Finding a Family Friendly Vegetarian Restaurant

If you’re like many vegetarians with children, finding a family friendly vegetarian restaurant can be challenging. Children often have picky eating habits and will turn up their little noses at foods with which they are not familiar. Additionally, some vegetarian restaurants cater to a very specific clientele, often one which is at odds with a boisterous family.

Unfortunately, this means that many vegetarian parents are relegated to ordering the same salad or side dish over and over at a traditional restaurant. But by taking just a few minutes to do some quick research on your local vegetarian restaurants, you can find dining options that both you and your children will enjoy.

Review the Menu for Family Friendly Clues

The first step in determining whether your local vegetarian restaurant promotes family dining is to check out the menu. Many vegetarian restaurants post their menu online for you to peruse, so you can scout out the options before you leave the house. If the menu has a kids’ section, you can bet that the restaurant promotes an environment that is family friendly.

Once you’ve found the kids’ menu, pay close attention to the options. Some vegetarian restaurants simply offer smaller portions of adult entrees for children. While this is a good start, every parent knows that kids like a little fun with their meal. Kids’ entrees should be typical of what most children enjoy, and if the menu even has some choices with silly names, you’ve hit the jackpot.

High priced restaurants are not geared toward kids

Next, look at the menu prices for adult entrees. If a typical entree runs $35 or more, the restaurant probably doesn’t cater to families. These establishments often have stricter behavioral expectations, making your child feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if your child should misbehave, you may be asked to leave the restaurant, spoiling the meal for everyone.

A family friendly restaurant has a casual, inviting atmosphere

Once you find a vegetarian restaurant menu that holds all these family friendly clues, the next step should be a quick visit to the restaurant itself, preferably during the dinner hour. As soon as you walk in the door, look around. Even if there are no children in the dining room, other features will offer clues. Casual dress, cheerful colors, and a warm, inviting atmosphere typically characterize a family friendly establishment. If the majority of the patrons are wearing formal or evening dress, or if the atmosphere is excessively professional, your kids may be happier dining somewhere else.

If the restaurant is not too busy, you may even ask the host/hostess or a member of the waitstaff whether the restaurant serves many families. A vegetarian restaurant that is popular with other families may very well be a hit with your family, too.

Finding a great, family friendly vegetarian restaurant is a win-win for your family. You get to enjoy fantastic dishes prepared specifically to appeal to your vegetarian tastes. Your kids get to enjoy the fun, eclectic environment that many vegetarian restaurants offer. By taking these few quick steps, you can ensure a great vegetarian dining experience for the whole family.

5 Tips to Choose the Best Restaurants in San Antonio

When you are trying to choose a restaurant in San Antonio, there are many items to take into consideration.

1. Money. The first thing to consider is your budget. Many restaurants have their menus online. If you cannot find an online menu, call the restaurant and ask them to send you one or ask them what is the price of the median and highest priced entrees. Keeping your budget in mind, you will be able to find a very reasonably priced pizza place to a very exquisite (and expensive) steak and seafood restaurant.

Check out the Dough Pizzeria Napolentana. This local pizzeria will satisfy any pizza aficionado.

In the mood for steak and seafood? Stop by Kirby’s Steakhouse for an elegant dining experience.

2. Type of Food. Next, consider the type of food you’re in the mood for. Although some of the best restaurants in San Antonio offer Mexican or Tex-Mex, there are many different types of foods. You have a wide variety to choose from.

Mi Tierra Restaurant and Bakery is located on Produce Row and is sure to please even the most difficult to satisfy Mexican food lover.

3. Resources to Find the Best Restaurants in San Antonio. How do you find the best restaurants in San Antonio? You can go online, use social media, talk to family and friends, or visit the local Chamber of Commerce. After you determine how much money you are willing to spend and the type of food you want to eat, you can narrow your choices down by perusing the information you have researched.

Food critics can also be a great source of information. You can bet the food critics have visited the best restaurants in San Antonio and have written reviews either on their blogs or websites about their experiences. The food critic’s review can be invaluable. They not only critique the food and drinks, they also will give their opinion about the staff. You can learn whether or not the staff is knowledgeable about the menu, the way the food is prepared, if the staff is educated to suggest wine pairings with certain food items, etc.

4. Purpose. Why are you going out to eat? If you are trying to impress an important client or taking your spouse out for a special dinner, you might want to consider one of the more upscale restaurants. In this case, as a hotel concierge. They are familiar with the area and will help you choose one of the best restaurants in San Antonio.

5. Kid-Friendly? Call restaurants and ask them if they are kid-friendly. If you have small children, it’s a good idea to go out to eat early, usually before 6 o’clock since most restaurants are busy between six and eight. Many people dismiss the idea of eating at a nice restaurant because they have small children. However, you can dine at one of the best restaurants in San Antonio if you go during a time that will not disrupt the other diners.

Germ Free Vegetarian Dining: 5 Disease Culprits You Won’t Encounter at A Vegetarian Restaurant

These days, it seems like germs are everywhere. From the swine flu to the avian flu, we seem to be under siege from deadly bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, when you dine in a vegetarian restaurant, there are some illnesses that you can forget about for an hour or two. Here are 5 germs that you are less likely to encounter when you choose a vegetarian dining option for your next meal.

1. Salmonella
This illness-causing bacteria is carried primarily in meat and eggs. Most often, people ingest the bacteria when eating meats or eggs that have not been fully cooked. Since your vegetarian meal contains no meat or eggs, you do not have to worry about proper preparation time.

Salmonella can sometimes spread from contaminated meat to other foods and surfaces if the preparer touches the item after handling uncooked meat. Vegetarian restaurant kitchens are safe from any possibility of cross contamination. Even if a germ managed to get on your veggie before it arrived at the restaurant, the bug is eliminated when your chef washes your veggies before use.

2. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease
Rare but deadly, BSE is caused by a mutated protein that enters the body and causes the brain and spinal cord to degenerate, eventually leading to death. It is carried exclusively in meat products and is transmitted by consuming the affected beef. Your dinner at a vegetarian restaurant is guaranteed to be BSE-free.

3. E. coli
E. coli is a bacteria which produces toxins that can cause serious illness and even death, particularly among those with a weakened immune system. It is most commonly transmitted in undercooked meat, such as the hamburger-related outbreak on the West Coast a few years ago. While unwashed produce can occasionally contain E. coli, basic washing eliminates the bacteria. Simply put, as long as your restaurant is washing its vegetables before use, you’re completely safe.

If you’re still worried, go organic for your vegetarian dining. Certified organic farms were found to have a lower incidence of E. coli than other producers. If you want to be doubly sure that your meal is bacteria free, an organic vegetarian restaurant is less likely to have E. coli than other restaurants.

4. Shellfish poisoning
Nearly everyone has known someone who has gotten sick after a seafood dinner. Clams, mussels, oysters and scallops are the most common culprits. These two-shelled bottom feeders often build up toxins as they filter the water for their nutrients. When improperly cooked, those toxins remain in the meat, entering your system and leading to a few days of gastrointestinal misery. You can avoid any risk of shellfish poisoning by opting for a vegetarian dining option instead.

5. Clostridium perfringens
This is another illness-causing bacteria carried in poorly prepared meat and poultry. While the subsequent gastrointestinal upset is not usually fatal, it is weakening and can last for 24 to 48 hours after consumption. Most of us have experienced it at some time or another without knowing it, since studies have shown that the majority of the population has antibodies left over from previous infection. To save yourself from a case of the “stomach flu,” choose a vegetarian restaurant instead.

Dangerous, disease-causing bacteria lurk in incorrectly prepared meat, poultry and shellfish, and you can get your dose unknowingly from a meat-serving restaurant. Choose a vegetarian restaurant instead for a germ free dining experience.