*More* Vegan and Vegetarian Dining Reviews! (May 9 - May 17) With lots of pictures!

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by v_gan, May 18, 2009.

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  1. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    Introduction:

    Me (Andrea) - I'll try anything once, as long as it's vegan :thumbsup2
    Boyfriend (Jon) - Vegetarian, and a bit picky. Would rather have a veggie burger than anything else, but ends up enjoying nearly every restaurant we go to.

    This trip was to celebrate our 4.5-year anniversary (Yes, we celebrate half-year anniversaries!) and me getting my Associate's degree.

    I made our ADR's on our 90-day mark and got everything I wanted within a 30-minute range of the time I wanted. Between then and our trip, I cancelled our Yak and Yeti ADR and added on dinner at 'Ohana after reading a great review of Chef TJ. Unfortunately, we ended up with a different chef that night. You'll have to see how that turned out later on :goodvibes

    So, here's where we ended up dining on our 9-day Disney celebration vacation:

    Friday, May 9
    Picnic lunch at Florida Welcome Center (Page 1)
    San Angel Inn (Page 1)
    Pop Century food court (Page 1)

    Sunday, May 10
    Tusker House (Page 1)
    Plaza Restaurant (Page 2)

    Monday, May 11
    Frosty the Joe Man Coffee (BB) - (Page 2)
    Pop Century Food Court (x2) - (Page 2)

    Tuesday, May 12
    Crystal Palace (Page 3)
    Columbia Harbor House (Page 3)
    Pop Century Food Court (Page 4)

    Wednesday, May 13
    Rose and Crown (Page 4)
    Kaki Gori (Page 4)
    Boma (Page 5)

    Thursday, May 14
    Restaurantasaurous (Page 5)
    Dinoland frozen treat cart (Page 5)
    Cantina de San Angel (Page 6)
    Sunshine Seasons (Page 6)

    Friday, May 15
    Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre (Page 6)
    50s Prime Time Café (Page 7)
    Min and Bill's Dockside Diner (Page 7)

    Saturday, May 16
    Golden Oak Outpost (Page 7)
    Anaheim Produce (Page 7)
    'Ohana (Page 8)

    Sunday, May 17
    Pop Century food court
    Rainforest Cafe (DTD)

    While I get to resizing my pictures, you can see my previous dining reviews by clicking the link in my signature. :)
     
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  3. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    We started our drive to Orlando at 4:30 in the morning from Birmingham, AL. Around 11:30, we arrived at the Florida Welcome Center. I had packed sandwiches and snacks, so we found a picnic table and had our little picnic!

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    Ta-da! Kind of ironic how we're both wearing shirts that are connected to Universal Orlando while on our way to Disney World, huh?

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    I brought Tofurky sandwiches on light wheat bread with lettuce and Veganaise. We also had baby carrots, pretzels, and cinnamon Teddy Grahams.

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    Close-up of the sandwich.

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    This is me with the free orange juice they give you at the welcome center. Man, is that stuff good!

    ________________________________________​

    We drove through the WDW entrance at exactly 3:00 and were heading into the Pop Century lobby about 20 minutes later. After checking in and bringing all our stuff into our room, we got on a bus for Epcot. We had ADRs for San Angel Inn at 6:45, but we checked in early and were seated 20 minutes prior to our reservations.

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    We got a table right next to the water, so this was our view:

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    I asked if I could see their vegetarian menu, and it was different than last time:

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    Jon looking over the menu:
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    "I want a picture in front of the pyramid, too!" :lmao:
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    Our chips, salsa, and drink orders arrived soon.

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    We both got a virgin strawberry daquiri and a glass of water. We actually ordered virgin frozen strawberry margaritas, but it said strawberry daquiri on our bill. We were charged half price, since there wasn't any alcohol.

    We decided to share the Plato Vegetariano and we each ordered a side of Arroz Mexicano (Mexican rice served with peas)

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    "Great combination of sauteed mixed vegetables, served over a bed of flour tortillas and black beans."

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    This is the two tortillas that we pulled apart to share, so you can see the beans.

    The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the beans were warm and yummy. I prefer this new dish over the previous vegetarian entree they had, but I prefer the previous price to the current one :thumbsup2 It was a lot of money for vegetables and beans, so I'm glad we only ordered one plate. It's plenty to feed two people, if you order a side as well.

    We both really enjoyed our meal, and we struggled to finish our rice. It was all very filling, so splitting the vegetarian plate was the best way to go for both of us.

    ________________________________________​

    After dinner we found a spot for Illuminations, watched the show, and headed back to Pop. We browsed through the souviner shop and got some snacks in the food court:

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    This is where they store the vegan goodies!

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    I got a package of Divvies chocolate chip cookies, and Jon got an Uncrustable PB&J and a banana. We also bought our refillable mugs while we were there.

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    I loved these cookies! They were soft and the chocolate chips were gooey and yummy.

    I was very happy with the offerings in the Pop food court. They were much more plentiful than what they had at All Star Movies in 2007.

    Coming Up: Tusker House and Plaza Restaurant
     
  4. VillianinVogue

    VillianinVogue Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait for more!!! I loved your last trip report!:upsidedow
     
  5. wellesleyprincess

    wellesleyprincess DIS Veteran

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    I'm excited. I'm a vegetarian working my way vegan (getting rid of dairy is HARD for me in part because I'm also allergic to wheat [eliminating restaurants typical pasta dishes]).

    Oh and do you have any vegetarian/vegan restaurant reccomendations for Birmingham. I'm visiting a friend there in August (she goes to Samford if that helps with location any)
     
  6. AlohaPolynesian

    AlohaPolynesian DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I love reading the vegetarian/vegan reviews. Can't wait to hear more!
     
  7. GoofySon'sMom

    GoofySon'sMom DIS Veteran

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    Although I am not vegetarian, I do enjoy veggies and have often thought of ordering a vegetarian meal in Disney ... definitely in for this one to get some ideas!
     
  8. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

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    While I love my beef and chicken I like the veggie items too....great review of SAI, cannot wait for more!
     
  9. jacksonsmom

    jacksonsmom <font color=blue>Can you guess who I am a mom for?

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    can't wait to see more
     
  10. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    Thanks! I've got plenty more to share :goodvibes

    Good luck with your road to veganism :thumbsup2 It's a nice place. haha.

    There really aren't very many choices for eating out in Birmingham. The best place in the city is definitely Bottletree Cafe. It's a restaurant by day and a music venue by night. Their vegan chili won the city's best chili award a few years ago, and there's always at least one vegan dessert. You can substitue tofu or veg. meats for pretty much any entree on the menu. It's a small place, but it's nice :thumbsup2

    There's also a natural grocery store called the Golden Temple downtown. They have a small cafe, but the food is horribly bland. There's a Whole Foods in Mountain Brook, which is just a few minutes away from downtown. Here's a veg restaurant guide for Birmingham: http://www.alabamavoiceforanimals.org/vegbham.html You can also go to HappyCow.net for a directory.

    Glad you'll be reading! :goodvibes

    We had some awesome meals, so I hope you do end up getting some ideas :thumbsup2

    Thanks for reading!

    Coming right up!
     
  11. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    Day 2 was our Animal Kingdom day, with Magic Kingdom EMH in the evening. We had a great morning! It was Mother's Day, so I recieved a red carnation upon entering the park (even though I'm not a mother, unless you count my cats). Me and Jon were also the first people on Expedition Everest for the day.

    We went through Dinoland U.S.A. after rope drop, along with another group of about 5 people.The cast members at the bridge going towards E.E. guided us to the ride, with us walking behind a rope. When we got to the entrance, we went to get a Fastpass before riding. But some upper-level-looking cast member woman told us to wait where we were. She gave us Fastpasses, and told us to follow her through the line. The other group got their Fastpasses and left, so we were the only ones in the line. I'm still not sure why it happened, but it was awesome. We got more Fastpasses with our park tickets before heading to Kilimanjaro Safaris, so we got to ride E.E. three times that day with no line :thumbsup2

    Our Tusker House ADR was for 11:35. We got there a few minutes late because we ran into Terk on the way and I had to stop for a picture :goodvibes.

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    So, when we arrived at the restaurant, there was a ton of people waiting outside. I remembered that the restaurant didn't open for lunch until 11:30, and sure enough everyone was inside within a few minutes. We had to wait a few minutes, so we stood next to these guys for a while:

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    On the way to our table:
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    Once we were seated, we were greeted by our server, Joe. This is the ticket that was on our table:

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    I had read that Disney Dining wasn't able to note "Vegan" on reservations, but it was on every single ticket we received during our trip. So, just a heads up for any vegans out there when making ADRs! They are able to note it.

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    This is the view of the room we were in.

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    And this is Jon, looking adorable.

    For drinks, I ordered a glass of water and the Pangani Punch, which isn't included in the price of the buffet and isn't refillable. It's described as "A delightful blend of Orange, Pineapple, and Cranberry Juices, with Strawberry Puree"
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    Good thing it wasn't refillable, because I didn't like it! The cranberry juice in it gave much too tart of an aftertaste. Yuck. After this drink, I gave up on the expensive fruit drinks. Just not worth it.

    So, when our server came back he asked us if we would like the chef to show us around the buffet to show us what we could eat. I, of course, said yes. I can't remember the chef's name off the top of my head, but he was very helpful. He walked us around the buffet, pointing out the things I could eat and also pointing out why I couldn't eat certain other dishes.

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    He said the tandorri tofu and samosas shared a fryer with meat products, so he offered to make some in a separate fryer for me. He also said the green beans were cooked with butter, but said he could make some with olive oil. There was a Greek pasta he said he could make without the Feta cheese. I didn't really want that, but he kind of insisted, saying it was really good. So I said ok. I wish I hadn't asked for the green beans, because there was a green bean salad that I could have on another cart that was really good.

    Anyway.. After the chef showed us around, we started filling up our plates:

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    My first plate. Consists of roasted potatoes, green bean and red onion salad, curried rice salad with golden raisins, Tunisian couscous salad, saffron-infused root vegetables and cabbage, and Marakesh couscous (wasn't named on the buffet, but it was the same stuff we had at Boma later in the week by this name). The Marakesh couscous was by far my favorite thing on the buffet! Everything else was good, except for the curried rice salad. I didn't like the taste of the rice, or the inclusion of the golden rasins.

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    Jon's first plate. Consists of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn and carrots, roasted potatoes, and the Marakesh couscous.

    A few minutes later:
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    Before we got up to get another plate, we were brought this:
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    Tandoori tofu with spiced vegetables and Orzo pasta

    And this:
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    Vegetable samosas and green beans with garlic.

    The tandoori tofu was gross. I didn't like it at all. I can't remember why, but it was just bad. I didn't like the orzo pasta, either. It had way too much of an olive taste. I like olives, but this was way too strong. It was almost like the pasta was boiled in olive juice. It literally tasted like pure sodium. The green beans were quite bland, and not nearly as good as the green bean salad that was pre-made on the buffet. The vegetable samosas were good. Our server reccomended we try them with some of the chutneys, so that's what I got next:

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    Hummus, mango chutney, mixed dried fruit chutney.

    I freakin' LOVED the mixed dried fruit chutney! It was so good! I got a few pieces of pita bread to eat with it. The hummus, I didn't like. The mango chutney was good, but not my favorite.

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    Me eating my samosas!

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    Jon's next plate: Mixed fruit salad, hummus, pita bread, tandoori tofu, and peal couscous with sweet basil.

    He really like the pearl couscous and the hummus. I got mad at him for getting the tofu from the buffet when there was no way I could finish the tofu that was brought to our table by myself. haha. I hate wasting food!

    The chef had offered to get me a frozen strawberry bar or some non-dairy ice cream, but after all this we couldn't eat another bite. So no dessert for us!

    We talked to our server for a while about how he got to go to the Pixar Animation Studios in CA and about how A Bug's Life was our favorite Pixar movie. He said Flik was his hero, too, so it was fun to talk to him! :goodvibes (By the way, meeting Flik was one of my main goals on this trip. I'll show you what happened with that later! :cloud9:)

    To close things up for Tusker House, here's a few random pictures throughout the restaurant's buffet area:

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    Everything on this cart was vegan-safe.

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    *Favorite dish on the right!

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    Chutneys, hummus, taboulli. Everything on this cart was vegan-safe, except for that stuff on the far left. I'm pretty sure that's just butter, but I can't remember and can't tell what it is from the picture. Either way, pretty obvious that butter isn't vegan.

    [​IMG]
    I don't think anything on this cart was vegan, except for the salad greens and the fruit on top. It's possible some of the vinegarettes were vegan, but I didn't want salad so I must not have paid attention to what the chef said.

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    The breads. The chef said the pita bread was ok, as well as the chocolate mango bread. I was a little iffy on the chocolate mango bread since most chocolate contains dairy, so I didn't get any. It could have just been cocoa powder, but still. Pita bread is usually safe, so I trusted him on that.

    Verdict: Tusker House is a FANTASTIC meal for both vegetarians and vegans. There's plenty to eat, and you definitely get your money's worth. I absolutely loved this restaurant, and it will be a must-do on our next trip.

    I've met my picture limit for this post, so..

    Coming Up: Extra pictures of the buffet area at Tusker House and The Plaza
     
  12. iluvpluto27

    iluvpluto27 DIS Veteran

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    I'm really enjoying your reviews. My DH is vegetarian so I love reading veggie dining reviews to get ideas of new places to try.
     
  13. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    Since I met my picture limit on my previous post, here's the extra pictures I took inside Tusker House:

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    The theming in here was great, and the lighting was lovely with the sun being able to shine in through the roof.

    Still Coming Up: Plaza Restaurant
     
  14. koima

    koima Mouseketeer

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    Yippee, another vegetarian review! I have been searching through the site for healthy menu options around the World and stumbled on your first review. I'm happy to see you're back with another review!

    I'm not vegetarian (eat fish and very limited poultry) but I mostly eat vegetarian at home and am excited to see pictures of the options!
     
  15. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    I'm glad you're enjoying them! Thanks for reading :)
     
  16. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    Thanks for reading! I've got plenty more to share, so stay tuned ;)
     
  17. v_gan

    v_gan I can go the distance!

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    First off, let me say that I was really looking forward to eating at The Plaza. The outside of the restaurant as well as the decor inside were always so pretty when I saw them in pictures. I loved all the mirrors and the turqouise colors, with the golden light fixtures. So pretty!

    We had reservations for 6:10. So, after we left AK, we headed to the Magic Kingdom for dinner and evening EMH. We arrived at the restaurant right at 6:10, but there was a line for check-in and the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It parade was coming back up Main Street, so I walked over to take some pictures of that. I liked seeing Lumiere in the parade. :goodvibes That was neat.

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    I checked us in a few minutes after our reservation time, and we recieved our pager and found a seat.

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    We waited 20 minutes to be seated. It was pretty ridiculous. I mean, how long does it really take to either eat or make a sandwich? I think this was the longest wait we had on our trip, so we were already off to a bad start.

    When we were finally to be seated, we had a grumpy old hag take us to our table, which was convenientally located 6 inches away from the swinging kitchen doors and 6 inches (if that) away from the table of another couple.

    Picture of the doors directly to our right:
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    The grumpy old hag plopped this giant binder onto our table and told me to look through it and see what I wanted:
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    I thought this was completely rude and uncalled for. Do you see how big that thing is?! I had to look though that entire binder to find the ingredients for all the components of the vegetarian sandwich. A few minutes later, the woman came back and asked if I knew what I wanted. I told her I hadn't had time to look though the entire thing and she seemed aggravated and/or flustered and started quickly flipping through the binder, trying to show me different breads and basically nothingness. I was just embarrassed by the whole thing, to be honest.

    She left, and I finally found the page with all the ingredients for the vegetarian sandwich:
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    Bread was out; it contained whey and was baked with cheese on top. Cheese was obviously a no-go, and the pesto also had cheese.

    So I was left with the single choice of a baguette with hummus and vegetables. Now, normally this would make a pretty good sandwich. But not so at the Plaza Restaurant.

    This is what I ended up with:
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    The bread was horribly dry and tasteless. The vegetables were cold and mushy. The hummus offered pretty much no flavor whatsoever. It was the most bland sandwich I have ever tasted in my life. The fries were good, but I ran out of ketchup and our server never brought me any more.

    Jon got the regular vegetarian sandwich:
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    From the way he described it, it wasn't much better than what I recieved. Every time he picked it up, a tablespoon or two of liquid would drip out of the sandwich. It was disgusting. It looked like milky cheese water mixed with tomato juice. Ugh. So nasty.

    This is me, almost humorously being completely dissappointed and sad about the whole experience:
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    I say humorously because this was a complete 180 of what our experience was like at Tusker House just a few hours earlier. It was crazy how different the service was between the two.

    And this is Jon, being angry and upset at the restaurant for making me feel bad while we were inside the Magic Kingdom:
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    After our meal was over, we got our bill. It took forever to get a reciept, because our waiter obviously forgot about us. He walked by five times before he stopped and asked if everything was ok. I normally wouldn't care about geting a reciept, but I like keeping up with all my spending at Disney. It was horrible sitting there for such a long time after such an awful meal.

    The only good thing about the whole experience was knowing that this was outside waiting for me when it was over:
    [​IMG]

    Verdict: I will never step foot in this restaurant again. Never. It was embarassing and humiliating to be treated like that, and the food I recieved was absolutely horrible. We only left a one dollar tip, and while I felt bad doing it at that time.. Looking back, they didn't even deserve that. It was such an awful experience, and I'm just glad this was a one-time thing. Disney service is so much better than this, and I hope this was just my personal experience and not an everyday occurance.

    Coming Up: Blizzard Beach snacks and more Pop Century food court! (aka the boring day of food).
     
  18. h0cusp0kus

    h0cusp0kus Earning My Ears

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    Wow, your pictures are gorgeous! Great reviews so far :thumbsup2
     
  19. lisalisalisa

    lisalisalisa Mouseketeer

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    Great reviews and photos. We are a veggie family :)
     
  20. budbeerlady

    budbeerlady <font color=blue>I call DH The STREAK!!<br><font c

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    I am so sorry your Plaza meal was so bad. There is NO excuse for how they acted, how hard is it to quick ask the kitchen what can they make that is Vegan?!??!? Since you have your receipt with info on it I would enclose a copy and write them about your experience. I had a good veggie sandwich there but it was a year ago, maybe it went down hill. For vegetarian at MK I stick with my favorites at Columbia Harbor.

    Cannot wait to read the rest!!!!!
     
  21. Jenvenza

    Jenvenza <font color=green>Ratted out her husband's lack of

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    Great reviews! I always love reading vegan and veggie reviews!
     
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