Monday, March 18, 2013

Going Out for Drinks

Friday night I met friends for dinner and drinks. While dinner was decidedly underwhelming, I had no trouble ordering a vegan meal at the restaurant we chose, Marie Louise Bistro.  This French-ish place has a vegetarian section on their menu, and I ended up ordering the Zucchini Louise:
Zucchini Louise
Zucchini “Fettuccine”, Tomato, Onion, Garbanzo Beans, & Lemon, Served Over Couscous 
The Zucchini Louise came looking more like a soup and I used a ton of napkins and bread to soak up the excess liquid and oil.  Yuck!  But once I'd gotten the dish under control, the rest of it was a pretty good dinner, and very filling.  I needed some help finishing it. 
What I'm not sure I managed to do that evening was drink vegan.  While I know lots of beers and wines use isinglass (fish blatter - ew!) for filtering, not all do.  Barnivore is a helpful resource for determining vegan beer, wine, and liquor ... but only if you know what you're actually getting.  At Marie Louise, my friends and I ordered sangria (which was on happy hour special), so I don't know what kind of wine was used in the drink.  Nor does it seem particularly fun when you're out drinking with friends to stop and look up each drink on your phone before you order.  I know a few go-to beers when I need (Blue Moon, Dogfish Head, and my personal favorite, Lindeman's Lambic Framboise - must try if you haven't), but I haven't exactly memorized the stats on every beer, wine, and liquor out there.  And even if there was a label available for you to read, it won't say anything about the isinglass. 
So what are other vegans doing?  Avoiding alcohol altogether?  Sticking only to those tried and true options?  Or throwing up your hands and drunkenly downing whatever is put in front of you?  I guess that's what I did Friday night.  But I still haven't decided what I'll be doing in the future.  Maybe this will be a case-by-case decision.  I'm still not sure.  But I'd love any advice the seasoned vegans out there have to offer! 

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