My partner Paul eats meat. But I rarely ever have to look at it in its raw, original form since he tends to live off processed canned soups and frozen pizzas. And when we dine out, we always go somewhere very vegan-friendly because I get what I want. :-P
But Thursday was Paul's 32nd birthday, and I told him we could eat wherever he wanted. Of course, he picked Folk's Folly, a fancy steakhouse. Some vegans won't step foot into a steakhouse, but I've grown up around meat-eaters, so watching other people eat meat doesn't bother me too much. However, my hesitance about the steakhouse had much more to do with my concern about finding something vegan to eat.
Most every steakhouse serves fries and salad, and while vegans roll their eyes at those lackluster options, I have to admit that sometimes I really enjoy the old fries-and-salad combo. But not this time. If Paul was going to order a $40 steak, I was gonna get a good damn meal too. I checked out the menu for Folk's Folly online and saw a few options on the a la carte vegetable side menu. I could have made a meal from sides of steamed broccoli and grilled asparagus, but that didn't sound very filling.
So I emailed Folk's Folly to inquire about vegan options, secretly hoping the responder would tell me that the chef would love to prepare me a special off-the-menu vegan meal. And that's exactly what happened! I was told the chef makes either pasta dishes or grilled veggie plates for vegans.
When we arrived at the restaurant, I informed my server that I'd been told I could have a special vegan plate. He asked a few questions about what I like and don't like and said the chef would whip something up. Here's what was delivered to my table — Angel Hair Pasta with Vegetables, Olive Oil, and Fresh Basil with slices of olive oil-coated baguette:
This was really, really good! I loved the variety of veggies — broccoli, red pepper, squash, mushrooms, and asparagus. And the olive oil sauce was light and delicious.
So the moral to this story is always call or email ahead before dining at a not-so-vegan friendly restaurant. If it's a nice place, they'll probably be more than willing to give you something off the menu. And then all your omni friends will be jealous because they have to order from the menu and you get special treatment.