Ethical Eating

Nine Ways to Order Meat-Free Without Annoying Your Server

Face it; despite vegetarianism being a rather widely accepted lifestyle,

there's still people who cringe or roll their eyes when you tell them you don't eat meat. Most of the time you can brush it off, but if that's the kind of  reaction you get from someone who is in charge of your food, you start to get a bit nervous.

Since those of us who aren't down with the bacon and beef are liable to

run into awkward gastronomical situations from time to time (an obligatory work meeting at a restaurant where everything on

the menu previously had a pulse or a blind date at a Ted Nugent imagined restaurant) it pays to have a back-up plan to simply "being polite," tipping well, and making do with a side salad and stale roll. 

Below are 9 things to say when ordering meatfree so your server won't hate you:

9. "It's the damnedest thing. I'm allergic to all animal proteins...Except cheddar. Feel free to pile that shit on there."

8.  "I had open heart surgery earlier this week and my doctor has suggested I downgrade from six bacon-wrapped steaks a day to something like this spinach quiche here on the menu, minus the ham chunks."

7.  When you see the server approaching to take your order, turn to someone else at your table and "casually" say just loud enough for them to hear; "It's strange. Every time I eat something meatfree in a restaurant I wind up tipping, like, 35% and I never realize 'til I get home that my math was off."   

6. "My boyfriend bet me $500 bucks that I couldn't go one month without meat." (Bonus points if someone in your group sneaks in a subtle That's what she said.)

"For every dollar I save on not ordering meat in a restaurant this month, I'm donating two to save orphaned golden doodle puppies and injured baby otters." 

4. "I'm just so jaded and heartbroken after the Taco Bell thing that I can't bring myself to love another seasoned beef."

3. "I'm paying penance for eating nothing but pork chops in 2010. Literally. Nothing but chops."

2. "It's not my fault. My hippie, bunny-hugging girlfriend made me watch a triple feature of 'Food Inc.', 'Fast Food Nation' and 'Super Size Me' last night."

1. "I'll have a side salad, a roll, and your most expensive bottle of wine."

Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tricia Woolfenden