My First Challenge: Eating Out Vegan
One of the biggest challenges I imagined I’d face while going vegan was eating out.
Would I now encounter trouble finding a yummy spot to dine at? Would I have to ask the server a million questions to make sure I was following the vegan rules?
Well, given that today I’d be wandering around downtown Vancouver for the first time, I had plenty of opportunity to see how I’d fare eating out vegan.
I had done a bit of research online beforehand, and had come across the Street Food App website that detailed all of the food trucks frequenting downtown.
Chickpea Truck seemed like a good bet for a meal. Chickpeas were a staple of the vegan diet, weren’t they?
When I arrived at Chickpea Truck, the server informed me that everything on their menu was vegan. That made things easy!
They had originally used eggs in some of their meals, but had recently done away with them and gone vegan. (Oh, hey, me too).
I ordered the Pashoot pita ($9), which was stuffed — and I mean stuffed! — with carrots, green lettuce, cabbage, pickles and, of course, chickpeas.
It was dressed with tahini sauce, hummus and Shug (a spicy sauce that wasn’t so spicy).
I can see why the server initially recommended that I try another item instead (her fave was the Shakshuka, which sounded scrumptious). The Pashoot is kind of the most basic thing on the menu, but I still went for it and it tasted super fresh.
These were not your run-of-the-mill chickpeas from a can. They had a tenderness to them that could have only manifested from lots of chickpea love.
I was completely stuffed by the end of it (being vegan clearly didn’t mean going hungry), and ready for my next stop downtown.
Next, I hit up Revolver Coffee, a cafe in the Gastown district of Vancouver that had gotten rave reviews online for their coffee, not to mention their hype music. (It is seriously jamming in here).
After a couple of hours working on some writing (and researching the best vegan blogs), hunger struck.
Revolver had a small selection of baked goods to choose from. But I wasn’t sure if I should ask: “Are any of your desserts vegan?”
What if they didn’t know what veganism was all about? I wasn’t even sure if I had it down yet.
So, like the nervous vegan noobie that I was (am), I googled: What is vegan food?
“Veganism is a strict type of vegetarianism that excludes meat and all animal products,” Google’s first search result reminded me.
I also remembered that, according to the What the Health documentary I had watched last night, milk products were a no-no. Hm, milk products were definitely used in a lot of desserts.
Right. Okay. Moment of truth.
I moseyed back to the counter and asked the server: “Hi, do you have any desserts that don’t have dairy products in them?”
“Oh! I know these two cookies are vegan,” he replied, pointing to a couple stacks of cookies.
He said the V word.
He wasn’t sure about the other snacks, but after consulting his handy dessert chart, he confirmed that the cookies were my two options for the day.
I went for the Power Cookie, which, although seemingly small, packed a mighty punch. It was super dense and filled with raisins and nuts. It took me a good 15 minutes to chow through it.
Afterwards, I realized that I had forgotten to ask about egg ingredients. Doh. No eggs allowed in the vegan world. I had been saved by the Revolver Coffee Guy and his vegan awareness.
Well, I was only technically on Day 1 of this Going-Vegan Adventure. Mistakes would be made and I’d learn more along the way.
All in all, I felt like I had conquered my first day living this strange, new food life. If anything, I didn’t feel very different at all. I’m sure more challenges awaited me, but for now, I was going to chalk this one up to a win!