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Aug 23, 2010 09:02 AM

Menu help for a vegan and veggie-hater

Hello, my family and I are visiting san francisco, and I'd like to take my sister and her friends to dinner - either we can eat out or cook in our amazing rented kitchen.

The problem is:
- one friend is a vegan and
- another friend "hates vegetables".

how do you create a menu that accomodates both people? Do we just cook two separate entree choices? even more - where can I go for good vegan recipes?

thanks all!

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  1. If you're cooking, you can make something like pasta and have a couple of options (or add ins) for sauces. If you're going out, Asian restaurants are often a good choice for vegans, since they don't use many dairy products. A place like Bodega Bistro, which has options for the vegan and where your veggie hater could have some nice meaty dishes might be a good choice.

    Bodega Bistro
    607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

    1. This is a very unusual suggestion, but look up Spices I on Clement/8th. I love going their for their many meaty options: spicy beef noodle soup, cumin lamb hot pot, pork chop over rice...but my friend also takes her vegan boyfriend all the time. He orders off the vegetarian menu and likes it because the food is heavily spiced and therefore not bland. He's not what I'd call a vegan with stereotypical tastes, but it's an interesting option for the adventurous.

      Taquerias in the Mission District are also a good dining out idea. It's very "San Francisco," and if you look up one with a good veggie burrito you'll be set. Indian is also a good choice. Udupi Palace is vegan, but I find that even carnivores enjoy it. Otherwise, go to a non-vegan Indian place and just order a variety of things. I'll also throw in Moya, a new Ethiopian place I've been enjoying. You can just eat hunks of meat, or do the vegetarian platter for two. And they'll serve your veg and non veg dishes on two platters do they don't touch.

      As for cooking at home, you can always prepare a vegan meal that includes vegetables that even meat lovers enjoy (potatoes, corn), then grill up steaks, bake a chicken, or make oven-bbq ribs. That's what I usually do for a mixed crowd: come up with a few dishes everyone can eat, then add one or two meat dishes depending on how big the crowd is.

      1. thank you both for your suggestions! They're excellent ones (asian is of course a good route), and I'll look up the restaurants you recommend.

        1. Minako (organic Japanese food).

          Lots of pages of vegan sushi and even a vegan kaiseki. And plenty of fish (or chicken) for the other one.

          (Don't spend your time on vacation cooking anything but breakfast, unless you find something wonderful at the farmers' market.)

          1. I have taken my vegan brother to Firefly for just such a reason. They offer a vegetarian and a vegan option as well as being known for thier fried chicken. I usually like the apps better than the mains, but it makes for easy eating if you wanted something a little less family style - though I would personally rather visit Udupi or Spices or Ethiopian if I were visiting SF from somewhere that had less food selection (where are you visiting from?) One quick note, a lot of Ethiopian food is seasoned with a spiced butter mix so it might be harder to get vegan than vegetarian there.