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Friend who turned vegan visiting, not sure what to do
#1
I have a good friend visiting from tomorrow on.
She recently turned vegan, whereas I love eating meat. We usually go out a lot, restaurants, cafés, bars, it's something we really enjoy together, but she was "only" vegetarian all the time.

Now that she's vegan I'm afraid it will be very hard for us to find places that makes both happy, as I won't get happy by vegan food. Some restaurants I would have usually taken her to, have absolutely no vegan dishes in their menu.

Now of course it's not my fault that she turned vegan and made her life more complicated, but as a host I kinda don't know how to behave. Am I supposed to search for restaurants that have a variety of vegan dishes? Or should I just take her to the places I'd usually go to and then see if they have something for her?

I'm quite scared we'll have arguments because of course I respect her decision, but on the one side she's the one who made things complicated, and I'm obviously the evil meat eater who doesn't have a heart....

and I am picky too when it comes to food, because I don't like a lot of fruit or vegetables. I don't like Asian food for example, only European / American / Mexican.

Gah.. it was always a joy, a pleasure to go out dining with her, I'm scared it will now be a PITA.

Anyone have an advice how to handle a vegan / meat-eater "relationship" that involves having food together? Should I now feel guilty for wanting an ice-cream when we just pass a stand, knowing she can't have one?

It's the first vegan person I'll ever eat with, so I don't want to reduce her to that either, just like I don't wanna be reduced to homosexuality etc.. but it kinda worries me.
#2
I would do a bit of research beforehand Felix, you don't want to be getting to the restaurant to find she has no options for eating, then it could be awkward. I am sure there are some there.

Her decision is her decision. Yours is yours. Neither should feel guilty for that. If you want an ice cream, have one. It would be pretty unreasonable of her to make you feel awkward because of that. She probably wouldn't to be fair. You say she used to be vegetarian, I presume she didn't argue with your meat eating before?

But yeah, I am sure there will be places you can both eat happily. Ring around/do some research Smile
#3
Well not sure what is out there in Berlin but here in the US there's usually a Family type restaurant that has a wide variety of foods, not necessarily vegan but usually enough to meet in the middle.

OTOH, I went to vegan restaurant a couple of years ago and was really surprised on how well the food didn't suck. Pleasantly surprised on how enjoyable it was, so hey might be something new for you to try?
#4
Ask her to help ou choose. She will probably have some ideas about where to look.

You might also look online for the menus at local vegan restaurants. You may be pleasantly surprised at the choices.

Have you thought that dishes like Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce or Pasta with Basil Pesto are vegan and go well with a salad?
I bid NO Trump!
#5
Mexican restaurants (not fast food) can offer tasty vegan options which focus on the shells, wraps, and beans with veggies and spices (which can be tasty and filling despite holding the cheese and sour cream). Note, not everyone realizes the difference between vegetarian (many of whom like extra cheese) and vegan, so saying "no dairy" just to be clear is a good idea.

And not all vegans are obnoxious about it, I've catered to many who were gracious without rubbing my face on my "unenlightened choices." You're not obligated to justify yourself, but don't think she believes you are if she isn't interrogating you over it. Note, her talking about how she may feel better is not necessarily a passive aggressive way of trying to convert you, it could just be her sharing her personal experience, and you could just say you hope she continues to do better and change the subject. And keep in mind that she may be feeling defensive and nervous about being judged or given a hard time as you are, and don't let either of you create a self fulfilling prophecy due to anxiety causing one or both to "strike back" when neither one has actually struck.

While I've certainly met the obnoxious holier than thou vegans (just as many vegans have to deal with obnoxious meat eaters who are insulted that the vegans won't eat meat and dairy with them), plenty are fine. It's been awhile, but I do believe that some ice cream places give nondairy options for ice cream. But as a rule of thumb, I refrained from eating when they could not...this doesn't necessarily mean I only ate what they approved of for themselves, just that if there was no available option for them then I wouldn't eat either.
#6
Indian food?Something for everyone there.
#7
Camfer Wrote:Indian food?Something for everyone there.

But Indian cuisine does tend to use a lot of dairy, ghee (clarified butter) for instance.
"You can be young without money but you can't be old without money"
Maggie the Cat from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." by Tennessee Williams
#8
Thanks for the suggestions people.
Yeah, as said, I don't like Asian food (including Indian), and I don't like pasta either (pasta isn't vegan though, is it? it surely contains eggs?)

I have studied some menus of my usual goto places, and hardly any has anything explicit vegan on the menu.
I found a burger restaurant which also offers vegan burgers, that was one of my more lucky finds.

I guess I just have to let her look at menus online before we go to a specific part of town to let her decide. By tomorrow night I'll know how it goes Wink
#9
Hmm, I wonder who has the more restrictive diet between the two of you! It's going to be an interesting few days.
#10
http://allrecipes.com/recipes/1227/every...ing/vegan/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/vegan.html

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/categ...ets/vegan/


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