Vegans support local restaurants

Published 10:34 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

To the editor:

Plant-based residents and travelers would love to explore the local cuisine of Suffolk. Restaurants, by adding one hearty vegan dish and clearly marking it on the menu, you will attract a larger customer base, as veg-eating is a swiftly growing trend.

Residents take comfort in supporting restaurants their neighbors work at and that help to maintain their local economy. Travelers like to eat out in the area they are exploring. But, what if you are one of the growing number of people in the United States who are leaving animals and their secretions off of your plate?

Email newsletter signup

Then you dine at Rajput Indian Cuisine, because they have delicious, clearly-marked vegan items. Maybe you opt for the Vegan Burrito Bowl at Plaza Azteca, or similarly build your own at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Maybe you have had all of these before and so you start carefully reading websites and calling other restaurants to find out if they can make something for you.

Restaurants, you can tweak the dishes you already offer. Why not keep some Gardein chik’n on hand to go with those sides of rice cooked in veggie broth and greens drizzled in oil? How about tofu steak and grits, or veggie pizza topped with Daiya dairy-free cheese or an in-house sauce made from nuts and herbs? Vegan chili is winning cooking competitions across the country; what unique flavor could you present? Buffalo cauliflower “wings” are becoming a new game-day tradition. You could serve a veggie burger, or the Beyond Meat Burger now found at TGI Friday’s and grocery stores that is so flesh-like, it even bleeds on the grill. Of course, salads are classic, but let’s put some calories in them by adding chickpeas, avocado, nuts and quinoa.

Bakers, there are many easy substitutes for animal products, and some can save you money. In place of eggs, use applesauce, vegan egg-replacer, or the good old vinegar and baking soda trick. Try one of the many plant milks carried by our local grocery stores. Grab a tub of It’s Vegan by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

Rather than taking a trip out of town, many plant-based residents and travelers prefer to support Suffolk businesses. Restaurants, by adding in one substantial vegan dish and clearly marking it on the menu, you will welcome these customers. You could even get a Vegan Options Inside sticker on your window, which is useful when people are browsing places to eat. These days, even individuals who are not fully plant-based are leaving meat and dairy out a few times a week for health, environmental and ethical reasons. Please consider these potential patrons who are eager to savor your cooking.

Mercedes Howard