Monday, March 11, 2013
Romano's Macaroni Grill
Romano's Macaroni Grill isn't necessarily the most vegan-friendly restaurant around, since most of their menu items contain some form of animal protein. But I always enjoy going there because of the one menu item I know I can eat -- the Create Your Own Pasta option.
The picture above shows the form you'll fill out if you decide to create your own pasta dish. First, you choose your pasta. According to the Macaroni Grill website, all of the pastas are both dairy-free and egg-free except the four cheese ravioli and the whole wheat fettuccine.
Next, you choose a sauce from the two vegan options: garlic olive oil or pomodoro. My favorite is the garlic olive oil, not to be confused with the garlic cream sauce, which includes dairy.
You can add your choice of three vegetable toppings for free. The options are roasted peppers, broccolini, fresh spinach, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, roasted garlic, snap peas, roasted mushrooms, cannellini beans, asparagus, carmelized onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Premium toppings are available for an additional charge, but none of the premium toppings are vegan. The roasted eggplant apparently contains a dairy product.
If you'd like to have a salad with your pasta, the Fresh Greens are vegan if you choose the balsamic or Mediterranean vinaigrette for your dressing. The peasant bread that comes with the meal is also vegan.
I'm afraid my picture didn't turn out too well, but during my most recent visit to Romano's Macaroni Grill, I created a pasta with spaghetti, garlic olive oil, artichokes, snap peas, and roasted mushrooms. I ordered the Fresh Greens salad to go with it, as well as an appetizer of Mediterranean olives, and I washed it all down with the house Chianti. It was a wonderful meal, and it reminded me how much I miss having a Romano's Macaroni Grill in Sacramento.
Fortunately, Romano's Macaroni Grill is a national chain, with locations in Folsom, Elk Grove, and Roseville. More information about their locations and their menus, including nutritional information, is available at http://www.macaronigrill.com/.