While I do think restaurants are improving, eating out as a vegan is still fraught with difficulty especially if you, like me, dislike mushrooms. I’ve tried very hard to like mushrooms and have eaten various types cooked, raw, grilled, etc. and have come to the conclusion I dislike mushrooms and that fact is never going to change. Since most vegetarian options at a restaurant are mushroom based, I find I’m putting a meal together from the side dishes even when there’s an option that can be easily veganized.
For example, Hacienda Colorado has few vegetarian options beyond their portobello fajitas. If you like thick slices of portobello mushrooms, then these are for you. If not, the mere attempt of eating them will make you green with…well let’s just say it won’t be envy.
I ran into the same problem at a recent on-the-fly stop at On the Border. The vegetarian options was a spinach and mushroom enchilada; I only had to order it without the cheese. Fortunately, I was able to purchase rice, black beans, grilled veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, and onions), and slices of avocado and make my own vegan bowl. Doing so also made my meal a bit cheaper than ordering off the regular menu: a bonus, in my opinion.
My family’s favorite place to eat out is 3 Margaritas, not to be confused with Tres Margaritas. I’ve blogged about 3 Margaritas before and my favorite item at this restaurant is the Garden Burrito. It comes stuffed with grilled veggies, rice, whole beans, and yes, mushrooms; but I can pick those out. They don’t go to waste: my mother loves mushrooms so I push them to the edge of my plate and she eats them. The burrito is covered with fresh lettuce, cabbage, tomato, and a meatless chili sauce. No sour cream and no cheese. Oh, 3 Margaritas offers veggie enchiladas as well: the carrot puree is tasty but the enchiladas are filled with-you guessed it-mushrooms. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with the Garden Burrito and the margaritas aren’t bad either.
I wish I could tell you how the veggies and rice in the Garden Burrito are made. Chicken stock? Grilled with butter? I sent a request for information through the contact form on the website but, as I never received a reply, I can’t be sure the Garden Burrito is unequivocally vegan. I put it out to the vegan community-does anyone know? If so, share with the rest of us!
Until then, I do the best I can when eating out and the Garden Burrito is both tasty and filling. I usually make two meals out of it. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.