Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vermont and Vegetarian

Given the choice between a cute local café and Starbucks, I will always choose the local place. But in airports, Starbucks has my business. Dunkin’ Donuts serves coffee in Styrofoam and McDonald’s has that gross meaty smell.

It annoys me, though, that Starbucks breakfast sandwiches all contain meat. Yes, you can have a pretty decent (if Dickensian portion) of oatmeal, but the egg sandwiches, all pre-made, have ham, bacon or turkey on them. Haven’t they realized how many vegetarians travel, or just like to grab breakfast on the go? Would it have killed them to offer one meat-free sandwich?

The funny thing is, most vegetarians happily pay the same price for a meat-free meal as those eating steak, and their food costs a lot less. My husband and I went to a restaurant the other night with a tasting menu. Six of the eight of us choose the tasting menu; five of us got the vegetarian version. Basically, it was the same menu, but the steak course was instead a plate of lentils. Now, I like lentils as much as they next gal, and they were pretty tasty, with flecks of shiitake mushroom, but come on! Steak has to cost the place a whole lot more than a handful of beans.

We like to ski at Mount Snow, in Vermont. It is near Izabella’s Eatery, which specializes in fresh, local and seasonal organic ingredients. Of the three breakfast paninis, only the one with avocado, Monterey Jack and egg comes without meat, but you can have a freshly made egg and cheese, or egg, spinach and cheese, panini with no meat. There are also a few other breakfast choices, and there’s soy milk for vegans.

At lunchtime, you do even better. Half the sandwiches are vegetarian; the avocado and tempeh or peanut butter with ginger preserves are particular favorites. There are also soups and salads.

A great place to stay is The Snow Goose Inn, West Dover. It is one of the few area B & B’s that accepts children, though the caveat that they be well-behaved may give you pause. Kids under five are free, and you can bring a child, ages 6-17, or a pet, for the same additional $25 a night. Hmm. The innkeepers, sensitive to the dining preferences of their guests (lactose-intolerant, gluten-free) always have vegetarian options at their great breakfasts, but let them know in advance that you are a vegetarian and they will offer even more choices.

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