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Thread: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

  1. #1
    EFCliz's Avatar
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    Default UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I know we have a thread for vegan friendly restaurants but I thought we could use this one to talk about chain places. I'm sure the mods will move it if they see fit!

    I just had this e-mail from Strada, the pizza chain:

    From the starter section ( these can all be main courses too).

    Insalta di Spinaci ( omitting the pancetta and parmesan shavings)
    Bruschetta con Peperonata ( omitting goats cheese)
    Zuppa Pasta E Fagioli

    Pasta
    Spaghetti Pomodoro
    Penne con Bufala ( omitting the mozzarella )

    You can also ask for a pizza with a tomato base with no mozzarella on and choose a topping of choice.

    That's good because I used to like their pizzas!

  2. #2
    I go on a bit Jamie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Great idea! the only problem is we get screwed everytime the menu changes

    Wagamama (Sept 06):
    Vegans can enjoy the following as is, from our menu
    Raw salad
    Grilled asparagus
    Edamame (both with salt and chilli garlic salt)
    Miso soup and pickles
    Yasai itame (main dish)
    Yasai gyoza
    All other vegetarian dishes would need noodles subbing for rice or rice noodles and / or the egg omitting – our server would be more than happy to help although please do be aware we cannot wholly guarantee that our products are 100% suitable and would ask that you double check before eating.

    ASK restaurant: (July 06)
    Marinated Olives
    Mixed Salad
    Tomato & Onion Salad
    Spaghetti al Pomodoro
    Penne del Giardino (without mushrooms)
    Penne con Pomodori Secchi
    Margherita pizza
    Funghi pizza (without Taleggio cheese)
    Vegetariana pizza
    Marinated olives - not stuffed and are marinated in vegetable oil with herbs.
    Bruschetta - tomatoes are marinated in garlic, basil and balsamic vinegar.
    Egg free pastas available - casareccia, fettuccine, penne and spaghetti.
    Pizza bases are suitable for vegans and pizzas can be ordered without cheese if you so wish.
    Unfortunately at this time we do not have any desserts which are suitable for vegans.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Mmmmm Wagamama

  4. #4
    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    I emailed Wagamama a few weeks ago to find out what was vegan. I thought it was strange that they had no mention of it on the dietary section of their website. Maybe it just dropped off the bottom of the page! lol. Its on there now:

    http://www.wagamama.com/food_dietary.php

  5. #5

    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Brillo!
    You can also buy the chilli men sauce in Sainsburys

  6. #6
    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    I know I am so addicted to that sauce Guess what I had for dinner last night!? Yasai chilli men on rice noodles at Wagas Well I was caught up in all the travel chaos in London so I thought I deserved a treat

  7. #7
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Wetherspoons' veggie burger, chips and onion rings. Also several more things. See here.
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    thanks thats really helpful! My parents are always trying to drag me to Wetherspoons with them. Now at least I know I can go for a free feed

  9. #9
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    And if you like white wine, they sell Fetzer there, which is vegan (only the whites though).
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  10. #10

    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Quote Linxie View Post
    I know I am so addicted to that sauce Guess what I had for dinner last night!? Yasai chilli men on rice noodles at Wagas Well I was caught up in all the travel chaos in London so I thought I deserved a treat
    Mmm!
    I was v.unimpressed on my last visit; they didn't cook the rice noodles, and they were like plastic! I had sauce all over me! And our drinks came after we'd started our meal. Boo!

  11. #11
    75% Chickpea Cumin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Pizza express can do a vegan pizza (bases and tom sauce are OK) . See this thread for more info.
    How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time. Henry J. Heimlich

  12. #12
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Oh ok I see! I'll have alook when I'm in town tomorrow!!!

  13. #13

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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Whenever my friends go to get McDonalds or something, I just get some fries.
    Probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but that's what I eat. Most places cook their fries in Vegetable oil.

  14. #14
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Or in Mcdonalds case, vegetable oil with beef extract. (although admittedly it was about 5 years ago)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/1348296.stm

  15. #15
    VeganAngel's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    I don't think they do that anymore. Although McDonalds is a very unethical company one thing I do like about them is that they list which of their foods contain dairy and other allergy foods and which are suitable for vegetarians. Just turn over the sheet that is on the trays and its all there. Their apple pies are vegan which was a nice surprise.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    McDonalds, or at least the McDonalds in New Zealand, advertise that their fries are cooked in 100% vegetable oil.

    Non-hydrogenated Canola Oil, according to the website http://mcdonalds.co.nz

    I assumed it was the same back in the UK.

  17. #17
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    I did say it was 5 years ago

  18. #18

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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Wasn't tryna argue, just saying.

  19. #19
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Back to the Whetherspoons thing....My friend (Also vegan) went there and had the burger about 2 weeks ago and she told me she took one bite, realised it was cheese and spat it out. I'm soo confused!!!

    As for MacDonalds....I work for a company whose current client happens to be MacDonalds (not happy I can assure you!!!) and I know for a fact all the oil used is vegetable oil....however knowing the restaurants in the entire south east...I wouldn't trust them not to fry the fries with the chicken.
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  20. #20
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    I ate a wetherspoons burger along with my freinds over the weekend, definately no cheese in them.

    As for the Mcdonalds thing, I'm sorry I mentioned it. Although they're a horrible company I seriously doubt they'd ever risk using bits of animals in their fries ever again after they got sued for it.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Even though a chain restaurant, since we already have a thread dedicated to 'J D Wetherspoon', several posts have been moved there, making it easier to find useful info on the pub.

    http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1352

  22. #22
    Dr Phibes's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Poppet

    I seem to remember a few lawsuits a while back which stated that McD's fries also contained beef extract - it might be worth you checking it out, although I personally wouldn't go to McD at all...

    Regards
    Phibes

  23. #23
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    McDonalds was sued in recent years for using beef extract in the fries. However I can personally assure anyone that the fries within McDonalds are now fried in seperate vegetable oil and are completely vegan. I work for a company who recently took on logistics for Mcdonalds (yes yes I know I'm desperately trying to leave!!!)
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  24. #24

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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Oh I never heard about that, yukky.
    I'm pretty sure they are Vegan now, even if they wern't before.
    But they might cook their chicken nuggets and such in the same deep fryers because when I worked at BurgerKing (It was an after school thing when I was 16, and I wasn't Vegan then) they deep fryed all the deep fry things in the same vats of oil, fries, fish fillets, chicken tenders, etc.
    That was a few years ago though, and McDonalds might be different to Burger King.

  25. #25
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Ok NANDOs does actually suck for Omnis cuz all they get to eat is chicken! But as it happens the Bean burger has egg in it but the VEGGIE burger is milk and egg free. I got Nandos to send me an ingredients list cuz my mates eat there all the time!
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  26. #26
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Watch out for the pesto in Pizza Express. We were told it didn't contain cheese but apparently it does!!!
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  27. #27
    alisont's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Anyone know if Frankies and Bennys do anything vegan? I get the feeling il be taking my own lunch and debating it with staff no doubt. Im due to go with some students for a summer scheme, could try to go elsewhere on the retail park but only other options are Mc Deaths (which i refuse to go in) and Nandos or pizza hut - not exactly vegan friendly options there might well be a pub but will depend on where students want to go.......and on the budget......

  28. #28
    Mahk
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Quote emzy1985 View Post
    McDonald's was sued in recent years for using beef extract in the fries. However I can personally assure anyone that the fries within McDonalds are now fried in seperate vegetable oil and are completely vegan. I work for a company who recently took on logistics for Mcdonalds (yes yes I know I'm desperately trying to leave!!!)
    WARNING! DATA DIFFERS BY COUNTRY!


    Emzy1985 is probably correct for the UK, but McDonald's own website states that for the US, and I would assume some other countries as well, the ingredients are:

    French Fries:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)*, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.)


    Data obtained today from this source.

    To check your own country start here.

    edit: Please pardon my intrusion, I know this forum section is for the UK, but I just didn't want anyone to falsely think all McDonald's French Fries, worldwide, were vegan.... Why aren't you all calling them "chips" by the way?

  29. #29
    Sluggie's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    How can fried slices of potato have so many ingredients?
    Quote Mahk View Post
    Why aren't you all calling them "chips" by the way?
    'Cos chips have got to be chunky. If they're thinner than your thumb, they aint chips.

  30. #30
    sugarmouse
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    [COLOR="Indigo"]I have had Franky and bennys pizza, the calzone, withouth the cheese sauce. .the base was vegan but that was few years ago so check!/COLOR]

  31. #31
    alisont's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    I have spoken to Frankie and Bennys the pizza dough is still vegan and the pasta sauce the tomato one they use on the pizzas too. They were really helpful checked the nut roast it has egg in and cheese but they offered to make pizza/calzone minus the cheese.

    Also said if there is nothing on the munu i liked i can take my own ingredients in they will prepare like pasta or pizza.

    I have had a reply to my email to Nandos:

    Hello,

    The veggie patty has Soya but no milk or egg. You can order this in a
    pitta or bun and just order it without the mayo. You can also order the
    veggie patty on its own and have it with a salad.

    Hope this was helpful

    Best wishes

    Rachel

    I also rang my local branch - the spicy beanburger has egg in but the veggie patty is ok.

    Chiquitos Mexican got very confused when I rang said the flour wraps wer ok but were not sure about the chilli as he did not know if quorn was used, they said i could make up wraps with salad, salsa and veggies, he did say i needed to ring head office to ask about the veggie chilli as he did not know what was in it thinks its vegan but not sure. I will do that at some stage!

  32. #32
    alisont's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    I have been out with students on a summer scheme today bowling and had lunch at Franki and Bennies - did wonder how this would work out but the staff were very helpful checking ingredients and offering to adapt where they could, I had a pizza crammed with sweetcorn, toms, mushrooms, peppers etc with no cheese - very tasty and fresh.

    I had potato skins with bit of salad for starters - minus cheese

    They have said the spaghetti is vegan with the tomato pasta sauce and the pizza minus cheese was fine. Soups have dairy in. The staff have said they are happy for people to take soya cheese in to add to the pizzas.
    The dough is vegan.

    Its quite expensive in the eves but there is a good lunch deal on:

    1 course £4.99
    2 courses £6.25
    3 courses £7.49

    The pizza was the same quality as pizza express so another chain place that can make things vegan. No pud options but this didnt suprise me.

  33. #33
    Windfall
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    ah I used to love Frankie&Bennys in Glasgow before i became vegan..(the cocktails are great!)

    At least I know they can fix me something when i go over the next time, so thanks alisont, thats very helpful!

  34. #34
    sugarmouse
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Thats great info about Frankie and Benny's! I am so glad their pizza is vegan.

    Does anyone have any info about Chiquitos?If not I will ask them myself, just wondering if anyones already checked?

  35. #35
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Damn I forgot to mention about F&B's. I've been eating in there for the longest time and knew I could make things vegan....even though there is NOTHING stated as vegan on the menu. I.E you have to mod it to make it vegan.
    I pretty much always have potato skins, minus dairy and then bring in my own tub of toffuti garlic and chive spread. Then a calzone with a tomato sauce instead of a cheese one and obviously minus the cheese. I also add extra onion and sweetcorn to that hehe. I quite often take my own cheese if I'm gonna have a pizza.

    I go to the one in Stevenage and they are pretty damn awesome.
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  36. #36
    alisont's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    F & B's were so friendly they said they work on a 'no refusal' policy in that they are happy to be as flexi as they can.

    They are happy do adapt veggie dishes to vegan where they can and if they dont have what you want you can take your own foods in - she said a lot of people have dairy intollerances so they are use to making pizzas without the cheese, happy to add soya cheese if you take your own.

    She said to email head office about the lack of vegan puds - not got round to it yet....dont see why the fruit crumble cant be made the vegan way?

    I also need to email Chiquitos - as if the chilli is quorn free it is a good vegan option, but need to find out more about that menu first before visiting!

  37. #37
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    I was going to go to Frankie and Bennys last year and I called them in advance to check if they would have anything vegan on menu. The guy who answered phone was very helpful and quite knowledgable I was very surprised.

    (I didn't actually go there in end as we turned up and they had lost our table reservation - but their heart was in right place I suppose )

  38. #38
    disturbed
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    It would be good if there was a vegan presence at these previews:

    "opening in 2008
    coming soon in the uk...

    wagamama silverburn, glasgow opening march 2008

    wagamama high wycombe opening march 2008

    wagamama harrogate opening march 2008

    wagamama heathrow t5* opening march 27, 2008

    if you live locally to any of the above towns and would like to come along to our previews please email offers@wagamama.com with the restaurant name in the subject title and your postcode!

    *heathrow t5 will not be having previews"

    http://www.wagamama.com/article.php?...=123&section=2

  39. #39

    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Not sure if there's a separate Subway thread...couldn't find one so thought I'd post here

    I've noticed that Subway have new Veggie patties on the menu. Does anyone know if these are vegan here? And what about bread? I presume the wraps are ok, but don't really like to presume too much!

    I hate those sort of chains, but it'd be really handy if I could pick up some fast vegan food sometimes!

  40. #40
    cherished emmapresley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    http://subway.com/subwayroot/MenuNut...ergenChart.pdf

    have a peek on that emmy.

    no sniff of the pattie thing..last year i asked what was in it in a subway and they went off up the stairs to look and came back telling me there was milk or something in there..so i don't think they're vegan in the uk..though i have heard they might be um..elsewhere..alsothere IS a subway thread..or was..unsure where it is or if it's been 'got rid of'

    if you get a veggie delight keep a beady eye on them cos they'll try to sneak in triangular shaped pieces of cheese..chaaaaange your gloooooves!!!!
    ahronli sed ah dunit so thid tek thuh cheyus graytuh offa mi nihbles

  41. #41
    Mahk
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Here is the Subway UK thread with this post having full ingredient lists.

    Here in the US only the plain Italian bread is vegan, because the wheat has honey, but there is no mention of that in the listing for the UK. You lucky people. I ask for an extra tomato, no cheese, veggie delight with usually plain oil and vinegar for dressing (do you call it that in the UK?) but the "sweet onion dressing" is also an option .

    They could possibly reformulate or use different ingredients by country but so far all reports about the veggie patty used in only some locations is a no go for us.

  42. #42
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    The veggie patty isn't vegan up here either, which is a big pain in the bum!

  43. #43
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Does anyone know of any updates of Frankie & Benny's menu suitability? I checked their website but couldn't find any nutritional info, couldn't find an email address either - anyone been recently? )

  44. #44
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    This is very good and updated often


    http://www.cookingforvegans.co.uk/ot...urantinfo.html

  45. #45
    alisont's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Quote KayJay View Post
    Does anyone know of any updates of Frankie & Benny's menu suitability? I checked their website but couldn't find any nutritional info, couldn't find an email address either - anyone been recently? )
    I ate there over the summer whilst out with students on a summer scheme, the staff there knew what a vegan could have and offered the baked potato skins with bbq dip as a starter and the pizza with lots of veggies on as a main, they checked and said the base was vegan. They also offered egg free pasta with tom and basil sauce. Ive taken scheeze in the past which they will add to a pizza, personally I like Pizza Express pizzas more, but i did find food to eat. The nutroast does have egg in it. There was an open kitchen, I did have a look and saw they were preparing my and other vegan member of staffs pizzas on a different board to others.

    Quote Buddha Belly View Post
    This is very good and updated often


    http://www.cookingforvegans.co.uk/ot...urantinfo.html
    Thats a good site thanks

  46. #46
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Brilliant thanks guys that's a great help

  47. #47
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Hi got the following reply to what is vegan at Nandos?

    Hi Ross,

    Thanks for contacting us.

    As you may expect, choices in Nando’s for vegans are rather limited! Your best bet is to order a veggie burger or pitta, but you need to specify “no mayonnaise” as mayo is a standard ingredient. You can have any baste as these are free of meat, egg and dairy products.

    Please note that Nando’s are not vegetarian restaurants and do not imply in any literature that we are. However we do take specific steps to segregate our vegetarian product from chicken products as follows:

    • A separate area of the grill is defined for the exclusive cooking of vegetarian and bean burgers.
    • A separate spatula is always used with vegetable products.
    • Separate bottles of the Nando’s bastes are used exclusively for basting the vegetarian products.
    • Chips are the only deep fried product, and therefore there is no risk of cross contamination.

    Full ingredient listings are available in all of our restaurants if you wish to explore further! Ask to see the “Food & Menu Specifications” booklet.

    Kind Regards


    Dervla McConville
    Customer Care
    Nando's UK
    1st Floor Erico House
    93-99 Upper Richmond Road
    Putney
    SW15 2TG

  48. #48
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    i don't know how to paste on this properly. I am even worse at photos!!! sorry!

  49. #49
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Very interesting thread. I haven't tried eating in any national chain since becoming vegan but am thinking I may now give F&B's a go. I used to occasionally get a veggie delight from subway but gave up as I got fed up asking them every time to change their gloves and knives.

  50. #50
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Quote brucie-g View Post
    Very interesting thread. I haven't tried eating in any national chain since becoming vegan but am thinking I may now give F&B's a go. I used to occasionally get a veggie delight from subway but gave up as I got fed up asking them every time to change their gloves and knives.
    ... and their bread.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

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