If you’re like most vegetarians, you have at least one meat-eating friend. Quite possibly, you have all meat-eating friends who rib you about tofu at least once a week. So how can you get your carnivorous friend to join you in trying a new vegetarian restaurant? These simple tips will get you and your friend into vegetarian restaurant faster than you can say “soy sausage.”
First and foremost, be up front with your friend. Don’t wait until you’re on the way to the restaurant to tell her that it’s a vegetarian establishment. Even if you can still get her in the door, it will leave bad feelings that will ruin your visit and guarantee that she won’t take your future dining suggestions seriously.
If you’ve been friends more than a couple of weeks, you’ve more than likely dined together at some point. That said, you also probably have an inkling as to your meat-eating friend’s eating habits. Does he order the steak or the chicken? Cheese pizza or supreme? Salad before dinner or bacon cheese fries? Choose a vegetarian restaurant that offers vegetarian versions of his favorites and he’s more likely to agree to a sit down. Juicy veggie burgers, veggie pizza, and pasta marinara are often popular with meat-eating companions.
For a first foray into the world of meat-free dining, it’s also a good idea to look for a vegetarian restaurant that offers dairy products rather than a strict vegan restaurant. Your meat-eating friend may feel more confident ordering a veggie pizza with actual mozzarella than one with soy cheese. Being able to identify ingredients that he knows he likes will go a long way toward making your friend feel comfortable with his dining choices.
If you’re lucky, you can even find a vegetarian restaurant that offers an occasional meat special. A few vegetarian restaurants include a fish or egg entree once a week to appeal to the meat-eating companions of its vegetarian regulars. The rest of the menu is vegetarian, so you will enjoy your many options while your friend is savoring her grilled fish entree or omelette.
Also check out the beverage menu, and if you’re inclined, the wine and beer list. You and your friend can stop by for a drink together while you both sample a vegetarian appetizer or dessert. If she enjoys her first visit, you and she can plan a second visit for a full meal.
Most importantly, keep this fact in mind: You are vegetarian and you still manage find something to eat on traditional restaurant menus when you eat out with friends. You friend will have the same success when he visits your favorite restaurant.
By taking a few simple steps, you can help ensure that your friend enjoys a visit to your favorite vegetarian restaurant. Then you can take the focus off the food options and put it where it really belongs: a great night out with your friend.