Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin
How to Eat out as a SOS-Free Vegan
You’re a SOS-free vegan, which means you don’t consume any sugar, salt, or oil. This also means your diet is quite limited, which makes going out to eat at a restaurant a bit of a challenge. There are many vegan establishments out there, but those that cater to SOS-free vegans as well? They’re hard to find. What should you do the next time you visit a restaurant?
To eat out as a SOS-free vegan, you should do the following:
- Research ahead of time
- Stick to vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants if possible
- Tell the waiter or waitress right away that you’re SOS-free vegan
- Ask lots of questions about the menu and which ingredients are in certain dishes
- Opt for substitutes to make meals SOS-free and vegan
- Don’t always order a main dish; try apps and sides
- Consider eating beforehand if you know you can’t have much at the restaurant
In this article, we will talk more about the above tips so you know what to do when you go out to eat with friends and family. Just because you’ve omitted salt, oil, and sugar from your diet does not mean you have to stay home all the time. Keep reading!
Eating out as a SOS-Free Vegan: Follow These Tips for a Seamless Dining Experience
Research Early and Thoroughly
Spur-of-the-moment dining decisions don’t really gel with you as a SOS-free vegan. You need time to do some digging into the restaurant you’re going to, including its menu. Luckily, today’s establishments have more detailed menu information on their websites than ever.
Not only can you look into the ingredients used in the dish, but you can also review nutrition information, like how many calories the meal contains. This makes it very easy for you to rule out certain restaurants based on their menus.
Try to Pick a Vegetarian or Vegan Restaurant
You’re going to have to have more open-minded friends or family when you eat out at a restaurant as a SOS-free vegan. If you can, it’s best to stick to vegetarian or vegan restaurants. These establishments are already more accommodating to your type of diet. You might walk in, check out the menu, and discover you can eat certain menu items as-is. If not, you may only have to make slight modifications.
While that convenience can’t be beat, don’t necessarily write off your favorite non-vegan chains and restaurants. More and more restaurants have striven to serve items friendlier to diets of all kinds, such as those who are vegan or have a gluten intolerance.
Just look at the recent rise of the Impossible burger. This plant-based patty is safe for vegans and, on its own, could be SOS-free. You can find the Impossible burger at chains like Red Robin and Burger King, proving you never know where you can get a great bite to eat as a SOS-free vegan.
Tell the Waitstaff about Your Diet Right Away
If you had a food allergy, you wouldn’t wait until after you ordered your meal to let your waiter or waitress know about it, right? That would be downright dangerous. While it’s not so much a matter of life or death with your SOS-free veganism, it’s still something you want to inform the waitstaff of right away.
Why? Well, for one, it’s the courteous thing to do. You’re going to be a pickier eater than your average customer, and the waitstaff can serve you better if they know that well in advance. In fact, you might even call ahead that day and say something like, “hey, I’m coming in later to eat and I’m a SOS-free vegan. What would you recommend I could eat? Can I make modifications to any of your dishes?”
This gives the restaurant staff time to plan for your arrival. They can then recommend dishes you can enjoy or offer ways you can modify a meal to make it SOS-free vegan. Restaurant employees already work very hard. Don’t make their tough jobs even tougher by waiting to drop the SOS-free vegan news late into the dining experience.
If You Have Questions about the Menu, Ask!
Again, imagine if you had a food allergy. You’d want to know which foods are prepared in peanut oil, if there’s a risk of cross-contamination, etc. As a SOS-free vegan, you’re also going to have questions about the menu.
Remember, even if you go the safe route and only order a salad, there’s still the dressing you have to worry about. Lots of dressings use dairy ingredients like egg or milk, such as in Caesar and ranch dressings. Plus, sweeter dressings include sugar, oil-based dressings would obviously have oil, and some savory dressings may contain salt. You need to know all this before your salad comes out slathered in dressing.
That’s just one example of many of why you shouldn’t stay mum about your food preferences. You don’t want to accidentally break your SOS-free vegan diet by assuming a dish is okay when it’s not. It may seem like you’re pestering your waiter or waitress, but you need to know this information.
This is a prime reason why we advocate for calling earlier in the day or even visiting the restaurant in person if you have the time. Then you won’t feel like you’re ruining the waitstaff’s day or holding up your friends or family.
Try Substituting Ingredients with SOS-Free Vegan Ones
Some restaurant meals come the way they are and can’t be changed, but many more don’t. It could be that you have a vegetarian or vegan item you found on the menu, but it needs a few tweaks to be SOS-free as well.
You don’t always have to order a dish as-is. Take the standard cheeseburger, for example. Some people don’t like cheese on their burgers. Others don’t want lettuce or tomato. If you see that the menu has a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, you’d ask the waitstaff to omit those items.
It’s the same thing in your case. You’re just leaving ingredients off or maybe adding ingredients so you can enjoy a meal. Since it’s a special order, we do recommend you check your food when it comes out to make sure everything is up to par.
Order Sides or Apps as Your Main Dish
When you eat at a restaurant, you typically get an appetizer as a snack and stick with the main menu for your meal. This isn’t always the way it has to be, though. While some restaurants may frown upon this, others won’t mind if you order an app as your main dish.
You may decide to do this if the main menu turned up empty in terms of things you can eat. However, you spotted an appetizer or a side that’s perfect. By doubling or tripling up on the quantities, you can eat some great food and still spend quality time with friends or family.
Once more, to make the lives of the waitstaff easier, you might want to call ahead and ask if you can order appetizers or sides as a meal. Then, when you arrive with your family and friends, let your waiter or waitress know that that’s just what you plan to do.
Never Go in Super Hungry
Hunger can impair our decision-making for sure. That’s why they say to never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, as you’ll leave with a whole bunch of food you normally wouldn’t have bought.
You can’t always guarantee that you’re going to eat more than a salad when dining out as a SOS-free vegan. This is unfortunate, yes, but depending on where you go to eat, it might be your reality. If your friend picked the restaurant and you know all you can have is salad, then please don’t arrive ravenously.
Have a significant snack or even a small meal beforehand. You don’t want to pick at your restaurant food, but you don’t want to be so hungry that the salad doesn’t do much of anything for your hunger, either.
As a SOS-free vegan, your diet is even more restrictive than that of your average vegan. This doesn’t mean you can never go out to eat at a restaurant, but you do have to take lots of precautions. Let the waitstaff know of your diet, research the menu inside and out, and ask as many questions as necessary so you’re confident with what you’re ordering. Good luck!