On Saturday I mentioned that I stepped into a new vegan cafe here in Charleston called Puree Cafe (If you missed it check it out here). Even though we weren’t looking for food, I wanted to introduce myself and see what they were all about.
After talking with the owner, learning more about what inspired the couple to open the first Charleston organic, vegan restaurant and of course checking out the menu, I got the itch to come back for a meal. Which we did yesterday.
The Puree Experience
I wanted to take my sister-in-law (who is visiting from DC) to some place completely different then what she’s used to and since she is curious about our lifestyle I thought it was the perfect excuse to give Sunday brunch a whirl at Puree.
We got there a little early (because I am early to everything) but luckily the staff didn’t mind. They seated us and immediately brought us liquid energy. Organic Peruvian Coffee: dark, rich and just what we needed.
Dan and his sister are coffee addicts so we ended up going through 3 of these!
From there, we were given fresh fruit and homemade granola.
At first we told them to hold the granola, but the owner insisted we try it since they make it homemade and vegan right there.
Well, okay… no need to twist our arms! I am so glad he urged us because it was delicious and gave me some great ideas on improving my own granola.
Instead of using oats, their granola base was organic rice puffs. I loved the extra crunch the puffs gave! And look at those whole nuts (I normally chop mine a bit).
After that it was time to order our actual meals.
We had a long day ahead of us in terms of site-seeing and shopping so I urged everyone to get a high energy meal! The temperature was expected to be a record high and I knew we would do better with a high protein, high carb meal in our bellies.
My sister in law went with their vegan blueberry pancakes while Dan and I both decided on their scramble:
The scramble consisted of tofu, spinach, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and lots of other yummy veggies all scrambled together like eggs. OMG, so good. No, I am not a tofu fan but this was a nice change. I wish I knew what seasoning they used to make the tofu yellow, I would definitely recreate this at home (probably minus tofu though).
I was surprised that Dan liked his too! He had his in a burrito form for a few extra calories.
Oh if you think the meal was done after that, you’re sadly mistaken. Remember, I said that Puree had the best juice I have ever had, so I couldn’t leave without getting one for myself and Jessica for the drive to our first tourist destination!
We were lucky that this was a vegan cafe, but I understand that they are very hard to come by in most places, I mean this is our FIRST one in the area.
So how are you suppose to order vegan if you’re out and about but still leave satisfied?
Follow these tips!
5 Tips To Eat Vegan At A Restaurant
1. As With Everything Else Use Google.
I love Dan for several reasons but I really love him for this. Before we go out to dinner he always Googles around to see which restaurants have the best options for both of us. He hates it if I am forced to eat nothing but lettuce with a few veggies on top, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar. I recommend everyone doing this. It safe time because you will have an idea of what you want and what options you have or don’t have.
2. Be A Woman And Ask!
Don’t be afraid to ask your waitress if there are vegan options not listed on the menu. Step up, being a shy vegan is not an option, just be extra polite. For example, the last place we went to I was able to get a salad topped with portabella even though portabella was no where on the menu.
3. Be Picky Order specifics.
Don’t just announce that you’re vegan and want portabella instead of chicken. Get specific, if the meal on the menu says cheese, chances are that you’ll be given a smothered portabella. Not because they didn’t hear you were vegan but because they might not understand what that means.
Order what you want, what substitutions you require, and what you don’t want. I learned this the hard way when I was given a veggie burger with cheddar cheese on top when we were in Florida.
4. Don’t complain, No Bitchiness Allowed.
If you meet friends for dinner at a restaurant, don’t complain if they don’t have many vegan friendly options. You’re vegan not them. Make the best of it you can and you might surprise yourself. Ask about the veggies of the day, the different salad choices and come up with a combo that works for you. But don’t treat the restaurant staff disrespectfully for not being vegan friendly.
5. Questions to ask.
It took me a while to ask certain questions. Not because I was shy but because I just didn’t think about it. I would order something and then be surprised when it came out with a cream sauce or with cheese. Ask. Does “this” come with cheese? What’s the sauce made out of? Are there eggs in “this”? It’s not being rude it is just learning what is in your meal.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to being a successful veggie eater. You’ll be much more likely to leave feeling satisfied then if you just walk in and order a side of summer squash because it’s the only thing you see on the menu.
Curious where our first destination was?
- Have you ever eaten at a vegan restaurant?
- Did you got out to eat this weekend? Where?
- What’s your favorite veggie based meal?