If you're not a vegetarian, but your date is, then you might be panicking about choosing a restaurant. Don't worry, its not a big deal. Most vegetarians know how to order around a menu, meaning that they can find something to eat just about anywhere. If they go to a steakhouse, then they will be end up eating a chop salad and sides. However, if you want your date to be able to eat a real entrée, then you should pick a restaurant that has vegetarian friendly meals, so a steakhouse is out of the question. Sorry, meat lovers!
Here are two types of restaurants you should check out.
Italian restaurants are a fantastic choice because so many meals are meat free. You don't even have to ask for substitutions. Pasta is the main ingredient in most Italian meals. While some pastas have meat or fish sauces, others have vegetarian friendly sauces.
Here are two great entrée choices:
While pasta is popular in Italian cooking, its not the only thing a vegetarian can eat. This dish is popular with everyone, including meat eaters. Eggplant is sliced thinly and then breaded and fried. It is then layered and covered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Pasta Alla Arrabiata
This name of this meal translates to "angry pasta." It's not very common outside of Italy, so it's going to be a unique experience for your date. Unlike other pasta sauces that are heavy with cream, this one is light and spicy.
The ingredients include red pepper flakes, salt, tomato sauce, olive oil, and salt. The term "angry" comes from the fiery flavor that dried pepper flakes add to the dish.
This is often served over either penne or spaghetti. Some restaurants add capers, which add a salty and tangy flavor to the dish.
If the only Vietnamese meal you have had is Pho, then you might think that your date would not find anything to their liking. Pho, the famous soup, is rich with pork, beef bones, and fish sauce. It's certainly not something that a vegetarian would enjoy. However, don't be mistaken and think that all Vietnamese meals are off limits to a vegetarian. Here are some ideas.
Com Chay (Burned Rice)
The rice is not really burned, that's just the name. This dish is similar to Chinese fried rice, however the rice in Com Chay is shaped into sticks, unlike the loose nature of Chinese fried rice. The Com Chay is fried in a sauce and mixed with onions, mushrooms and herbs, and then served with a dipping sauce. You should be cautious and ask the waiter about the ingredients because some new recipes have begun to include pork. If this is the case, you can ask the chef to leave the pork out.
Follow The Buddhist Path
There are some dishes that are completely vegetarian, such as Banh Bao, however the best bet is to choose a Vietnamese restaurant that serves Buddhist friendly food. Buddhists are vegetarians, and in Vietnam there are signs posted outside of restaurants that announce that they are Buddhist friendly. The phrase you are looking for is "chay." In these restaurants, pork or beef is substituted with tofu. So, if you find a Vietnamese restaurant that advertises itself as Buddhist friendly, you can be safe in thinking that everything on the menu is vegetarian.
Have fun on your date to a restaurant like A Taste Of Saigon.