Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dealing with Dietary Restrictions while Traveling

It seems like this is the season for my friends and colleagues to dramatically change their dietary habits.  Several friends are going Gluten-free and a colleague has gone Vegan.  You even see Gluten-Free Menus everywhere now.  
  I was recently in Toronto for work with my Vegan co-worker. Let's start by saying this Vegan use to be the most voracious carnivore around.  While in Toronto we ate at Barberian's Steak House - the place we visit every time we are in Toronto. This is really an old world steak house. I was concerned that my colleague wouldn't really be able to find any vegan fare.  Boy, was I wrong.

He explained to the waiter his dietary restrictions and without missing a beat the waiter opened the menu and started explaining all the alterations that could be made to the menu items then he started explaining all the items that the kitchen could make off the menu. There was no consulting with the kitchen, the waiter took control and owned the table.

The Vegan got a huge healthy salad, an entree with both cooked and raw vegetables and a baked potato. Now I'm not saying that a Steak House doesn't have these items anyway, but the way this was handled was top notch. I wouldn't expect the Steak House to have too many Vegans popping in for a meal.

Veganism is more than
Tofu and Sprouts
My point: Don't let your dietary restrictions stop you from going out to restaurants with friends and colleagues. You just have to ask for an accommodation, it is extremely common now. If a local Steak House can accommodate a recent Vegan, you'll be surprised what other restaurants can do.  Although, I wouldn't go reverse and ask a Vegan restaurant to accommodate your wild carnivorism.

Do you have dietary restrictions that keep you from dining out?  Do you find restaurants to be quite accommodating?  Are you seeing the dietary restrictions becoming more and more common?

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