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Vegetarians on the Go

It’s hard finding food to eat while traveling. A simple road trip with friends can turn disastrous if you can’t find food for the vegetarian. I’ve made a few discoveries along the way that might make it easier for other vegetarians who travel:

  • Turnpike Rest Areas – the PA, DE, MD, and NJ Turnpikes (and probably others too) all have Roy Rogers in most of their rest areas. Roy Rogers will sell vegetarians (or anyone else, really) a bun with cheese. Sometimes you need to call it a grilled cheese for them to realize what you’re asking for, but most of the time you can get this, and then load up on the veggies at the fixin’s bar (lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onions). Depending on the cashier, I’ve been charged for either a kid’s meal ($1.99) or a biscuit ($0.60) with cheese ($0.10).
  • Burger King BK Veggie – in 2002, Burger King introduced the BK Veggie. When it was first introduced, it was cooked on the same grill as the meat burgers, but in 2004 Burger King changed their policies (and their burger) to microwaving the Veggie burger so it would not be cooked near meat. Because of their “have it your way” campaign, you can ask them to put lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion on it as well.
  • KFC Vegan Chicken – As of June 2008, KFC Canada is now offering vegan chicken. I haven’t yet tried this, but it’s apparently being offered at 300 of their 400 stores across Canada so far. I’m hoping I can try this before I leave, but I’m betting the Dauphin KFC doesn’t have it!
  • A&W Root Beer Veggie Swiss Burger – What inspired this post was a trip today over to the mall. I needed milk, and I decided to stop in at the A&W for a root beer float. I was perusing the menu while I waited for my float, and I discovered they offer a Veggie Swiss burger on their menu. The combo meal is over CDN$7, the same price as a triple burger, but it also comes with a side salad, so you might even get to make two meals (or a meal and a half?) out of it. The Veggie Swiss is a veggie patty with Swiss Cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle.
  • Subway Veggie Sub – I can’t forget this staple of my travel (and local!) diet. Subway will put whatever you want on the sub (provided they have it…for a while they didn’t have spinach, and then some shops took out tomatoes for a while) and you can even get it toasted. A 12-inch veggie sub is only $3.99, and you can always bring a cooler along and save half for later!

There’s plenty of other options too – Pizza, ordering breakfast at a diner (minus the bacon/sausage), or ordering a side salad, too. Unfortunately, there’s very little healthy choices for vegetarians at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Arby’s. McDonald’s sometimes has yogurt parfaits, but more often then not the store is out of them. At Wendy’s, the options are the taco salad (without the chili – give it to a meat eating friend), fries, or a frosty. And at Arby’s – well, they offer apple turnovers, mozzarella sticks, and curly fries. I have had luck with ordering a market fresh sandwich without the meat at some locations, but others have no idea what you are talking about.

I always make the mistake of not planning ahead for trips, but I’m getting better. On my flight up to Canada I packed myself a boxed lunch (I’m not sure I can call it a bento), and I plan on doing the same for the trip home as well as for my flight over to the UK. I haven’t started planning for the UK yet in terms of food, but Tim and I will manage. If we wind up eating pizza a lot, so be it. I could probably live off pizza anyway!

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