Restaurants try to attract vegetarian crowd

Hailey Stolze, Reporter

When one chooses to become a vegetarian they are choosing to follow a difficult meal plan. Each vegetarian decides based on their own personal beliefs what kinds of meat they eat, if any at all. Some only give up certain kinds of meat, such as cow. Others give up every kind of meat. Every vegetarian chooses if they view fish as a meat or not. Junior Renee Bracken labels herself as a pescetarian, someone who generally doesn’t eat meat with the exception of fish. However, she follows different guidelines.

“I eat white meat. I won’t eat any red meat or dark meat,” Bracken said.

Another form of meatless meal plan is called Vegan. This is someone who doesn’t consume or use any meat or any substance made from an animal, including dairy products.  There are many reasons why one would choose to live a lifestyle without meat. Health benefits is one major reason, according to senior Ben Martinez, a former vegetarian. Many give up meat to stay slender. “Also, morally I feel like it’s something better than eating a living being,” Martinez said.

Freshman Bailey Duffi, a former vegetarian, decided to stop eating meat for similar reasons. “I watched a video called ‘Meet Your Meat’. It’s really nasty, and I didn’t like how they were treating the animals” Duffi said. Beside the frustration vegetarians face of giving up the temptation of meat alone, they also have to worry about what restaurants they eat at. It makes mealtime less enjoyable when there is the constant worry of the restaurant’s vegetarian options, or lack thereof.

Duffi’s time spent being a vegetarian resulted in her becoming very ill due to her lack of protein. She thinks some of the reason that she got weak was because there weren’t many places that had food for vegetarians.

Recently, though, this predicament has been less likely, since restaurants have been considering the vegetarian lifestyle on their menus. Subway has a sandwich known as the Veggie Delite on their menu. It gives vegetarians a reason to stop in and pick up a sandwich, perhaps on their way to work. This sandwich comes with any kind of bread, cheese if desired, and any sauces and vegetables that they have available.With their assortment of different vegetables, vegetarians may find this menu option easily utilizable.

The six-inch sandwich alone costs $2.95, or you could upgrade to a “Five Dollar Footlong.” You could instead purchase a comb meal, including a six-inch sandwich with package of chips and a beverage. This costs $5.56 with tax.
Blimpies has similar options when it comes to vegetarian meals. Similar to Subway, they have a sandwich named Veggie Supreme. A different type of restaurant that keeps vegetarians in mind is China Road. They have a whole menu section dedicated to vegetarians. Bracken has no difficulty finding something to eat there. She says that when she goes to China Road she orders vegetables.

Four different choices, including Four Season String Bean, Buddist Delight, Moo Shu Vegetables (with four Pancakes) and Ma-po Bean Curd, are priced at $10.75. They also have their house speciality, called Vegetarian’s Paradise, for $13.95. Burger King also joined the group of places that offer vegetarian foods. They have their sandwich, BK Veggie Burger, that Martinez describes as “disgusting.”  Duffi says fast food restaurants have nothing to offer vegetarians, but she has not tried the BK Veggie Burger. Placed on a normal bun, this patty is made from egg. The burger roughly costs $2.90 on it’s own, $4.69 in a combo meal. This comes with fries and a beverage.

“It’s just really slimy. It tastes gross. I make better sandwiches than that,” Martinez said.

He thinks that if Burger King invested in enough new ingredients, they have potential to improve this burger. Martinez said to make the sandwich better, Burger King could use a grill, toast the bottom bun, and add mayonnaise conservatively.

Certainly several restaurants have added something to their menu for vegetarians. However, that doesn’t stop  people from having difficultly finding something to eat. Each restaurant offers something for vegetarians, yet some believe it deprives them of variety.“ [Restaurants need to] add more selection for vegetarians because mostly it’s like one thing for vegetarians and the rest is all meat,” Martinez said. Vegetarian eating habits are more complicated when they go out to eat and can’t find anything that they like. Although some argue that restaurants are getting better by allowing vegetarians to have something to choose from, others feel that they need to do a better job of giving them tasty options.