Guest Blogger: Tofu Princess

12 Oct

I’d like to introduce our first ‘royalty’ on VBU, please meet Elle, the Tofu Princess. Elle is from Toronto and has been vegan for (X) years. She has written a great post about restaurants and vegans. Good tips to be careful about and yes a spoilers re: Pumpkin Spice Latte. Welcome Elle!

I’m sure we would all like to see more vegan options at popular restaurants. Sometimes it’s just nice to have that convenience, especially when a non-vegan friend suggests a certain restaurant and you’re not sure what you will be able to order if you go there.

The only way that non-vegan restaurants will know that the demand for vegan options is out there, is if vegans ask! 🙂 Now it obviously will probably take more than one person asking, so that’s why I’m putting this idea out there. Take a minute to e-mail or call some places and make suggestions. Ask what vegan options are available if you are out somewhere with a friend. The more that people ask, the more that restaurants will see that the demand is there. And always remember to be polite, no one wants to help someone who is rude. A little kindness can go a long way in this life! 🙂

Here are a few ideas that I have put out there over the past year or so:

Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza is a widely available chain here in Ontario. They are becoming more open to different dietary concerns, as they have recently introduced a gluten-free crust. However, they do not currently offer a dairy-free alternative for cheese. I have ordered a cheese-free pizza there before and it was good, but we all now that Daiya makes everything better! I e-mailed Pizza Pizza a couple months ago to suggest that they add Daiya cheese as a topping option for those who are vegan or allergic to dairy. They told me that they would take this into consideration and may add it to the menu at some point in the future. It would be really cool if such a popular pizza chain had a dairy-free option, it might even encourage some people to try vegan food that might not otherwise think of doing so. If you would like to add your voice to this (the more people they hear from, the more likely that they might actually do it), you can contact Pizza Pizza here: http://tinyurl.com/pizzapizzacontact And if you have another favourite place to get pizza, contact them too!

 Starbucks

Starbucks is already a pretty vegan friendly place, they have soy milk, Lucy’s cookies and the new tofu bistro box just to name a few items. I think this is awesome and would like to say thank you and way to go Starbucks! 🙂 But these are just a couple ideas that I posted on the My Starbucks Idea website. They are ideas that could make an already great place even better!

The first idea I posted was about ingredient listing or vegan labelling. Most Starbucks drinks are vegan when ordered with soy and no whip, but there are a few (such as the pumpkin spice latte) that contain dairy in the base for the drink and will not be vegan even when ordered with soy. To help customers better decipher which drinks and food items are vegan friendly, it would be awesome if they offered a pamphlet with ingredient information or if they put a “v” on the menu board for items that can be made vegan. If you think this is a good idea you can vote for it here:
http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaview?id=08750000000H8s0AAC

The other idea I posted was for a dairy-free whipped topping. It doesn’t really make sense to me that vegans are charged extra for soy milk, when we are not getting whipped cream. If someone is ordering a drink without whipped cream, the soy milk fee should be waived in my opinion. Of course another more delicious option would be for Starbucks to offer whipped cream of the non-dairy variety! If this is something you would like to see happen, vote for the idea here:
http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaview?id=08750000000H8zkAAC

And if you guys have any other awesome ideas that you would like to suggest to Starbucks, you can post them on that website too!

Tim Hortons

Well, unlike Starbucks, Tim Hortons does not offer a lot in the line of vegan options. They do not offer soy milk (although you can get iced capps and such without milk if you request it). They have one soup that is vegan (Hearty Mixed Vegetable), but it is not offered every day. It appears that the only vegan dessert they have is the oatcake, which is only available at a very limited number of locations. It would be awesome if Tim’s would offer soy milk and make the vegetable soup and oatcakes available every day at all locations. I don’t think this is an unreasonable request. If you want to write to Tim Hortons about vegan options, you can do so here: http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/contact.html and there is also a facebook group called ““Petition For Tim Hortons To Offer Soy Milk & Other Vegan Options”.

Mandarin Buffet

The Mandarin has some delicious vegan options, a vegan would definitely not go hungry there. However, I have been told that there are some items on their buffet that contain hidden animal ingredients that you wouldn’t expect, such as chicken broth. It would be wonderful if the Mandarin would post a V on the buffet signs beside vegan items. Such a simple step, but yet it would make things so much easier for their vegan customers. It would make things easier for the staff as well, they would not have to look up ingredients for customers etc. Contact info for Mandarin: info@mandarinrestaurant.com

What are some restaurants that you would like to see have more vegan options? Let them know through e-mail and by asking when you visit, you never know what might happen! More and more people are choosing a kind, healthy, plant-based diet all the time. Someday the restaurant world will catch up. And there are already a lot of mainstream and specialty restaurants with delicious and healthy vegan options to try!

Follow the Tofu Princess on Twitter here: Tofu_Princess
Check out her blog here: http://tofuprincess1.blogspot.com/

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One Response to “Guest Blogger: Tofu Princess”

  1. Carrie March 14, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Mamma’s Pizza has vegan options now! 🙂

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