the adventures and misfortunes of eating out as a vegan

A few weeks ago I went to Colorado Mountain Brewery with some friends for happy hour. The first thing I do when I’m going to a restaurant that I’m not familiar with is look them up online. Their menu didn’t have anything that looked vegan, but they did have some options that I thought might be vegan, or could easily be made vegan. I attempted to email them twice to get some clarification on the menu but had no response. I thought I would be ok, because their Facebook page did say they offered vegan food.

CMB FB Page

Cut to the night of happy hour. We get there, and the first thing I asked the server was if they had any vegan options. She told me that she didn’t think they did, but she would check. I politely let her know that their FB page does say that they offer vegan food. She checked with the kitchen and let me know that they didn’t have anything vegan. She also let me know that she checked the FB page, and that I was correct but the page was wrong. She sent a manager over to the table, and the manager apologized about the misunderstanding. I let her know that I attempted to contact the brewery twice with no response. She told me that she wasn’t even sure who ran the FB page or answered the emails. “I think it’s probably our owner, and I think he meant to type vegetarian.” If you are in the restaurant business, and you don’t know the difference between vegan and vegetarian (and it’s a pretty big difference) then maybe you should go back to school. Or ask my five-year-old, because he could tell you the difference.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that all restaurants should have vegan options. Restaurants are free to serve whatever type of food they want, vegan or not vegan. My issue is when a restaurant advertises that they serve vegan food, only to find out that they don’t.

In the end they ended up making me a hot/cold salad which was roasted veggies on a bed of lettuce with vinaigrette. It was nice of the kitchen to make me something vegan, but the roasted veggies had so much pepper I couldn’t eat it. Sigh.

Let’s end this post on a positive note. There are plenty of vegan-friendly restaurants in Colorado Springs. Here are some of our favorites:

Trinity Brewing – They have their vegan and vegetarian options clearly marked on the menu.

Poor Richards – They have a separate vegan menu, and a play area for kids which is nice when we take our son out.

Chipotle – This is our default, go-to place when I don’t want to cook and we need food asap.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe – They have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for lunch, and they have a vegan huevos rancheros for breakfast!

Over Easy – They finally put the tofu scramble on the menu! Just order it without eggs to make it vegan.

Arharn Thai – Their food (especially the green curry) is great, and it’s vegan!

Tomo Sushi – They have a few options for veggie sushi, which are all great. They even make a special roll for Matt that’s a veggie version of his favorite pre-vegetarian tuna roll.

 Uchenna – Great vegan Ethiopian food. You might wait awhile at this place, but it’s worth it.

The Rabbit Hole – We’ve only been here once, but they had some really tasty vegan and vegetarian options. And the sangria is to die for.

Nosh – One of our favorites. They have a fun menu with plenty of veggie options.

Tapateria – Lots of vegetarian options, and almost all of them can be made vegan by request.

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