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Thread: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

  1. #51
    brucie-g's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Quote Risker View Post
    ... and their bread.
    Have I missed something? I thought their plain bread was ok? Actually perhaps I don't want to know!

  2. #52
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    ^ Nothing to do with it being vegan or not, it's just that it tastes like crap.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  3. #53
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Phew had me worried there! Have to agree they are not the best tasting sandwiches however it was convenient if desperate for something to eat...

  4. #54
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    The Spaghetti Napoli at Bella Italia is apparently suitable for vegans : )

  5. #55

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

    Quote KayJay View Post
    The Spaghetti Napoli at Bella Italia is apparently suitable for vegans : )

    Sadly, it is no longer on the menu and I can't seem to find anything that is vegan.
    From Sutton, Surrey, (or Greater London when they want to fleece me for the Olympics)

  6. #56

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

    Hiya, does anyone know if the "Giraffe Restaurants" chain does anything vegan?
    http://www.giraffe.net/
    I think I'm going there tomorrow; I've emailed them but I doubt I'll get a reply in time so I was just wondering if anyone here has eaten there before..? There's some stuff on the menu that sounds nice & looks promising, although it seems as though a lot of cheese-omitting would be in order.
    x

  7. #57

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

    Just to reply to my own post: Giraffe did indeed reply on time; first thing this morning, and were actually very helpful.
    They sent me two charts; an Allergy List, which has a "Vegan" column indicating which items are vegan as they are on the menu, and then a Modification Chart, which shows how you can modify various items to make them suitable for your dietry requirement.

    Already in the "Vegan" column, are:

    Marinated Olives
    Edamame
    Daily Soup
    Powerfood Salad
    Herby House Dressing
    Skin-on Fries
    Potato Wedges
    Broccoli, Butternut Squash and Beans
    Mexi Green Rice
    Salsa Picante
    Green Tomato Salsa
    Wok Fired Veg Stir-Fry
    Judes Sorbet


    The modifications chart gets a bit more complicated, as it has a dairy-free column (which seems to also mean egg-free?) rather than a vegan one, so lists items which contain meat, however I suppose it isn't rocket science! Here are some things which I *THINK* are vegan, please don't take this as gospel though as I've just worked it out using the charts.. best check for yourself:

    Falafel Burger minus Tzatziki & cheese
    Pasta Margherita minus Cheese
    Farmers Market Burrito minus Feta & Cheddar
    Goats Cheese Flatbread Pizza minus Cheese
    Veggie Brunch minus Eggs
    Topped Wedges without Cheese or Sour Cream
    Crunchy Nachos Melt without Cheese or Sour Cream
    Mezze without Tzatziki, Naan or Halloumi
    Healthy Feta Salad without Feta
    Little Caeser Salad without Dressing


    I'm sure they probably have copies of these charts in their restaurants, or if you'd like your own copy just fill out the Contact form on their website.

    Hope this helps someone.. it looks like quite a good place because, with a few alterations, there is actually quite a big choice of stuff for vegans to eat; you can go there with omni chums; they do lots of different types of food from around the world, so if you're in a group there'll be something for everyone; they're supposed to be very child-friendly; there are branches in some of the airports; they do lots of alcoholic drinks & cocktails; it may only be a sorbet, but they do a vegan dessert; the salads are 'proper' filling salads, so you could actually construct a pretty decent, varied meal just using a selection of sides, salads and sharers..

    Obviously the proof is in the eating though, so I'll see what it's like tonight

    There are 39 branches of Giraffe:

    Basingstoke, Brighton, Bristol, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Exeter, Guildford, Heathrow, Heathrow Terminal 5, Lakeside, Manchester Airport, Manchester Spinningfields, Manchester Trafford, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Walton on Thames, Weybridge

    London: Battersea, Belsize Park, Brunswick Centre, Chiswick, Hampstead, Holland Park, Islington, Kensington, Marylebone, Muswell Hill, Richmond, Southbank Centre, Spitalfields, Victoria, Wimbledon.

    Sorry this post was so long! xxx

  8. #58
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    Nice work Bex! I've seen Giraffe all over the place but perhaps I'll try going in one now

  9. #59

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

    Soya milk now available at Bagel factory. This was pictured at London Bridge - AFAIK it is being rolled out chain-wide (it is on their new online menu board).

    http://twitpic.com/12htqh
    Last edited by bryzee86; Feb 11th, 2010 at 03:19 PM.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants? (UK)

    bryzee's on the ball!
    Let the music mend our minds. Let the music bend our minds.

  11. #61

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

    Bar Estilo:
    (Camberley, Richmond, Esher, Teddington, Birmingham.)
    http://www.barestilo.co.uk/

    Appetisers & Tapas:


    • Marinated Olives
    • Basket of Bread, Alioli & Olives (request with oil & vinegar instead of alioli)
    • Moroccan Spiced Hummus & Pitta Bread
    • Potato Bravas with Spicy Tomato Sauce*
    • Crispy Potato Skins with Guacamole*
    • Chickpeas with Spinach, Peppers & Feta (minus the feta)
    • Tempura Vegetables with Sweet Chili Dip.


    Main Courses:

    • Baked Enchiladas (request without goats cheese of parmesan)
    • Vegetarian Paella


    Side Orders:


    • Chunky Fries*
    • Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
    • Spanish Rice
    • Mixed Salad
    • Chickpeas & Spinach
    • Marinated Olives


    *fried in a fryer that may have also been used to cook non-vegan products such as halloumi cheese.

  12. #62
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    Default Re: What can we eat in chain restaurants?

    Quote Jamie View Post
    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.
    I know this is quite old now but thank you for posting this, I'm not sure I trust the vegan menu on their website as it lists things with egg in as vegan

    *edit: actually I hadn't read this part "the following items can be modified to meet your dietary requirements. please speak to your server and explain your requirements before you order" oops
    Last edited by twinkle toes; Mar 5th, 2010 at 10:10 AM.

  13. #63
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I have found Wagamama (or at least the branches I've been to) quite good in that the waiters seem to have been properly briefed as to what modifications need to be made to things to make them vegan - and they then seem to track that the modifications are actually made, if you see what I mean.

  14. #64
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    ^ Snap.
    Let the music mend our minds. Let the music bend our minds.

  15. #65
    still singing smallhelen's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    ^ Me too. Last time I was in the Wagamama in Canary Wharf, I said I was vegan on the way in and that I would like to check the file, so he just gave it to me to peruse at my leisure!

  16. #66
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Here's the current dietary info for pizza hut....

    http://www.pizzahut.co.uk/media/7746...ments-0410.pdf

  17. #67
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    Default Local restaurants and chains

    Hi,

    Just wandering how caring you find local restaurants and chains towards your food choices.

    Today I met a friend for lunch, I have been trying to eat more raw but knew going out to lunch there may not be many options. We went to a chinese buffet place and there wasn't any salad...only tinned fruit and orange segments as expected. I at least hoped for some rice, a veggie (no dairy) dish, and spring rolls. In fact they only had spring rolls and chips that I could eat...Luckily the chef cooked me a veggie option and rice but at twice the price (not including chips and spring rolls at the buffet). It would have been nice to have the veggie option and rice on the buffet instead of numerous meat dishes.

    Just wondering if you go to these types of places and do they cater for you. My friend had also finished eating by the time I got my meal.
    Last edited by Korn; Apr 21st, 2011 at 07:09 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  18. #68
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    Default Re: Local restaurants and chains

    I've only had one negative experience when asking for my food to be adapted, and that was somewhere we'd booked weeks in advance and had a phone conversation with!

    Other than that my experiences have been more than positive. I went to a Chinese buffet where they waited on me hand and foot and brought me more freshly cooked vegan food than I could eat in a week!
    Even the local carvery prepare me "special" plates of veggies and roast potatoes, keep vegan gravy in for me and have now labelled their condiments.
    Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. ~Albert Einstein

  19. #69
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local restaurants and chains

    That's annoying, Vegan bellydancer.

    In answer to your question, I usually do OK - my needs are modest, and how hard is it to produce a salad ? Whenever possible I do try and phone ahead to explain what I would like, or just go to places that I have already established can produce a decent meal.

    The main problem with trying to do it on the spur of the moment is that waiters don't always understand what you want and if they're busy they don't want to take the time to figure it out. If you've primed the kitchen beforehand it's usually OK.

    ETA we're really lucky to have a local Chinese place where the proprietress understands all about avoiding animal products (let's give them another little commercial, it's called Chinese Tonight in Putney, SW London). Maybe you can get yours up to speed if you're a regular.

  20. #70
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    Default Re: Local restaurants and chains

    I'm going out for dinner this weekend so I think I will phone a selected restaurant before heading out.

    Went to Harvester recently as well..and the salad bar was great though the only thing suitable on the menu was soya and mushroom sausage which I've had twice now. The waitress wasn't sure about the pasta..but they have pasta at the salad bar anyway..they were busy as well so don't think they had time to create a meal for me.

    I have been to a couple of good restaurants though...Chimmy Changers mexican (sp) were good.

    I will check out that chinese restaurant next time I'm in Putney

  21. #71
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    Default Re: Local restaurants and chains

    Yes, the temptation is to keep going back to the ones that you know are vegan-friendly, and there's a lot to be said for rewarding those ones, but I suppose it's also good to pester the ones that haven't thought about it yet

  22. #72
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    Default chain restaurants and their vegan options

    do we have an up to date list of these? could be handy to have them all together!

    wetherspoon - veg curry with extra popadom instead of naan
    wagamama - yasai chilli men
    pizza express - giardinero(sp) pizza minus the cheese and pesto
    Last edited by Korn; Apr 21st, 2011 at 07:08 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  23. #73
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Hi Hel. I think there are quite a few potentially vegan pizzas (i.e. if you ask them to leave things off) at Pizza Express but the trouble is they keep reformulating things every five minutes and don't even have the same menu at all their restaurants - so it's probably better to check on the night really. Same applies to Wagamama, there was some discussion of them having de-veganised something lately but I can't find the thread.

    A list of chains that can identify vegan or potentially-vegan options on their own menus might be very handy though!

  24. #74
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote harpy View Post
    Same applies to Wagamama, there was some discussion of them having de-veganised something lately but I can't find the thread.
    Thanks to our friend Mr Robb Man via the medium of Facebook, that seems to be the 'Yasai Itame'.

    Whatever that is
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  25. #75
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Oh yes, thanks Gwydion. It's a noodly thing (what a surprise) that can be vegan if you get them to change the type of noodles - applies to quite a lot of their stuff I think. But as previously discussed they are pretty good about digging out the details if you ask.

  26. #76
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Adding to the list of chains, if it's not already up-thread, Las Iguanas staff in Leicester have been very good about finding vegan options on the menu. I've had some nice meals there.

    They've got a note on the menu about mentioning dietary needs, so I imagine other branches would be equally helpful.
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  27. #77

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

    Today i ordered from taco bell, and the woman who made my food said "are you vegan? i can tell"

    haha.

  28. #78
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Chiquitos were not very helpful when I went. I don't trust the server. There is loads of stuff on the menu that looks fine if asked for without cheese, sour cream etc but I have no official information.

    Ketchup (the burger chain) were also useless. They have five veggie burgers on the menu and the first time they told me that the only burger that was vegan was the portabello mushroom (without anything else, pesto etc on it) but that the rolls aren't vegan so I got it wrapped in a lettuce leaf. And was charged full price! The sweet potato wedges are nice though. The second time she told me they were all vegan because they are bound with coconut milk instead of egg?! Who do you trust?

  29. #79
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I just checked the Subway nutritional info - I thought their sweet onion sauce was vegan but they must have changed it I had one last night as well.

    http://www.subway.co.uk/menu/nutritional.aspx

  30. #80
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote kikifromscotland View Post

    Ketchup (the burger chain) were also useless. They have five veggie burgers on the menu and the first time they told me that the only burger that was vegan was the portabello mushroom (without anything else, pesto etc on it) but that the rolls aren't vegan so I got it wrapped in a lettuce leaf. And was charged full price! The sweet potato wedges are nice though. The second time she told me they were all vegan because they are bound with coconut milk instead of egg?! Who do you trust?
    I'd be tempted to send them some feedback - http://www.socialanimal.co.uk/Glasgo...menu.php?id=57 - it doesn't look like any of their "kind to animal" burgers are dairy free, surely it would be easy enough to cut out the cheese from at least one of their recipes! I wouldn't trust anyone who said coconut milk was used as a binder in a bread roll either! I can't believe they charged you eight quid for a mushroom, that's totally outrageous!

    Edited to add: Or did she mean the burgers were bound with coconut milk? That still doesn't make sense, and doesn't look very likely from the descriptions on the menu.
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  31. #81

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I know that Frankie and Bennys have already been mentioned on this thread but I just wanted to say thatI had a really good experience there a few months ago, I ordered a huge pizza, asked for it to be made without cheese etc. When they brought it, it was gorgeous and they charged me half price because there was no meat/cheese on it!
    I also find Nando's a great fall back

  32. #82
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote twinkle View Post
    I'd be tempted to send them some feedback - http://www.socialanimal.co.uk/Glasgo...menu.php?id=57 - it doesn't look like any of their "kind to animal" burgers are dairy free, surely it would be easy enough to cut out the cheese from at least one of their recipes! I wouldn't trust anyone who said coconut milk was used as a binder in a bread roll either! I can't believe they charged you eight quid for a mushroom, that's totally outrageous!

    Edited to add: Or did she mean the burgers were bound with coconut milk? That still doesn't make sense, and doesn't look very likely from the descriptions on the menu.
    Yes she meant the burgers. She asked me beforehand 'oh is it an allergy?' and I said 'no I'm vegan' so I'm sure she didn't care if she gave me correct info or not. I might email them. I didn't want to go the second time but I was outvoted by friends.

  33. #83
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Vegan-bellydancer View Post
    Went to Harvester recently as well..and the salad bar was great though the only thing suitable on the menu was soya and mushroom sausage which I've had twice now.
    i went to harvester recently as my mum won't eat anything with any flavour and they list the sausage as having egg or milk in or something on their website allergies list. Sorry!
    i ended up with the tomato pasta thing they do and salad off a poorly stocked salad bar. It's never my first choice of omni restaurant...

  34. #84
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote smurfette View Post
    i went to harvester recently as my mum won't eat anything with any flavour and they list the sausage as having egg or milk in or something on their website allergies list. Sorry!
    i ended up with the tomato pasta thing they do and salad off a poorly stocked salad bar. It's never my first choice of omni restaurant...
    Really, the waitress obviously didn't read her list properly then she said the sweet potato burger had egg in and the pasta might but she wasn't sure. But didn't mention the soya sausage had egg or milk in it...how annoying..not worth while going back there then. It would be nice if the waiting staff were better informed on ingrediants in there food. I did mention I was vegan. Just some mushrooms in vegan wraps or with chips/potatoes or rice would have been nice.

    Thanks for letting me know Smurfette, at least I now know

  35. #85
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    i've just been back on their website to look at the allergen info again and they've introduced the 'nutritional calculator' or something which makes it really difficult to work out what you want as you have to choose an individual dish before you can check its credentials rather than just being able to read a list.

    it's never been a place i'd choose to go and shan't return unless under severe duress. ah well.

  36. #86
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I was just having a look at that nutritional calculator as well - glad it wasn't only me that was baffled, smurfette! I don't think I've ever been to a Harvester but presumably you could have a nice baked potato with nothing on it and a salad (traditional vegan meal when you don't have any say in the choice of restaurant )?

  37. #87

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I'm not sure if you have any Hungry Horse restaurants/pubs near you but they have had a vegan option on the menu for the last year, it used to be a Dhansak, but they have recently change the menu and it is now a Roast Veg Jalfrezi. They dont advertise that they cater for vegans, but on their website if you go to the menus page, they list their menus, nutritional info and allergen info.
    The allergen document lists all of the components in a meal (Rice, Jalfrezi, Poppadums, Chutney), if those individual components are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, may contain milk, nuts, celery etc, beneath that they list if the full recipe is vegan, vegetarian etc and they quite happily display that the whole jalfrezi is vegan.

    If there are any in your area you could try them in future

  38. #88
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I probably won't go to the Harvester again. The waitress was so unhelpful and I had the impression they were not prepared to alter meals though perhaps they would have.

    Also when I went to the salad bar I over heard the waitress giving our order over the grill area her words were something like "her sister is ok though she will have meat, lots of meat...she loves meat" waitress looked embarrassed when she saw me at the salad bar and made me feel uncomfortable. (my sister always has a chicken and meat grill thing).

    Definately not the best place to eat..probably could have a jacket potato..though they sell that as a side and the salad bar is free..so presumably you would be expected to have a main or probably pay full price and get some veg with it or something.

  39. #89
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    How rude of the waitress to say that Vegan-bellydancer............how did you stop yourself from giving her a piece of your mind?

    I don't really eat out at chain restaurants anymore as even if you just have chips they've probably fried animal products in with the chips...........at least that's what I've always discovered when I ask them.
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  40. #90
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    [QUOTE=sandra;682744]How rude of the waitress to say that Vegan-bellydancer............how did you stop yourself from giving her a piece of your mind?

    I probably should have..but I felt like a bit of an outcast. Probably would have been a different story if I had been with another vegan.

    I have always enjoyed eating at restaurants but since being vegan it's become difficult. Though I think I will have to try one of those vegan restaurants in London...I'm sure I will get my satisfaction back then

  41. #91
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Yes, things should be easier at the vegan restaurants.............you are so lucky...............we don't even have a vegetarian restaurant over here!
    I like Sandra, she keeps making me giggle. Daft little lady - Frosty

  42. #92
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Vegan-bellydancer View Post
    I have always enjoyed eating at restaurants but since being vegan it's become difficult. Though I think I will have to try one of those vegan restaurants in London...I'm sure I will get my satisfaction back then
    Yes I'm sure you will but maybe you can also see if you have any of the more vegan-friendly of the omnivorous chains near you, like Wagamama and Pizza Express and others discussed in this thread? Also have you been to the vegan-friendly pub in Rochester, called What the Dick Inns (groan) - that's quite near you isn't it?

  43. #93
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I do live by What The Dick Inns and have been there for drinks but not sampled the food there (which I will do in time). I think we have a pizza Express somewhere local

    I'm going to London on Sunday though and might have a look for something there.

  44. #94
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    You're lucky then, V-bd. I've been to WTDI a couple of times and thought the food was nice - they have vegan wine listed as well if I remember correctly. I think you're meant to phone ahead if you would like to eat there.

    You'll probably find something in London Enjoy!

  45. #95
    soumya86's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Hi all - fellow Brit here (and newbie). Anyway!

    Anybody from London been to Paul? It's a chain of French Bakeries. For lunch, they have an Avocado and Bean Salad that's classified Vegan and it is AMAZING.

  46. #96
    cobweb
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    oh hello soumya, you live in Horsham, I used to live there, welcome to the forum

  47. #97
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Thanks for the news about Paul, soumya - I hadn't thought of looking in there.

  48. #98
    soumya86's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    You're welcome! I'm not sure about the bread served with the salad. Bread is usually vegan right? :-S
    The world holds enough for every man's need - not for every man's greed.

  49. #99
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    It depends - quite a lot of bread in supermarkets etc isn't vegan but I think we decided that basic French bread (as in baguettes) was, so perhaps one could ask to have that.

  50. #100
    Vegan-bellydancer's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    So, went to London today and was planning to try a vegan restaurant in Vauxhall but was late to meeting some dancers in Brixton (or so I thought), Went to this great little place located near The Dogstar if anyone has heard of it or live near Brixton. I got served a huge plate of meze and warmed pitta for 4.95.

    Will post the name of the place when I find out as I paid no attention on entering as wasn't expecting anything much. Was nice to be served by people who understood what veganism actually meant.

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