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Eating out vlf / vegan

Well, I've caught up on my 2 weeks worth of unread digests in one
evening ;-) This new home computer thing is great...

* Keeping Friends Happy in Restaurants *

The eating out with friends thread has been pretty interesting. I am a
vegan for moral reasons, though I found out recently that there's a
history of high cholesterol in my family (my mother and her mother
both have it...we don't know about any further back). I have to go and
get tested soon. 

So even if I don't have the high cholesterol, I still have to tell
restaurants in advance and interrogate waitresses and chefs in depth.

All my friends are used to me being a vegan now, and I don't know if
it's just that my friends are entirely unembarrassable (sp?) but none
of them seem to care about all my questioning. I just order an extra
bottle of wine to keep them busy while I talk to the waitress ;-)

I think they will just be grateful that I can afford to eat out with
them again (been pretty financially-challenged over the past year). 

* Keeping Yourself Happy in Restaurants *

I think telling the restaurant in advance (if this is possible) is the
single most helpful thing you can do to make sure there's something
suitable on the menu.

If I go somewhere on the spur of the moment and am told that something
on the regular menu is vegan, I'll go back the next day and make
double-sure by talking to the chef. Then they will know that there's a
demand for vegan food. I also mention that there is a vegan guide to
my town on my website - they love the idea of free advertising. 

I have met the management of many restaurants in my town through this,
and have ended up having some great discussions about why I am vegan.
Most people seem to be very interested once they realise you're not
blaming them for being slightly less enlightened than you. 

* Making Sure You Get to Choose The Restaurant *

I now have a list of places which I know are safe for
spur-of-the-moment choices, and when I get an opportunity I add to the
list. I have Indian, Chinese, French, Italian and Thai places on my
list where I know they will accommodate my weird dietary habits ;-)
Whichever of those styles of food the group fancies, I'm happy with -
then we go to the restaurant that I can eat at.

Kathy Blain mentioned that her friends will change their minds about
where to eat, when she has already planned what she can eat at the
original choice of restaurant. Try and make sure that they really
agree with the original suggestion - and if they have a favourite
restaurant, see if you can talk with the management there. If you're
going to be regular customers, they should be happy to try and
accommodate you.

All the suggestions above for safe vegan food apply just the
same for safe vlf food. Although I must say that vlf food in UK
restaurants is kind of impossible unless you like plain salad. I have
not yet got up the courage to take my own dressing; I ask for lemon,
but lemon on its own just isn't as good as a decent home-made ff

Sorry to go on so long...Mike, you really do have a talent for
introducing interesting topics of discussion! More please!


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