The Most Vegan-Unfriendly of Chains

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I don’t eat at chain restaurants often. Once every few months, I’ll get something from Panera. If I’m on the road at 10pm and have no other choices, I’ll suck it up at go to a Subway. But, generally, I’ll stay away from chain food because nine times out of ten it sucks. And I’m not just talking from a vegan perspective, but from an overall perspective. There are those times, though, where it’s unavoidable, usually when eating out with a group, especially since I tend to avoid voicing my opinion too loudly when it comes to such things as deciding where to eat. Such was the case this weekend when I ate at IHOP.

Now, IHOP. It’s the International House of Pancakes. And while pancakes are fine for lacto-ovos, they ain’t kosher for vegans (well, they can be, but you know they’re not at IHOP). Still, though, I figured they’d have a few vegan options, even if I had to opt for a plate of fresh fruit.

Let me warn vegans even thinking for a second about eating there: IHOP does not have any fresh fruit. The closest thing they have is “fruit compote,” essentially “mushy fruit in heavy syrup.”

So, I had to made due with apple juice, fruit compote, and watery-grits-hold-the-butter-please (which they didn’t do the first time around). What a crappy meal.

Dearest IHOP, thanks for nothing, jerks. Would it kill you to have some fresh fruit?

Advice from Elders

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I was just outside reading when a little boy walked by a nearby tree and yanked on a branch. The boy’s grandmother (older aunt?) said to him, “Hey! Be gentle with living things.”

I thought, “Wow. That’s the most reasonable thing I’ve heard all day.”

(Of course, a second later my inner-cynic kicked in and said, “But I bet that philosophy doesn’t extend to her diet.”)

Veg Guide and Veg Log

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New Veg Blog reader Lindsey sent along a suggestion to check out VegGuide.org, a collaborative restaurant guide that covers vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. I remember seeing VegGuide a while back when it was first getting started and being turned off by the interface. It was clunky and difficult to get around, which only hurts the final product no matter how good the content is. However, I’m glad to see they’ve redesigned and the changes are for the better. It’s well-worth checking out, as they have a good number of entries and it’s a much more pleasant experience that before.

Also worth noting is Lindsey’s own Veg Log, a vegan-themed blog she started as part of a class project. She’s examined a lot of the important issues one faces when becoming vegan and has a nice, comfortable writing style. I’m happy to see the proliferation of vegetarian-themed blogs in the last several years, because when I started doing this almost five years ago, there were no other blogs covering vegetarian topics (not that I found, at least).

A couple of site changes

See the menu up top there? (You people reading the RSS feed won’t, but…) Notice anything different? … Give up?

First, the news feeds are temporarily gone. I have some ideas about how to make it more useful, but need a little time to work on it.

Secondly, there’s now a “Story Tip” link. Use that link to send me links to any stories or links you think Veg Blog-worthy. It goes right into a to-do list (thanks for the idea, Paul!) so I can work through them one-by-one.