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Day 19 - Nice Guys Eat Cheese

So, I would consider myself to be a fairly decent bloke. Not a saint, my wife would be quick to point out, but I try to get along and not cause trouble for others too often.

One particular setting where I excel at being amicable is the restaurant. Mushrooms still included when I ordered sans fungi? It's all good, I can eat around it. Owing to a good set of genes (thanks mom and dad!) I don't possess any dangerous food allergies, so if there are ingredients not listed in the menu it has never really bothered me.

However, these hidden ingredients make ALL the difference when you are vegan. One leeetle tiny addition to a dish makes it completely non-vegan, whether it's a cream sauce, honey mustard, or even parmesan cheese.

Hey, funny you should mention parmesan. Actually I mentioned it, but anyway...

Kiley and I went out on our first foray of vegan lunches in the greater St. Helens metro area today. This means there are really only three places we can go. After choosing one, a place we both LOVED pre-vegan, we perused the menu.

I guess the "Steak and Pasta" sign could have been a reason to read closely, but I was feeling daring. I didn't ask the waiter for "what's vegan" since I'm new at this and went with the pesto penne. The ingredients listed were pretty innocuous, just some basil, olive oil, garlic, all that good vegan stuff.

We weren't ready for the secret unlisted ingredient:

PARMESAN! The thing was covered in it!

Was it my fault for not asking? Absolutely.
Would they have left the cheese off if I asked? Of course.
Did I return it and ask for a different meal? Nope, I don't think I've ever sent food back. Not my nature.
Did I scrape the parmesan off every single noodle before eating? You betcha.

It was only fair, I guess. If you don't ask, then you'll never know.

I definitely know what I have to work on now. Being upfront and asking for vegan options is a lot easier in the long run than squeegeeing cheese off every one of your penne noodles. I would have felt (and looked) a lot less dumb asking if the pasta came with cheese than I did segregating the dairy in my meal like a lactose-intolerant OCD.

A learning experience to be sure. I imagine there will be plenty more of these as we branch out from "vegan friendly" restaurants and try to live among the normal population once again.

Be Healthy,

p.s. Thanks to Kiley for the picture of the fateful meal.


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