How to dine out and find plant based options By The Plant Based Brotha
My name is Xav Handfield, better known as the Plant-Based Brotha, and I hail from Houston, Texas by way of Miami, Florida.
I have been plant-based for almost two decades, and a part of my mission is to help people transition to a healthier lifestyle, and honor their God-given temples through the plant-based diet.
I want you to think about the last time you dined out. Now I want you to think about the last time you went out with friends and family to celebrate a birthday, job promotion, or even an engagement. The common thread between most events are food, and dining out at restaurants.
Something that I get asked all the time, is “How Can I eat out with my friends, and still be plant-based?” or “I’m not sure what is good at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant because I’ve been too scared to try it!”
Wherever you fall on the spectrum its important to know that, there are three things that you should before you get to any restaurant, be it a plant-based spot or not.
First, make sure that you look at the menu before you leave your house. That is so important because so many times we dine out, and then see once we’ve sat down that there isn’t anything on the menu that is dairy-free, or without eggs and meat. I have saved myself so much time and energy by scouring through menus and then calling the restaurant directly to see if they have any special menus or plant-based items, that I would be able to partake in.
Next, Always ask questions! When I first moved to Houston from Miami, I was trying out a ton of Mexican restaurants! The food was delicious and it agreed with my budget! That is until one day, I was prompted to ask the waiter, if the fresh homemade tortillas had lard in it. To my chagrin, they did contain lard and I was devastated. It was in that moment, that I realized that I must ask questions to the waiter, and if the waiter doesn’t know, then ask the manager, and if the manager doesn’t know, ask him politely to ask the chef. The key word in that is politely. So many times in the plant-based world, judgmental, crass, and overbearing individuals make a bad name for others, but that won’t be the case with you, or me, or anyone reading this!
Lastly, when eating out don’t be afraid to ask for meal adjustments. I have eaten out hundreds of times, if not thousands of times in the last twenty years, and I have become a pro, and subbing cheese for avocado, or having them omit bacon and butter, so that I can enjoy my broccoli, asparagus, and brussels sprouts without all the additives. Unfortunately, on some menus there is an upcharge or a strict “no-subbing out” on the menu, but always ask, and be flexible. It might be a combination of food that you have never thought to try, but its plant-based and its good!
Long gone are the days where most restaurants only have bland greens salad, and fries for the plant-based customer, but when you’re eating out make sure you do these three things to make your experience enjoyable and a delight.