Last week I spent 36 hours on the road for work: destination Atlantic City. I had been warned that A.C. was not a very vegan-friendly spot but I guess I lucked out because the restaurants in my hotel, Revel, had some pretty decent options. When I arrived I had lunch at Amada, starting with olives for a nosh…
…and Ensalada Verde (Green Salad with Asparagus, Favas, Avocado, Green Beans, hold the cheese).
I love playing Wheel of Fortune machines! I collected my winnings and stopped by the lobby bar for a glass of wine. I love Pinot Noir from the Carneros region (be sure to check out my most excellent adventure at Schug Carneros Estate)
I especially love a Pinot Noir from the Carneros region that labels itself loud and proud…
I went back to my hotel room to work and decided to call a vegan-friendly restaurant that my friend Ethan told me about. It’s known as Veggie Pizza and Veggie Grille AC – I know it as YUM. They deliver!
I had the “wings,” a spelt pocket, and a salad.
The next morning I grabbed a quick breakfast at another hotel restaurant, Alcove.
The Healthy Start with seasonal berries, granola, melon, hold the yogurt, add some soy milk.
After a long morning of meetings my colleagues and I grabbed a quick lunch at the hotel’s Sky Cafe, where I had a salad with asparagus, edamame and mushrooms. SO good!
Later that afternoon I dashed off to the train station – that has no restaurants, or even vending machines! What’s a vegan to do when she’s going to be on a train during dinner? She phones Veggie Grille AC and asks, oh-so-nicely, if they will deliver to the train station. They did – another Atlantic City win!
Hey, restaurant food is made in a kitchen!
Here are just a few simple tips for traveling while vegan:
- Ask for recommendations from people you trust. Whenever I’m going to a new city I send out tweets and Facebook messages asking folks for their favorite vegan-friendly restaurants.
- If you’re going to stay in a hotel check out the restaurant menus in advance. I knew before I left for Atlantic City that I could do some creative ordering at the hotel (hold this, add that) and I would be just fine.
- If you’re going to be in a city for a few days, call the hotel and request a refrigerator (bonus if they offer a microwave!). Then research to find the local health food store or Whole Foods and stock up on a few things.
- When at restaurants, ask the right questions and don’t assume your server knows what vegan means. (Let us not forget my unfortunate veggie burger incident.) I typically introduce myself as a vegan diner and explain that when it comes to eating, a vegan is the strictest kind of vegetarian, so I don’t eat meat, fish, poultry – not even cheese, milk or eggs. If I see options on the menu that look vegan, I inquire as to how the dish is prepared (butter? eggs?) If nothing stands out as vegan I ask them what they typically offer their plant-based diners and/or I start asking what dishes on the menu can be modified.
- If I’m dining out with colleagues, and I know where we will be going in advance, I phone the restaurant and ask what options are available. Why? So that being vegan doesn’t look like a “production” to my non-vegan co-workers. I like it to look nice and easy – because it really is, with a little planning – when I order my meal.
Here are a few places I’ve visited recently and how I ate:
- Bridgeport, CT
- Litchfield, CT
- Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami
- Pittsburgh comfort food and Pittsburgh Ethiopian (and dessert)
- Last but not least, my future hometown, Colorado Springs Part 1 and Colorado Springs Part 2.
I’m sure many of you have travel tips, too. Please share them!