Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Vegan Among Carnivores

When I suddenly decided to adopt a vegan diet almost nine years ago, I realized that one of the more difficult challenges facing me was the question of what menu options were available to me in local restaurants.  If my family and all of my friends had decided to go vegan when I did, it might have been an easier adjustment, because we could have gone to vegetarian restaurants (not that there are very many of those!).  But most of my family and friends are still happily eating a meat-based diet, which means that I am generally in the position of having to find something (anything!) to eat in a restaurant that does not cater to people who don't eat animal products.  Paradoxically, the recent movement by local restaurateurs to prepare dishes with seasonal local food products seems to have made my situation more difficult, instead of less.  Even though the Sacramento area produces an abundant variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains, most of the chefs in the newer restaurants still rely heavily on meat, fish, and cheese.  By the time I ask them to leave out the cheese or the chicken or the shrimp in whatever dish I order, I'm usually left with a small pile of field greens with dressing.

By starting this blog, I am hoping to make it easier for me and other vegans to feel happy and satisfied after a meal in a local restaurant.  While I may write about vegan or vegetarian restaurants if I think they also appeal to those who still eat meat, my purpose in writing this blog is to help vegans find fulfillment in restaurants that cater to meat-eaters.  Since it may be awhile before I discover every vegan entree in every local restaurant, I hope that anyone reading this blog will let me know of any vegan menu option they've discovered that I may not have found yet.  I also hope you'll let me know if you think I've provided any information that's inaccurate, as I don't want to mislead anyone into eating something that has hidden ingredients containing animal products, such as an Indian curry with ghee (clarified butter) or a Thai curry with fish sauce.

Ultimately, I hope this blog can be expanded to include restaurants in areas outside of Sacramento, since it is always a challenge for me to figure out where to eat when I'm traveling.  If you've got recommendations for restaurants in other cities, or even countries, please let me know!


jamiew said...

Nice Concept! I am sure you will get a following rapidly with your excellent reviews.

Pam said...

Thanks! I'm always looking for restaurants where I can co-exist peacefully with the meat eaters in my family, and I thought the information might be helpful for other people too. I'm glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

You may have already reviewed this place, but just in case you haven't-- I love Queen Sheba Ethiopian on Broadway. They have vegan options at their lunch buffet and some good choices at dinner.

Pam said...

I've eaten at Queen Sheba, and the people who work there are very nice and helpful, but I guess I'm just not a fan of Ethiopian food so I haven't done a blog post about it. You're right, though -- they have many vegan options and I'm glad you like it. Maybe I should give it another try.