• vegan chain dining: il fornaio

    August 21st, 2011quarrygirllas vegas, more restaurants (not LA)

    we may not like it, but on occasion we vegans have to travel to unvegan-friendly places or dine out with omnivores…and sometimes we find ourselves at the most dreaded establishments of all: chain restaurants. don’t fret though, team QG is here to help! here at the blog we are committed to helping vegans find edible food at “normal restaurants”. we’ve covered fast food joints like chipotle and baja fresh, as well as higher brow chains like CPK and macaroni grill. today we’re all about the super tasty and vegan-friendly il fornaio.

    if you haven’t been to il fornaio yet, you are missing out on one of the best vegan chain dining experiences available. their freshly baked ciabatta is unmatched, and it’s FREE with every meal. not just that, but their vegan options are plentiful…

    insalata di bietole (no cheese): arugula, beets, sliced fennel, red onions and belgium endive drizzled with balsamic reduction. $10.99

    they specify on their menu that their minestrone soup is vegan, but they also have lots of other carbs and leaves for us herbivores to enjoy…plus, in my experience, the staff is very knowledgeable.

    our last visit to il fornaio was a trip to the las vegas location (located inside the NY NY hotel). my husband ordered the veganized insalata di beetle by omitting the cheese—the arugula, thinly-sliced beets, fennel, onion shreds and endive drizzled in balsamic made for a great meal.

    pizza vegetariana (served with or without cheese---OBVIOUSLY order w/o!): fresh asparagus, grilled zucchini, fresh tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, button mushrooms, and basil. $14.59

    pizza is another fantastic vegan option at il fornaio, if you’re willing to go cheeseless. on our latest trip, i opted for the vegetariana, which came with fresh asparagus, grilled zucchini, fresh tomatoes, bell peppers (disgusting, i left those off!), button mushrooms, and basil. the waiter assured us that the sauce and crust were vegan, and right on the menu there was a cheeseless option.

    our main courses were wonderful, our bread basket was always full, the wine was flowing, and the staff was able to answer all of our questions about the food’s veganocity. what more could i asked for?!

    if you have to dine at a chain, il fornaio is a great bet.

    check out their website for more info and locations, and please always double check that everything is vegan when ordering.


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