My family seems to find go-to restaurants on the trips we take together. As none of my family are vegan, the places don’t always have a great deal of vegan options but there’s always something and the staff at these places bend over backwards to help me out. The go-to restaurant on our Utah trip was Denny’s. On our Nebraska trip, it was Perkins.
I used to frequent Perkins a great deal when I was in high school. I remember meeting there with my thespian friends and indulging in Perkins’ baked goods. I don’t indulge in the baked goods anymore. Instead, I scour the menu looking for something that doesn’t contain eggs, meat, or dairy.
I didn’t find many but Perkins does serve oatmeal (made with water-I asked) for breakfast and the side menu is fairly extensive. I had the oatmeal at the Perkins in North Platte: our waiter was willing to leave off the milk and the raisins and brown sugar were served on the side so I could decide how sweet I wanted my breakfast: something I appreciate.
Our next meal at Perkins was dinner in Kearney, NE. It had been a long drive, we were tired, and our waiter was so nice. Dr. McDougall would be thrilled with my meal: I ordered the baked potato plain-no butter-the steamed broccoli, and fresh fruit. I reiterated no butter on the broccoli and and everything arrived butter-less. The jacket of the potato didn’t look or taste like it had been buttered during the baking process. I cut the potato into chucks, scooped my broccoli over the top, and added salt and pepper. It sounds dry but it wasn’t. The steamed broccoli was still a bit crisp and wonderfully flavorful. The fresh fruit was a dish of (a) grape, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon: a sweet finish to my meal.
It’s an odd thing to not add a bean or other vegan “protein” to a meal. It’s taken me years to be comfortable with the thought that all plants contain protein and that a meal of nothing but vegetables can be both filling and nutritious. This meal was completely filling and yet not heavy. I was comfortable but not stuffed when I went to bed. My experience was so pleasant, I didn’t quibble when my Mother suggested Perkins for breakfast the next morning.
The next morning was Valentine’s Day and Perkins was PACKED. No worries. I was prepared. I had a couple packets of peanut butter (a staple in my vegan survival kits) and planned to order dry toast and the oatmeal. That is, until the waitress told me they were out of oatmeal. Did I panic? I think not. I had my peanut butter, after all. But then, my mother suggested I go to the car and get a packet of the instant oatmeal I’d purchased before beginning the road trip. I felt a little weird about bringing an entire breakfast in for myself but the waitress said if I wanted to go get a packet, she’d be happy to prepare it for me.
Talk about service! I retrieved a packet of blueberry-chia-quinoa oatmeal and the waitress was true to her word. She cooked it up and served it in one of Perkins’ square plates. She even brought me raisins just in case I wanted them. Did I?! I am ever so grateful to her for being so kind.
My trip to Nebraska was definitely an adventure. I’m never sure what I’m going to find in restaurants food-wise but I always find the nicest, most accommodating staff. My thanks to everyone I met during this quick trip and especially the staff at the Kearney Perkins.