Vegetarian foods and restaurants

How to navigate through restaurant menus for vegetarian eating?

Animal products can sneak into your food in various forms. Here I am making exceptions for dairy products. Many of the foods that you will eat will have eggs or animal fat in them. I found to my dismay that refried beans contains beef lard and here I was eating steamed rice and canned refried beans thinking that I am doing good. Till, I read the label. I still think refried beans are delicious but since then, I have found brands of refried beans that do not contain animal fat and I enjoy them with a dash of hot sauce.

  1. Ask the server
  2. Choose steamed rice over fried rice. Many fried rice preparations will have a small amount of eggs.
  3. Look into the vegetarian selection! Many menus do contain a choice of entrée. It will be either fish, meat or a vegetarian option. I get a portabella sandwich if available.
  4. Desserts: This can be tricky. Many of the baked items have eggs. Generally, I will go for ice cream or a bowl of fresh fruit. I would occasionally drizzle a little bit of local honey if available over my fruits to satisfy my sweet tooth.
  5. Request the chef: Many a time the chef will quickly whip up a dessert for you if you ask before the meals are underway
  6. Salads: Salads are not always vegetarian. Some have a bit of bacon, anchovies, boiled eggs, or even chicken or fish. It would be wise to assemble your salad if you are a salad bar.
  7. Look through the menu before going to the restaurant. Almost all restaurants have their menus available online.