So, as you guys know, I’ve been a vegetarian for only a short time – about 2 months or so. I was pescatarian for about 5 years before that, not counting a year where I started to eat chicken again. I don’t know why, but the thought of eating any sort of fish (or chicken) is not that appealing to me anymore, save for sushi, which still looks good.
It’s pretty easy to eat vegetarian in my house. Obviously. But I also find it pretty easy when we go out, especially to more casual, bar-like restaurants. Oddly enough, most of the bars in Atlanta (which are all bar/restaurants) have a pretty decent vegetarian selection. And pretty decent means more than one choice! For example, last night, Jason and I went to Milltown Arms because we had a Scoutmob coupon for it. Side note – if they have Scoutmob in your city and you have an iphone, download the free app now, it’s awesome. On the menu, they had a veggie burger, several salads and several appetizers, all without meat. I wasn’t feeling the veggie burger, so I had some hummus and a side salad. I feel like as long as I’m going to a casual place like that, I don’t have to worry.
My friends and I started this dinner club thing. It’s four couples and we meet once a month. The first couple chooses the restaurant the first month, then the second couple the second and so on. I actually was on my honeymoon last month, the first month, so I didn’t go. But the couple choosing this month’s restaurant put three choices out there, one of which, their top choice, is a meat restaurant. And by a meat restaurant, I mean:
French for “slaughterhouse,” Abattoir is an American chophouse specializing in the use of locally-raised proteins to produce high-quality, affordable food. Offering freshly butchered whole fowl, fish, beef, pork and other game served in a variety of ways, the menu is based around “whole animal cuisine,” a term referring to the use of every functional piece of the animal. Named 2009 Restaurant of the Year by Atlanta Magazine, this “meatcentric” concept furthers the commitment to using local ingredients to create one-of-a-kind culinary experiences.
(taken from the Abbatoir website.)
Of course, I voted for one of the other restaurants. But this is an example of when it’s really hard and even a little bit ostracizing to be a vegetarian. If this is the restaurant that they choose, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to hang out with my friends because of my dietary restrictions. But I also don’t want to sit there and have nothing to eat! Sometimes I think I should just start eating fish again because that way I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But there are reasons that I stopped eating meat and I feel like eating fish because it’s just easier sort of contradicts those reasons.
I guess I could always ask the chef to prepare a vegetarian dish.
Any vegetarians want to weigh in on situations like this? What would you do? And to anyone with any sort of dietary restriction, how do you deal with feeling left out? I guess it’s not as if I have an allergy or anything. Not eating meat is something that I choose to do, but sometimes I wish I could just go to any restaurant and not have to scour the menu first for something that I can eat. It’s a limitation that I set on myself, but it’s still a limitation regardless.