Vegan Dining Tips
Dont be afraid to veganize a restaurants menu options. It doesnt hurt to ask if substitutions and omissions can be made; if you dont ask, youll never be able to be a functioning vegan in this city. Also, if you dont see any vegan items on the menu, that doesnt necessarily mean that they dont exist. For example, many places have veggie burgers upon request, but for whatever reason, they dont list them on their menus. So ask…and you might receive!
Be informed. A lot of ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese, use animal ingredients that arent well-known, so its easy to be misled by the wait staff regarding the integrity of some dishes. If you plan on going to a certain restaurant, just make sure you are familiar with the menus glossary. Itll make things easier on you and the restaurant staff. This also applies to fast food restaurants, knowing ahead of time what is vegan friendly, before you are in front of the drive-thru box, will be less frustrating for you and the others behind in line.
I always carry vegan non-dairy creamers in my purse, just in case if I need a cup of coffee and the establishment where I am doesnt have any, I wont be screwed. I also always have some vegan chocolate with me, so that I dont feel left out when I need something sweet to eat.
Ive found, when I am in the company of layman people who have no comprehension of the definition of vegan, that in order to save time and me from pulling their hair out and so that things can go smoother, when instead of saying I cant have any animal products, Im a vegan, that its best to say, Im allergic to… (insert whatever animal product youre trying to avoid). For whatever reason, people get the concept of food allergies and not the concept of humane food choices. Go figure.
Vegan Shopping Tips
Kroger carries a lot of vegan products in its special health-food sections (both frozen and dry goods). Check to see if your location does and if it doesnt, most stores will try to get products in, if you just ask management. The Hyde Park location has an excellent olive bar that has exotic vegan options by the pound, such as curried couscous, wheat berry salad and hummus. Multiple locations.
The Clifton Natural Foods store carries vegan groceries, vitamins, beauty products and even has homemade vegan baked goods such as cookies and a killer carrot cake that you have to try. 169 W. McMillan St., Cincinnati, OH 45219. (513) 961-6111.
Wild Oats Marketplace carries a wide variety of vegan products and even has a deli case that has vegan options great for potlucks, or just for a quick dinner at home. Wild Oats also makes a decadent vegan chocolate cake. Multiple locations.