Some people think of the vegan lifestyle as one of asceticism and self-denial. But nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of thinking of a vegan diet as what you can’t eat, we like to think of it as what we can. We can eat anything in the whole wide world, anything at all, that is not made from animals. And that means hot dogs and hamburgers, pizza and French fries, cakes, pies, and ice cream sundaes. And it’s delicious. But as much as we love to eat, we also like to have fun.
We like to drink, we like to laugh, we like to rib* each other, we like to watch sports, we like to drink, and we like to drink! Which is what we did the other day at vegan-friendly brewer Pyramid Ale House in Berkeley. We chose the sampler, tasting a wide variety of their vegan beers. And as you can see from the empty glasses, we loved them all. Why? Because vegans just want to have fun.
Unfortunately, while they are friendly to vegans drink-wise; as to vegan-friendly meals, not so much. They did inform us that they have a vegan veggie-burger. But the bun wasn’t vegan. And the mayo wasn’t vegan. And the fries weren’t vegan. And while the waitress offered to hold the bun and mayo and fries, somehow, a patty sitting in the middle of an empty plate didn’t sound appealing. We hadn’t had that much to drink. But apparently, thinking that vegans give up a lot, she thought we wouldn’t mind giving up our meal with our meal. Thankfully, we had beer in us, we were in a good mood, and we just weren’t into launching our “bread is important speech.” You know,
Bread is important. It is the scaffolding around which meals are constructed. You can’t eat a vegan burger if the bun isn’t vegan. You can’t eat a vegan burrito if the tortilla isn’t vegan. And a sandwich without the bread is not only impossible, it’s messy. So please, add vegan bread products with your vegan offerings or it sort of misses the whole point.
Instead, we left our guide, “How to Feed a Vegan and Why Your Restaurant Should,” finished our beers, and went down the street to Herbivore, which not only has a full vegan bar so we could continue our drinking (vegan chocolate stout!), but where we had a meal that included a “chicken” burrito, a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert.
* no animals were harmed for this kind of “rib.”