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When you're invited to a BBQ

I am not a vegetarian, but got into an argument after a Facebook post that somewhat called out vegetarians and vegans. My father had thrown a small BBQ and bought, burgers, dogs, chicken kabobs, salads and chips and salsa. Ten minutes before the BBQ he was reminded that one of the kids coming was a vegetarian. So he called her father and asked him to grab something. Problem solved.

My question is, what is your personal protocol when going somewhere and someone might or might not know you don't eat meat? Do you bring your own food to be cooked (which I said was rude) or do you call ahead to remind them of this (which I feel is fine, but a minor inconvenience) or do you just bring something to nibble on?

I should add, 90% of the BBQ i go to have grilled veggies readily available, but this one was small (4 adults 2 kids) and we didn't consider it. Should the responsibility fall on the person throwing the party or the vegetarian?

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  1. I dunno, usually if it's the BBQ of a really good friend who already knows how I eat, they will have already told me they have a vegan option for me. I can't speak for going to BBQs for people I don't know well because unless it had something to do with my life professionally, I probably wouldn't go.

    That said, it couldn't to ask your host if there's the off-chance they will have anything available for you. If not, you can politely ask if you can bring some veggie burgers. And after that, it's completely up to them to give you permission. If they aren't comfy with that, I would probably go ahead and eat before I go that way I can sidestep the issue altogether.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Random Person: "Hobbert, would you like to come to my BBQ this weekend?"

        Me: "Sounds great. Do you mind if I bring some veggie burgers (or whatever) since I don't eat meat?"

        Problem solved.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Hobbert

          Totally agree with Hobbert! And you can easily bring a salad such as International Quinoa Salad (fatfreevegan.com) which others will love and you can eat that too if there aren't vegan options. I like the idea of bringing your own veggie burger...a bean salad is great too if you don't HAVE to have a burger type of food.

          1. re: Val

            Love that salad.

            Whenever I host a BBQ, the only meat dishes are the hamburgers, hot dogs, steak. Sides are almost always vegetarian

        2. I think a proper host would ask and accommodate the dietary restrictions of his/her guests. These days allergies and vegetarians are so common I know to ask.

          I would prefer that a guest let me know his/her preferences, and Id feel bad if a guest didn't have enough to eat. I would not be insulted if a guest brought their own food to meet a dietary restriction. I might give them a little ribbing about it though if they were good friends.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AdamD

            Better said than I could. But the vast majority of posters here say it better than I usually do.

          2. I have a vegetarian daughter, and people often forget, so i will just remind them and ask can i bring something vegetarian. Usually if at a BBQ, it will just be boca burgers, or a nice salad. It's never a big deal.