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Veganizing Brunch Out with Friends


By Tiffany Rose Mockler

     Like every person with a pulse, I adore brunch.  It embodies everything one could ask for, sleeping in a bit later, not working, eating breakfast food mid-day and of course drinking before 5pm!  But brunch for vegans can get a little tricky.  Some restaurants serve a limited menu for their brunch offerings already and others simply do not have much for the plant based patron.  Here are some fail proof strategies that can help you enjoy your brunch as much, if not more, than your carnivorous friends!

#1.  Avocado Toast Anyone?  
It’s very on trend to have this delicious dish on the menu but even if it isn’t right there in black and white, most brunch spots have both toast and avocado.  Order them as sides and build your own.  Sprinkle some sea salt on top and voila!  Plus, ordering them as sides and assembling it yourself usually means you are cutting the cost in half. 

#2.  Granola, Oatmeal, or Grits
While some brunch places already have their vegan friends in mind and put a grain based breakfast bowl or seasonal salad on the menu, some unfortunately do not.  Here’s what you can do.  Order your oatmeal with a side of nut milk and order a side of fruit, mix together for a yummy high-fiber meal.  If this is too healthy add maple syrup or wash this down with a mimosa!  I’m not judging.   Pro tip: Be sure to ask if the grits are made with dairy or butter, if not, enjoy with all sorts of sweet and savory fixins like jams, fruit,  earth balance, olive oil or sea salt.  For a granola bowl, check to see if the granola is made with honey before pouring your soy milk on. 

#3.  More Side Hacks and Seperate Menus
English muffins with peanut butter,  hash browns or country potatoes with veggies added are just a couple of ways us conscious eaters and can maneuver a less than accommodating menu.  When I am at a brunch spot, one of the first things I do after ordering a bellini or coffee is browse the sides and see what I can combine.  Even the most vegan unfriendly spots usually have nut butters and fruit bowls.  Also, be sure to tell your server.  Sometime the restaurant has a seperate menu or some off-menu goodies just for us!

#4.  These Items Aren’t Vegan
The average Bloody Mary has worchestire sauce as an ingredient.  Your average worchestire sauce contains anchovies! Yuck!  Side note: If you are dying for a vegan Bloody Mary at home may I suggest picking up “Annie’s Organic Worchestire Sauce” from your local organic grocer or online?  
Also, some establishments cook homefries and country potatoes in animal fat or butter so ask if your cafe is cooking with oil or animal product before ordering the griddle stuff. 

#5. Tofu Veggie Scrambles etc.
More and more, restaurants are embracing tofu and seitan scrambles as a staple on their menus.  Even sides of veggie breakfast sausage are becoming common place on the “sides” list. If you don’t see anything, always ask your server or the manager.  Even call ahead! This indicates demand and sometimes you get lucky with some off menu treats!  The more we make ourselves known the better.   We can help to influence our community for the better and change supply at our fave brunch haunts!  

Tiffany Rose Mockler
Corrective Exercise Specialist ACE
Plant Based Pro Athlete