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Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Old Jan 20th 2006, 9:14 am
  #1  
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Question Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Calling all vegetarians in the states, after talk of which chain restaurant do you prefer I ask this question:

I have been to the states quite a few times and have been to various chain buffet style restaurants and places like Dennys and I find it really hard to find anything to eat being a vegetarian who doesn't eat fish or tofu etc..

I wondered if anyone could suggest anywhere - we stay around the Gulf Coast, Florida

I was really looking forward to the veggie burger at Ruby Tuesdays - Big mistake - let's just say it was not very nice!

I eat quite well in the Uk - loads of vegetables but somehow I mainly live on potatoes in the US when we eat out.

Any help greatly appreciated and I begin to look like a potatoe after 2 weeks!
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

How about the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays? That seems quite filling, as long as you stay away from the pasta bits (and the ham chunks and bacon bits of course!). There is an Indian resaurant in Fort Myers also, I can't vouch for their vegetarian dishes, but the curry I had for lunch once was, mediocre at best.

To be honest, I can't think of too many places to be honest, being an avid animalarian. Thai food I think has lots of veggie "options" and I believe there are a few Thai Places around here

Hope you find something
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Why chain restaurants? They tend to cater to the lowest common denominator and that ain't vegetarians...

For vegetarian dining options, I'd say the best bet is to go ethnic. e.g. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, salad bars, Greek, Lebanese, etc...

Search on the internet for vegetarian clubs/societies in FL. They may list veggie friendly restaurants.
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Living in Texas, you dont see many vegetarians
However, I used to be one once, and I can recommend any Italian themed chain place. There is always a decent choice. Even if they dont have a veggy section, you can figure it out.
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Originally Posted by oshel
Calling all vegetarians in the states, after talk of which chain restaurant do you prefer I ask this question:
not being a veggie myself I can only think of Souper Salad...a great place for a healthy lunch
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

A big bag of Freedom Fries it is for you.

The chains will greatly disappoint. If you eat dairy your options will be greatly expanded - good since you don't eat tofu. Otherwise you'll be stuck with things like Subway sandwiches (which aren't so bad round here as you can get NM green chile on them). Your best bets are going to be Thai (watch you don't get slammed by the fish sauce), Indian, *good* Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc.
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

I am a vegetarian as well, but I love tofu and am NOT vegan. I still eat dairy products and eggs.

Traveling has proven to be difficult for me when wanting to go with fast food. Usually, I rejoice if we see a Taco Bell where I get a Tostada and a 7 Layer Burrito. Burger King now have veggie burgers and depending on the individual store, sometimes they aren't half bad.

TGI Fridays used to have this wonderful grilled vegetable sandwich, but eventually took it off their menu. They have a veggie burger too, but I figure, when I eat out, I don't want to be ordering something I commonly make at home. They also sometimes carry this wonderful salad called Strawberry Fields Salad.

I despise fast Italian food as I can't stand overcooked pasta. Blech! Olive Garden is okay once in a blue moon. I usually order the Eggplant Parmesan. I also order the same dish at Macaroni Grill when we have gone there.

Olde Chicago is just disgusting. Don't waste your time unless you are a beer drinker.

My all time favorite chain is Qdoba Mexican Grill. They have the absolute BEST grilled veggie burritos. We have gone out of our way (110 miles to be exact) to visit our nearest Qdoba here in Missouri. We used to have several nearby when we lived in Grand Rapids, MI.

Panera is yummy. Panera has a couple nice sandwiches and sometimes have veggie soup on the menu.

What a chain has on their menu is sometimes dependent on where you are in the states. Here in cow country, I am hard pressed to find more than one vegetarian item on the menu. In places like Oregon (where we are moving to in a week) the menus of the chains are slightly different with a little more variety because there are a larger number of vegetarians there. When I lived there 10 years ago, the McDonalds in Lake Oswego offered Gardenburgers. I have never seen Gardenburgers in any other McDonalds in the country which I have been too. It just shows you how they adapted to supply and demand.

Unfortunately, we vegetarians are in the minority and as long as that is the case, there will always be fewer selections on the menus of chain restaurants for us. Imagine how hard it must be for vegans. Most Gardenburgers contain cheese therefore are no good for a vegan.

Grand Rapids, MI had some really nice restaurants (not chain) which I really miss. We found a great Thai restaurant by accident and visited often. There were some really great Italian restaurants (mid to upper range in price). I miss being able to find wonderful wood-fired pizza that doesn't have your standard toppings. There was even a decent chinese restaurant we went to once in a while. Although, we never did find a nice Indian restaurant in GR. There is an okay Indian one here in mid-missouri, but the Thai here is deplorable.

I'm sure there are many chains I have yet to even try and if given the choice, I usually avoid the chains anyway and go to a local restaurant. Here there is a pizza place, Shakespeare's Pizza (http://www.shakespeares.com/default.asp), that is popular with the local crowds. There is a group of Brits who meet up at Skakespeare's every Wednesday and have done so for the past 13 years. And I think these Brits are oblivious to boards like this one. LOL They are a great bunch and the pizza is above average, so it usually makes for a great night.
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 3:50 pm
  #8  
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Oh, as you (the OP) are on the Gulf Coast of Florida, if you are near or in Tampa, theres a Chipotle burrito joint there that do excellent veggie dishes. Boy oh boy did Mrs Titchski and I gorge ourselves there - hadn't seen a decent burrito joint since leaving Colorado!
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Originally Posted by Titchski
Oh, as you (the OP) are on the Gulf Coast of Florida, if you are near or in Tampa, theres a Chipotle burrito joint there that do excellent veggie dishes. Boy oh boy did Mrs Titchski and I gorge ourselves there - hadn't seen a decent burrito joint since leaving Colorado!
We have a Chipotle here in Columbia, MO and my hubby and I tried it for the first time recently. It was okay....miles better than Taco Hell...er Bell...but still not nearly as good as Qdoba. I did a little research about the two as their set ups are very very similar. It would seem that Chipotle opened first in the Denver area and a couple years later someone in the same area seems to have ran with their idea, only doing it better and opened the first Qdoba.

http://www.chipotle.com/

http://qdoba.com/
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Old Jan 20th 2006, 5:57 pm
  #10  
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Fried Green Tomatoes - Soup and salad place. Sure you'll like it.

go to www.vegsource.com

Veggie board with loads of info. You'll probably be able to find what you want on there.
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Old Jan 23rd 2006, 3:15 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: Vegetarian dining in chain restaurants

Thank you to all that replied - it has been a great help!
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