So I just got back from brunch out at a "nice" restaurant with my whole (extended) family. It's buffet-style. They had wonderful-looking waffles. So I asked if they were made with milk and/or eggs. Yes, they were. :( They had good-looking green beans, mashed potatoes, and hash browns.... all cooked in butter. Seriously! I'm so frustrated right now, it was all I could do to get through the meal. I just hate feeling so alone! I'm there, with over 20 people, and I'm the only vegan. So I ate some fruit and got the chef to make some green beans w/o butter. Ooh...score. I apologize for the bitter tone, but I am bitter right now and came here for support because I know everyone here understands. If I just had ONE person to eat out with who felt the same way I did, so I'm not always the ONLY one asking what's in stuff and not eating stuff, it would be so much easier to deal with. It's feeling so alone all the time! Does anyone else feel this way? How do you deal with it? What made it perhaps more (or maybe less) hard to deal with was I just went to a get-together with several other vegans, as part of a vegan/vegetarian group I'm in, two days ago. That was SOO nice...having people who all feel the same way I do about food and believe the same things. It's just difficult that I enjoy myself more with strangers (literally, that was the first time I'd met most of those people) than with family. Sucks.
Buffets can be a vegan's worst nightmare. If you find yourself in a similar situation in the future, I recommend calling ahead to find out if they can accommodate your dietary needs. Sometimes restaurants are more receptive if you simply tell them that you're allergic to dairy and eggs (they don't want a lawsuit on their hands). Finally, don't be afraid to put your foot down and tell your family that they need to choose a place where you can eat as well. Afterall, everyone in your family can eat vegan food and you can't eat omni food. A chain restaurant I sometimes recommend is PF Changs, because unless you are concerned about bone char sugar, there are no animal ingredients in any of their vegetarian dishes.
Smurfy, Thanks. Yeah, I usually look at restaurant's menus online before going anywhere. But this place didn't have one. I've been there before, and knew roughly what they served, I just didn't realize they prepared stuff IN butter (that totally didn't need to be...that's the annoying part). I thought I'd be able to eat more than I could once I started asking questions. But you're right - I should tell them it's an allergy issue, so they'd feel more compelled to accommodate me. Stinks that we have to do that, but it seems in the current state of being vegan, many people still don't get it and aren't understanding.
Did you know you were going in advance of the situation? Whenever I go places, especially if I've never been there before, I'll call ahead and explain my situation. I've never had a restaurant tell me they couldn't make me something or be completely accommodating to my needs...I'd try that approach next time.
The bad thing is that it probably really isn't cooked in butter. In my experience, those restaraunts almost always use cheap butter flavored margarine. It's really unhealthy but not dairy. They probably think it sounds better to call it butter. And many younger people don't know that there is a difference in butter and margarine. It's all "butter" to them.
This can be super frustrating and I understand what it's like to feel alone in this. Just know that there are plenty of other vegans that feel that way too sometimes. I live in a town that is extremely anti-vegan and I get weird looks every time I politely ask if there is dairy or eggs in something. I'm always kind about it but I have come across some very rude people in my experience. Now I call ahead or go places with my friends and family but eat beforehand and just order a tea. I know you can't really do that at a buffet but I would try and request a different restaurant next time.
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