While I was in college a couple of years ago, I developed a case of the blues after accidentally vegan fast food. I ate at two restaurants on the same day and felt very ill the following morning. When I went to write this article, I was not able to think any more about my experience that day, but I have now gained clarity on what can be considered a typical “vegan disaster.”
Usually vegan fast food restaurants will serve soy milk, non-wheat pastries, and a limited amount of fruit. On one day, I ended up ordering a dessert with a large helping of carrot cake and oatmeal – much too much for one dessert! I also ordered an iced tea with a tiny serving of chocolate syrup, even though the place advertises vegan chocolate and has no dairy products. When the waitress asked what I was dieting with, she informed me that they do not serve it because it has a lot of sugar.
Accidentally Vegan Fast Food
The server looked at me and said, “This is vegan chocolate. We only serve this on Monday through Friday.” When I asked why, she explained that she was counting on me asking the question, “What is vegan chocolate?” Since I was counting on it, I did not want to eat the vegan dessert. I ended up finding myself eating an orange with a big helping of crisp, sweet and sour carrots.
Some vegan fast food places do count vegan products in desserts and sandwiches like corn chips or even on a pizza, but the lack of choices for dessert drove me crazy. One place served only frozen bananas and three small pieces of cheese on a bed of spinach. I would have loved a slice of vegan chocolate cake with an additional layer of cheese. For breakfast, they served an apple with a side of wheat tortilla chips and a piece of veggie chocolate cake.
Delicious Vegan Food Options
While I was out, I tried to see if there were vegan food options at the coffee place next to the coffee shop. The owner told me they did not serve vegan food at their place because they do not believe in it. I decided to give them a try since my local co-op does not allow animal products in the cafeteria. They also do not have vegan coffee and did not have vegan hot dogs and hamburgers either.
When I went back to my house, I counted about 16 hamburgers and hash browns. That is a lot of veggies! They had served cheese fries and a veggie burger, which I also enjoyed, but I would have liked more vegetable fries. As it was, they had served a total of two veggie burgers, three veggie fries, and one veggie hash browns. It was difficult trying to decide what to take with me to-go.
Why Try Accidentally Vegan Fast Food?
At one point during our trip I asked them if they had vegan friendly options for those who wanted to go that afternoon for breakfast. I also mentioned that I was trying to be more environmentally conscious and reduce my carbon footprint as well as help my diet has become healthier. They did not have any salads or wraps that evening. I went out again and discovered they did have grilled corn, some fresh fruit, and a few non-vegetarian sandwiches. My experience did leave a negative feeling though when I realized I had forgotten to bring a glass of water!
After that disappointing day I decided to look for vegan options at other places. I knew I could go to Co-op and buy a bag of frozen vegetables, but I wanted something that could absorb the taste of the meat sauce. I also wanted to find non-cheese products for dressing up my veggies and dip my salad in. I realized that most of my search had been in vain because most places that had non-vegan options had nothing to offer beyond the standard lettuce, tomato and bean sprout. That disappointment made me even more determined to eat all the non-vegan foods I could find while I was on my quest for vegan options!