• vegan chain dining: macaroni grill

    August 2nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants

    chain dining. most of us have to do it sometimes, and for vegans it can be difficult. luckily for us though, the international chain romano’s macaroni grill can serve up a more than decent animal-free meal.

    i have written about macaroni grill before, but since then they have added a whole “vegetarian options” section to there website, that is constantly updated with which foods do and don’t contain animal products. they’ve even got handy little indicators to let you know which items contain eggs “(E)”, dairy “(D)”, and honey “(H)”. this pdf is a vegan’s dream come true. just be sure to check it before each visit to the restaurant, because it changes constantly.

    on our recent trip to macaroni grill in westlake village, we started with a huge hunk of peasant bread, some olive oil, and red wine. the bread at this place is so damn good, i could probably make a meal of it alone….however that would be a bit rude, considering it’s free and all.

    create your own pasta: penne, arrabbiata, fresh broccoli, fresh mushrooms, fresh spinach.

    for our entree, we both went with the “create your own pasta.” with this dish you get to customize your meal any way you want it, from the sauce, to the noodles, to the vegetables. after consulting with the vegetarian guide and letting our waitress know we were vegan, i ordered mine with penne pasta, arrabbiata sauce, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach. all the ingredients were fresh and tasty—i really can’t complain!

    create your own pasta with spaghetti, olive oil, grape tomatoes, fresh broccoli, fresh spinach.

    my husband ordered his “create your own” dish with spaghetti, garlic and olive oil sauce, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. i tried a bit of this, and it was fantastic—even better than what i ordered. it’s kinda sad though, because the “garlic and olive oil” sauce is now missing from macaroni grill’s online menu. hopefully they haven’t discontinued it forever, because it really was their best vegan sauce. anyways, if you see it—it’s a good bet!

    overall, i wouldn’t recommend vegans seek out macaroni grill and eat there…but if you are stuck in a small town, or dining with omnivores, at least they have some good pasta options. just be sure to examine the vegetarian guide and allergen info…!


7 responses to “vegan chain dining: macaroni grill” RSS icon

  • I worked at the Macaroni grill, and stopped ordering their pasta because they were cooking the noodles with butter in the sauce pan, before they would add the sauce. I’m not sure if it was just the macaroni grill I worked at, or if they all do this. I just wanted to mention it so vegans could ask them not to use butter in the cooking.

  • That place serve veal!!! I will stay away from it as vegan.

  • I worked at the Macaroni Grill in Santa Clarita, and we didn’t butter the noodles. That’s the point of the Vegetarian Info, to let people know what has dairy in it ETC.

    Just please don’t eat anything fried. There is no separate fryer!

  • A friend of mine who lived that way would often go to their Monrovia location but it’s closed down now.
    Good to know something vegan can be prepared there if it’s the only place around for lunch or something.

  • “That place serve veal!!! I will stay away from it as vegan.”

    Here we go again…

  • As you infer, QG, Mac Grill is imperfect, BUT, it would be amazing if all chains started doing this on their menus. How hard is it to add a little V for Vegan symbol on a few menu items? Or post nutrition info online so we can all do our research. I’d still avoid chains, BUT, great for trips to small towns and other desperate situations. 🙂

  • Thanks for the information. My family is heading to Orlando this weekend, and we’ll be arriving at the airport after kiddo’s dinner time, so I was relieved to find out that there is a Macaroni Grill in the main terminal and that there are vegan options there. (The link veggie info above is super-helpful, since I’ve never been to a Macaroni Grill!)

    You have helped us avoid what could have been a low blood sugar meltdown! Thank you.

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