When life throws you lemons, you pour some warm water over it and drink it first thing in the morning. When your parents invite you to a (free) lunch, you go to Longhorn’s. Here is one thing I’ve learned since going vegan: I really can eat anywhere. A few of my friends have been awesome enough to want to eat at a veggie place with me (shout out to Ni and Beevy!). One may think that being a vegan would limit your choices, and to some extent it does. It’s almost turned into a game, where I look up the restaurant’s allergen menu and see what I can eat and what I can’t. Once I’m armed with how many awesome foods I can still enjoy, the pressure of the dining experience falls away. I have totally turned into “that person” who says to the server, “I’m going to order slightly crazy, and I apologize”. Once you can get over your initial fears of being judged or being thought of as “high maintenance”, then start eating your delicious food!
Today, life took me to Longhorn’s to have lunch with my amazing parents. Because I had printed off Longhorn’s allergen menu (and I just may have also highlighted portions…NERD ALERT), I knew what I wanted. The bread at Longhorn’s is vegan (yay, cause it’s delicious!) so I brought my own butter along for the journey. Call me crazy (or maybe?) but what is warm bread without butter? Exactly. Not something I want in my life. My parents enjoyed the tonion which looked delicious but is not vegan. I steered clear.
We all got a salad, and like a total newbie I forgot to say no cheese and no croutons for mine. So I basically had to take off the top layer of the salad and set it aside. A small price to pay for a yummy salad. For my lunch, I ordered steamed broccoli and a plain baked potato. Thanks to the server’s help, I avoided the grilled asparagus (cooked with butter) and the green beans (also cooked with butter). I added some of my butter to the potato and went at it. My parents each had a filet and a baked potato with sour cream and butter, and they both got the new pumpkin cheesecake to go.
As much as their lunches look fine and everything, I have been realizing lately that in no way, shape, or form do I miss meat or dairy or seafood. I’ve been a veggie for 11.5 years, so I haven’t had any meat since then. Most people say “I could never give up cheese”, and I can understand that. It’s hard to change something you’ve been doing for your entire life. But there is something so pure and lovely and wonderful about eating a delicious and healthy lunch that caused no harm to anyone or anything. I feel like I cannot “unknow” what I now know.
So Longhorn’s? Don’t be afraid of that steak-slinging place. Shimmy your hiney in there and boldly order to your heart’s content. And tip your servers.