Dining out can present some challenges as a vegan. Choosing restaurants that cater to your diet restrictions is swell, but not always a luxury you’re afforded when it comes to meeting up with a group of friends or a lunch meeting.
I learned the hard way that after researching a mainstream menu’s ingredients list and carefully placing an order that appears to be vegan, you can still end up at home with your take out order only to find your guacamole ruined by the dusting of grated cheese it received just for good measure.
Devastating, yes, but on the flip side, you may also end up pleasantly surprised by ordering something new on a menu that you had previously overlooked. Suddenly, my new favorite craving involves falafel and salad. Believe me, nobody saw that coming.
The truth is, you’ll find restaurants that do a great job, and the ones to skip. In between, you’ll become savvier and learn how to ask the right questions when you’re ordering. For example, when asked about dairy, restaurant staffers often forget that butter counts, and the same goes for Parmesan, when you ask about cheese. It’s an important part of the learning curve and something of a right of passage as you master your diet.