a brownie… But you can go out and eat. Yay!
First thing you’re going to want to do is go to Vegetarian-Restaurants.net and look up your city/state. Unfortunately, this only works for US residents, and after looking over the Portland entry, it’s not too complete.
So, let’s break it down:
For no-animal-products-used-at-all (vegan), your best bet will be Ethiopian. Thai runs a close second. Greek and Slavic restaurants in Lent will sometimes have fasting specials. Indian restaurants of my acquaintance put clarified butter in EVERYTHING, which makes it nummy, but not vegan, alas.
If you’re not adverse to a little cheese and egg action, well, your options open up. I hear rumors that a lot of McDonalds have veggie burgers. Since McD’s food makes me want to yurk, I haven’t confirmed this rumor. And remember, Californians, that at In-n-Out veggie burger doesn’t mean what you think it means.
Most restaurants have something vegetarian already on the menu. You just have to look for it. Also, almost anything at any restaurant can be made meatless with a simple request to the server. But be aware before you ask how much of the dish is composed of meat, for example, you don’t want to order “Chicken Parmesan, hold the chicken,” or “Osso bucco, without the ox butt”.
But now, let’s talk about Being A Polite Vegetarian In a Restaurant. With the advent of fad diets, servers have had to put up with a lot of crap. Some people will get huffy and demanding when they order “off the menu” and can’t get exactly what they think they want. I know my readers would NEVER do anything like that, because they are followers of Jesus, called the Christ. *glares about*
And my readers tip a minimum of 25%.
Anyway, it’s been a rough week. My lunch for today? An unopened bag of tortillas and a can of Rosarita refried beans (yes, still in the can). No time to come up with an original recipe for y’all. So I’m sending you to Serious Eats for a primer in Japanese Brown Curry (which is nothing like SE Asian or Indian curry). To vegetarianize the recipe, skip the beef step. To veganize the recipe, brown the onion in vegetable oil. To de-oil the recipe, don’t brown the onions, just add them into the pot with the potatoes and carrots and water. To learn to make rice without a rice cooker, go here.
Next week I’m going to probably post a Lenten Meatless Shopping List. Maybe. I dunno. Is there anybody out there? [/PinkFloyd]
And someone PLEASE tell the Universe to stop spinning so bloody fast so’s I can write my thoughts about race and being an Episcopalian and this stupid meditation on the Primates Meeting? plzkthxkbai.