EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE
On a recent trip to Massachusetts I decided to stay at a hotel at the airport the night before I left, since it was an early flight out on a Monday morning and I had to be at the airport seventy-five minutes before the flight, plus the long drive to the airport meant others would have to rise very, very early to get me there, before they went off to work. It was a win-win for all of us.
I figured a nice hotel like this would surely have a vegan option menu – other than a salad. I meandered down, looked at the menu and found nothing. There were some vegetarian items meaning egg and/or dairy, but nothing without. So, I asked the hostess and she didn’t think so. I asked if there might be some vegan options in the lounge and turns out they serve the same food that’s offered in the restaurant. But she’d check; she thought maybe they had a veggie burger, but she’d see if it was vegan.
Glory be, yes! She said she read the label on the box and it said vegan. So I’m good. The bar served these very thin baked purple potato slices (as bar snacks) that weren’t crispy, but good. So good (and healthy I thought) that the bartender filled me up twice.
I wanted a Guiness, but they only had Guiness in a can, so the bartender had me taste an amber ale that was locally brewed. I liked that too. Had I known it was called Naughty Nurse, I probably wouldn’t have tasted it; I would have gone for something else. When I was ready for my second beer and asked her for the same, she said oh, that was Naughty Nurse. I had a big laugh and thought oh what the heck.
When the veggie burger arrived I was pleasantly surprised. I have no idea the company that makes it, but it was delicious, along with the bun, condiments and roasted or dried marinated tomatoes. I picked a side dish of grilled asparagus instead of fries. So all went well.
I am however disappointed that Sheraton didn’t put it on the menu – along with a few other vegan options – such as ‘can be made vegan’. They didn’t have baked potatoes either. So for the vegans who ask, they’ll provide it, but obviously they don’t want to offer it to everyone. Had the hostess not been there, I would have looked at the menu and walked out (after all she went to the kitchen to ask for me, so she was gone enough time that someone could have walked in, looked at the menu and left).
If people don’t see a healthy option on the menu, they usually won’t ask – unless they’re vegan.
Sheraton and other large upscale hotels need to rethink their menus. The bartender said nobody she ever waited on asked for one. She was surprised at how it looked when it came out and said she might give it a try. It really was good. Most would probably order the fries as a side, but the asparagus went especially well with it – so I saved some calories there.