Two hundred and twenty-eight

Small town veganism

It’s Friday brunch and we enter a greasy spoon in Stratford, Ontario.  “It’s fine,” I tell my friend Siobhan, who I’m visiting.  “I’m sure I’ll find something to eat.”  But what do you eat for a vegan breakfast at a diner in a small town in Ontario that is surrounded by dairy farms and is home to the Ontario Pork Congress?  Even if it is Stratford, filled with actors and out-of-town theatre-goers who sometimes have dietary restrictions.  “Is your grilled tomato grilled at the same time as any meat?  No butter on the toast please.  Fruit salad.  Are the home fries cooked with bacon fat?”  Siobhan and my other friend Will’s eggs looked so delicious…

Being in Toronto or cooking at home makes it fairly easy to eat a completely plant-based diet.  There are tons of restaurants who have vegan items on their menu, and even a few that have no meat products at all.  But in small towns it is much harder to explain what you can and cannot eat and ask questions to determine what you will choose off the menu – if there is anything!  Also it’s slightly embarrassing, as the server gives you a bewildered look similar to if you just told her you had a midget siamese twin growing out of your chest.

Dinner last night was fabulous, though, as Siobhan made an amazing Buddha Bowl from the Fresh cookbook.  Vegan food can be so delicious.  But it did get me thinking – it would be very hard to be completely vegan while traveling and generally when not cooking at home.  I’m having leftovers from last night’s dinner before my drive home, as I’m not sure where I can find non-dairy, non-meat snacks on the road.