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Thread: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

  1. #101

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote harpy View Post
    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.
    Baguettes and the like can contain bread improvers as well and a lot of those aren't vegan. I would very much think a restaurant wouldn't even know if the bread they serve is vegan or not. Most bakers don't know exactly what is in the products they use either.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote CoolCat View Post
    Baguettes and the like can contain bread improvers as well and a lot of those aren't vegan. I would very much think a restaurant wouldn't even know if the bread they serve is vegan or not. Most bakers don't know exactly what is in the products they use either.
    I haven't had a baguette since going vegan though I have picked one up in a supermarket and didn't find any ingrediants I thought were not vegan friendly. Wasn't sure though and decided not to purchase. What ingrediants in a bread improver should we be looking for? Sorry if it's obvious but I tend to avoid some breads.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I think someone was saying that the ingredients of baguettes are controlled by French law, but I guess Paul may sneakily use different ingredients outside France.

    Must admit I'm rather slack about ingredients in bread while eating out. I make my own for home consumption though.

  4. #104
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Every part baked baguette I've come across in England has been vegan, I don't buy the ready baked ones because they never list ingredients.

  5. #105
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Risker View Post
    Every part baked baguette I've come across in England has been vegan, I don't buy the ready baked ones because they never list ingredients.
    That's true, so I can eat the part baked ones...good to know.

  6. #106

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Risker View Post
    Every part baked baguette I've come across in England has been vegan, I don't buy the ready baked ones because they never list ingredients.
    Tesco list on their website the ingredients in some of their instore bakery bread like this granary one

    Quote harpy View Post
    I think someone was saying that the ingredients of baguettes are controlled by French law, but I guess Paul may sneakily use different ingredients outside France
    I think it can depend on what they call it in this country (there are strict laws in France) but I think if its called "French" baguette or bread they may have to stick to certain ingredients, but they could just call it a baguette and stick what they want in. Probably best trying to check ingredients, one of Tescos called Stone baked baguette has starter cultures which I am not sure about the veganity of.

  7. #107

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Vegan-bellydancer View Post
    What ingrediants in a bread improver should we be looking for? Sorry if it's obvious but I tend to avoid some breads.
    Bread improvers for soft baked goods can contain milk, the ones for regular bread can contain animal fat, the one for baguettes that is common here (Belgium) Puratos S500 Controller lists Emulsifier E472(e). If you look at the Belgian mirror it also lists enzymes that would require further questioning. Not sure if it has a meaning that the UK picture doesn't show a baguette but the Belgian one does... and if the enzymes are missing from the website only, or if it is a different product.

    Another ingredient is mono and diglycerides of fatty acids that might often be part of fat based products (some bread improvers come as a powder, others as a fat). And L-Cystine comes to mind as well. L-Cystine might be less common in the EU than in the USA but I have seen it listed on products. There can be other ingredients as well... You would have to contact the manufacturer of the bread improvers to be sure (the bakers might not know or just guess at it to sell you crap not caring).

    I'm not sure they have to list all the ingredients on the package of the bread improvers because that is consumer law, and bakers buying them are business to business. Here when the baker sells his bread and puts it in a bag only after the customer bought it (ie the bread is on display) there doesn't have to be ingredients listed. But if a pre-packaged bread is sold the ingredients must be on the package so knowing the exact ingredients would only be of concern to industrial bakers. If they don't simply list "bread improver" that is.

  8. #108

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Hi,
    I was just wondering if anyone has any recent information/lists regarding any chain restaurants?
    I've barely eaten out recently due to a couple of negative experiences, (one of which had me sat outside a restaurant in tears, at a close friend's birthday meal.. nice.)

    on Friday I'm going to Frankie & Benny's; I've been before and I know there's a lot of (mostly positive) stuff about them on the forum already, but most of it is quite old & I was just wondering what my options are. They don't have an email address on their website, and I prefer to have an idea of what I can order before I get to the restaurant, as I'm very shy and hate the awkward, self-conscious feeling as everyone fusses over what I can/can't eat. I'm sure you understand!

    And, in general, I would like to get out of my 'eating out' phobia rut! As it's a bit sad. So any other chain restaurant info would be very useful - up-to-date lists, links, recent experiences?

    Much appreciated thank you x

  9. #109

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Hi
    I managed to find an email address for them - I think it goes to their marketing department (regarding data privacy etc) but its worth giving it a try:contactus@frankieandbennys.co.uk

  10. #110
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    ^ Wetherspoons states it's vegan foods on it's website. With regards to F&B why don't you ring them in advance?

  11. #111

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Yeah, I'm aware of Wetherspoons' website.. although it is a shame that their vegan options seem to be gradually diminishing (plus, what vegan stuff they do still have on their menu, they rarely seem to have in stock!) Their website is great for dietary requirements though; wish all pubs/restaurants were that helpful.

    Thanks for the F&B email address, I'll give it a go

  12. #112
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I've only eaten out at Wetherspoons and Harvester since going vegan. I have to say i really love harvester as i always order 2 sides, chips and mushrooms, which means the salad cart is still free, they give me a plate rather than a small bowl and i go nuts, I'm always really full after going there and its ridiculously cheap. Me and the OH went, he had a combine harvester and i had mine, and with drinks it came to about 13!!

  13. #113

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I know it's been mentioned in this thread already, but Nando's is great for vegan options. I believe all their veggie options are now also vegan, as long as you omit the yoghurt sauces on some of the wraps/pitas.

  14. #114
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    ^ Eeek, don't think so - unless they have changed this very recently!! It always used to be only the veggie burger that was suitable (bean burger had egg's or cheese, can't remember) and you always had to stipulate 'without mayo'.

  15. #115
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I went to Strada once and ordered the pasta and tomato sauce option (exciting I know) and it came with cheese on the top. Even though I'd already told the waitress I was vegan and it didn't describe it as having cheese in the menu. Also it was sooo overpriced. One to avoid!

    Don't think I've eaten out in any other chain restaurants since going vegan...

  16. #116
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    well i used to go to F&B a lot a year or so back and i always ordered the Penne Arabati (excuse spelling) and had it with Spaghetti instead of Penne (just personal choice coz i like twirling the pasta round my fork lol). I've had that dish in a few restaurants (Jamie Oliver's and some Italian one we used to go to somewhere).... it's just basically veg and herbs in a tomato sauce with pasta. LUSH.

  17. #117

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Think this may be a London based chain only and I haven't been there since last year but Ping Pong used to be good, they do Chinese Dim Sum so you order lots of little dishes. They did used to have a separate vegan menu if you asked for it too.

    Otherwise, I'm everyone else on using Wagamama and Pizza Express mainly otherwise. But what was that about the Yasai Itame not being vegan because of the noodles? That's my favourite one, that and the Yasai Cha Han (or something like that) with no egg.

    I found Giraffe a pain as there is not one vegan option, instead you have to take more than one dairy item off every veggie option! And so you end up with really plain food. They did used to have a much better menu for vegans a few years back then changed it, I wrote and asked them to be nicer to vegans but don't think it made a difference!

    I can't eat in McDonalds or Nandos as they are just too meat-focussed and promoting for me. And I do think McDonalds is a particularly unethical company on so many counts.

    I'm hungry for vegan noodles now!

  18. #118
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I can't remember the Wagamama details but I check every time I go there (which isn't all that often) as they sometimes change the menu. There are certainly a few things on there that can be made vegan by swapping the type of noodles.

  19. #119

    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    This is Giraffe's allergy chart:

    http://girafferestaurants.s3.amazona...69_giraffe.pdf

    I'm meeting a couple of friends for lunch soon and really excited to try the Zuma Beach Salad! They also have noodles, houmous and flatbreads and a sorbet for dessert.

  20. #120
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Dee dee View Post

    I can't eat in McDonalds or Nandos as they are just too meat-focussed and promoting for me. And I do think McDonalds is a particularly unethical company on so many counts.

    I don't think there is much you can eat as a vegan in mcdonalds anway (at least not in UK)...don't they flavour their fries with some sort of beef-sourced stuff??

  21. #121
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    As far as I know their fries are vegan (being vegetarian with no allergens like milk or eggs etc), and they are just potatoes, oil and dextrose and salt I think. But they are hardly nutritious! ALL that salt! And as Deedee says, they are not the most conscious of companies. I think they used to do stuff with beef etc, back in the day. Still wouldn't trust them with all that greasy meat around though. Ick.

  22. #122
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote thegreenjudy View Post
    I don't think there is much you can eat as a vegan in mcdonalds anway (at least not in UK)...don't they flavour their fries with some sort of beef-sourced stuff??
    That's in the US. No beef in the UK fries.

  23. #123
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Ewww why would anyone go to McDonalds anyway? =P That crap's not even good enough for starving African children.

  24. #124
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote LouiseAbel View Post
    Ewww why would anyone go to McDonalds anyway? =P That crap's not even good enough for starving African children.
    I agree. When i used to eat there, the chips were always cold and the box half empty (i always had to go back and ask if i could have a FULL box of chips and get a filthy look of a spotty 12 yr old serving) the burgers had always been hanging round for HOURS and the lettuce gone limp. I am glad i can no longer go there now anyway. their side salads are a sorry excuse for a meal - i'd rather eat grass! lol

  25. #125
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Daffodil View Post
    I agree. When i used to eat there, the chips were always cold and the box half empty (i always had to go back and ask if i could have a FULL box of chips and get a filthy look of a spotty 12 yr old serving) the burgers had always been hanging round for HOURS and the lettuce gone limp. I am glad i can no longer go there now anyway. their side salads are a sorry excuse for a meal - i'd rather eat grass! lol
    Even grass tastes great covered in ketchup and MSG! (Ooooh new business venture?)

  26. #126

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    sell-out : p

  27. #127
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote tofu_lew View Post
    sell-out : p
    Be quiet.

  28. #128

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Grass is only good for the weekend, during the week it's hard to find time to regurgitate it when you're at work.

    (flaw in your new business model)

  29. #129

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote LouiseAbel View Post
    Ewww why would anyone go to McDonalds anyway? =P That crap's not even good enough for starving African children.
    The only time I go to McDonalds is to use the toilet

  30. #130
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Firestorm View Post
    The only time I go to McDonalds is to use the toilet
    Presumably when absolutely desperate given the state they're normally in?

  31. #131
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    ^ What are you talking about? McDonalds toilets are usually lovely... Before I leave.

  32. #132
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Walk in, shove as much toilet paper into your bag as possible, then leave. If we all did it, we could bankrupt them.

  33. #133

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote Ch View Post
    Presumably when absolutely desperate given the state they're normally in?
    Only when its a choice between McDonalds and a car park

  34. #134
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I'm loving Tampopo at the mo - the only downside is that there aren't enough of them around, and having three sweets to choose from isn't easy

    http://www.tampopo.co.uk/

  35. #135
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Just had it confirmed by Harvester that their red devil sauce is vegan, am sooo happy now

  36. #136
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Anyone know what on Frankie & Bennys is vegan? I did ask them but they told me to contact general enquirys and i already had its been 6 days no response. I am going there in about 2 hours and i see a few things that look vegan (if their pasta sauce is still diary free) And would really like to know so i dont have to just order a side salad :P Any clue?

  37. #137
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote KatVonLee View Post
    Anyone know what on Frankie & Bennys is vegan? I did ask them but they told me to contact general enquirys and i already had its been 6 days no response. I am going there in about 2 hours and i see a few things that look vegan (if their pasta sauce is still diary free) And would really like to know so i dont have to just order a side salad :P Any clue?
    I don't know I'm afraid but I see on their website it says "We advise you to speak to a member of staff if you have any food allergies or intolerances." which suggests their in-store staff ought to know what's in things! Hope you manage to get something.

  38. #138

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I think the pizza bases are and you can ask them to make it without cheese

  39. #139

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote KatVonLee View Post
    Anyone know what on Frankie & Bennys is vegan?
    According to http://www.eatoutveganwales.org/multiples.htm The vegan starters are Olives and Dough Balls (ask for them with olive oil rather than garlic & parsley butter). The pizza bases are suitable, so for mains pizza without cheese or Penne Arrabiata are available. The Lemon Sorbet is also vegan. Explain to the staff you are vegan to ensure they avoid cross contamination.

  40. #140

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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote onearabvegan View Post
    I know it's been mentioned in this thread already, but Nando's is great for vegan options. I believe all their veggie options are now also vegan, as long as you omit the yoghurt sauces on some of the wraps/pitas.
    Last time I was in there they had a sign up saying they have a new bread recipe and all the rolls have milk in them, but AFAIK, the wraps are still OK. The staff , again in my experience, are all happy to go and get their allergy/ingredient book to check on what is OK

  41. #141
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I wish there were more place that just served vegan food around me. My sister in law went to Panera and ordered one of their vegetarian sandwiches, she is a veggie, someone put chicken in it! For fear of this, if I ever eat out I always check my food over. People just do not care.
    Tanya

  42. #142
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Not exactly a chain restaurant, but we went to Petworth (National Trust) and when I asked about vegan food the chef emerged from the kitchen and pointed out that all the vegetables were cooked in olive oil and the flapjacks were vegan, though the soup had lactose-containing stock powder in it. She also said that if I phoned ahead next time she could make the soup without the stock.

    Was fairly impressed (especially as the veg were good) and will try the phoning-ahead thing next time I go to an NT place.

  43. #143
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I enquired at Bella Italia recently (I'm going on holiday to center parcs and i think eating will be a challenge...) and received this in response:

    At Bella Italia we can adapt our menu to cater for vegan options should you wish to dine with us. All our pasta (except the tagliatelle) is vegan, as are our pizza bases; therefore you can then choose a pomodoro sauce which is vegan and just add vegetables to your pizza or pasta.
    Please always advise your waiter/waitress either on arrival or at the time of ordering of your dietary requirements.
    Should you need anything further please let me know.


    ​It's good to know that the pasta, bases and tomato sauce are all ok.


    Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty

  44. #144
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    That's very good to know, thanks for sharing Ribbon - hope you have a good holiday

  45. #145
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Carluccio's have a vegan menu which you can ask for. I expected blank stares but they brought it straight away. Small but perfectly formed, I'd say. The main course (spaghetti with tomato sauce) doesn't sound wildly exciting but you can make a meal out of the other stuff on there. I had mushroom soup and a bruschetta, both of which were good.

  46. #146

    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    I went to Zizzi for a family meal last October and it was pretty awful. They have a vegan section on their allergy menu which may give you an idea of what to expect... http://www.zizzi.co.uk/data/menus/st...f/Allergen.pdf

    They made me a special bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and roasted veggies, but it was pretty tasteless. I don't really know how you can go wrong with a pasta sauce, when you are meant to be an Italian restaurant, but somehow they managed it. If you have to go for a family meal or such like then at least you know you can get something. Otherwise AVOID!
    www.paperbagblog.wordpress.com

  47. #147
    friendly fri
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    Default Re: UK: Eating in chain restaurants

    Quote LouiseAbel View Post
    Ewww why would anyone go to McDonalds anyway? =P That crap's not even good enough for starving African children.
    seems an odd quote there. Any old crap ..apart from mcds crap.....is good enough for hungry African kids..cannot believe no one challenged you on this as yet....
    :D :)

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