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Dining out in Key West with a vegan, a vegetarian and a meat-and-two-veg man

Updated on February 25, 2016
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Yes, a vegan, vegetarian and meat eaters too

I never thought that eating out could be so complicated. Imagine that you're dining out with a vegan who also follows a gluten free diet, a reasonably strict vegetarian and a man who doesn't consider a meal is a meal without a big chunk of meat on the plate, as long as it's plain cooking and 'nothing fancy'.

And then me - a less than strict vegetarian who insists on a glass of wine with dinner, a picky nine year old child, and, thank goodness, a lady who will eat anything that's put in front of her.

Compound this by multiplying the problem by twelve or so because this wasn't just for a single dinner, this was eating out for a long weekend. Phew.

You see, this was a family holiday in the Florida Keys and that's the last place you'd think would be a problem when there are almost as many restaurants in Florida as there are pelicans. Restaurants are everywhere. But try finding one to suit that little lot. Our happy little group ranged in age too - from nine years old to over seventy - which caused its own problems - and the odd temper to flare!

Bear in mind too that this was a 100% English family. The two of us who live in South Florida were perfectly accustomed to local foods but got a little tired of explaining what conch chowder is and that, if you see 'dolphin' on the menu, it doesn't mean Flipper...


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Oh dear vegan, can't you eat eggs just this once?

No.

Oh dear vegetarian, can you forget that the French onion soup uses beef stock?

Certainly not.

Oh dear meat eater, can't you do without meat just for this one meal?

Nope.

Oh my dear nine year old child, please can you stop picking your nose?

Huh?

Oh boy ... this is going to be a long weekend!

First, examining the menus

Our happy little band wouldn't consider entering a restaurant or café without examining the menu first. Luckily, they are always posted outside. This would normally take about twenty minutes during which the assembled company searched the menu for something they were happy to eat.

'OK' the vegan would say 'I'll just go in and ask if they can do the rice dish without the egg'.

'While you're there, can you find out if they use vegetarian cheeses?' said the strict vegetarian.

'And make sure that they do a steak without any fancy sauces.' piped up the meat eater.

'Do they do ice cream sundaes?' asked the nine year old child.

'Oh for goodness sake' said I 'just make sure that they have red wine by the glass.'

After five minutes he'd return. 'No good.' So off we'd go to the next restaurant to repeat the process...

The Key West Bucket List
The Key West Bucket List

This book sells like hot cakes and I'm not surprised.

It isn't the average tourist guide - this is how to have the full local Key West experience. I highly recommend this slightly funky but fun book.

 

Brief interlude

If you're coming to Florida and heading to the Keys, I hope you don't have the same problems I had! It's always a great idea to read up about a place before visiting though, don't you agree? I find that I get so much more from a vacation if I've discovered more about the place before I go.

Here is a recommended book - it is incredibly popular.

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Images © Andy Royston.

At least we were getting exercise

Trudging from one restaurant to another - and another - and another - was certainly building up our appetites. Well, we were all starving. Then the two of us who were iPhone fanatics started browsing through restaurant apps ...

'Hey, there's a vegetarian restaurant just a few blocks away!'

'Hmm, that should be OK then.'

'Do they do proper ice cream or just some weird vegetarian stuff?'

'I suppose they have red wine?'

It seemed we were onto a winner and then ...

'You won't get me in one of those places with all that tofu malarkey. I don't know why you're all so fussy. All I want is a nice well-done steak, some mashed potatoes and none of those fancy foreign sauces.'

OK, here we go again...

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Let's drive on a bit...

We'd exhausted every restaurant within walking distance so it was back to the car and on to the next key. In the back seat, the iPhoners were tapping away at their restaurant apps coming up with suggestions and reading from online menus.

'Don't be silly, that's made with wheat flour.'

'No, I can't just pick the shrimp out and leave them on the side of the plate...'

'Chocolate ice cream? Yay!'

'Au poivre? What on earth is that? Pepper? Oh no. Why can't anyone make simple steak around here?'

'If I don't get a glass of wine soon...'

At last!

It had taken several hours. We'd driven far off the beaten track to a restaurant whose menu we'd studied on the phones. Everyone seemed to be happy ... at last.

'OK, I'm so hungry now that I'll settle for a salad and maybe that mushroom appetizer as long as they don't use butter or cream...'

'I don't care by now, I'm so hungry I could eat a horse. Well, no, I couldn't - figure of speech. The baked potato with vegetables will be fine for me...'

'Wow, chocolate and strawberry ice cream!'

'Hmm, looks like I'll make do with a burger, just as long as they don't put any fancy sauces on it...'

'Thank goodness, I'm going to get my glass of wine at last...'

Sorry sir, we're full

'Sorry sir, we don't have a table available'. What???? After all this? I was getting pretty grumpy with everyone. I was totally fed up of this lot and their picky diets. I was hungry, irritated and I wanted my wine! After all, I might be a half-hearted vegetarian but I've never found a problem with restaurant menus. Being halfhearted I'm fine with cheese, eggs and dairy. Hey, if it's eating fish or going hungry, I'll even have the salmon.

No, I was fine, anywhere was good for me...

Oh wait sir, there's a table out on the patio

The patio! Oh no! That's no good for me!

My Hitchcock moment

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The assembled group turned to look at me. 'What do you mean it's no good for you? You're only a half-hearted vegetarian after all. If we're OK here, you are. Why, you've said several times in the last couple of hours that you're so hungry you'll eat anything.'

They were puzzled. But oh dear, the patio. After all this palaver and all my grumbling, I couldn't be the one to reject this restaurant, could I? 'Oh, I said casually, gulping and probably going red in the face 'Um, nothing, nothing at all. Er, do you mind if I sit there with my back to the wall? Oh thank you, thank you. No, nothing's the matter, everything is perfectly OK. Wine please?'

You see, and I know that there's a proper word for it but it slips my mind, I am bird phobic. I won't eat outdoors because of the gulls and pelicans and herons and all the other blasted birds in Florida. I am Tippi Hedren. I sat with my back to the wall so I could keep watch for the slightest flicker of a feather. I was like a WW2 pilot constantly swiveling my head to make sure that the enemy wasn't in sight.

Then I'd nearly jump out of my skin because the nine year old child dropped her napkin and I thought it was a bird under the table. 'No, no, nothing. I'm perfectly alright. Could I get another glass of wine?'

Oh never mind that, just bring me the bottle.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

Thanks for reading - comments?

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Snakesmum - the red wine was the important thing! Thanks so much for reading and for your comments.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Loved this article, Brit! Could relate to it in a minor sort of way - I can't eat anything with tomatoes in. That's pretty hard in some restaurants, but often they are good at leaving them out of the meal if you ask.

      Quite a few places here now have gluten free and vegetarian meals on their menus, but as yet there isn't a lot of choice.

      Still smiling, thinking about your weekend, and glad you got your red wine. That's another thing I don't touch, but like the white kind. :-)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Esmonaco - thank you so much! Yes, getting my glass of wine was just perfect - I deserved it :)

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Ah Jackie you made my day with this story. I'm so glad you finally got a glass or bottle of wine. Thanks :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @bravewarrior - I don't remember exactly where it was but it was off the beaten track. I was so relieved that we'd found somewhere (with red wine) that I forgot to make a note of the restaurant name.

      Yes, the bird phobia is pretty annoying. I love that restaurant (again, I forget the name) at Islamorada except pelicans WILL come and sit on the patio railing!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      What an ordeal! I was a bit surprised to hear about your bird phobia. Living in Florida most of my life I prefer to sit outside if patio seating is available.

      Where did you finally end up eating? It's been forever since I've been to the Keys. I love it there!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DeborahDian: Thank you! Restaurants really do need to step up though :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MariaMontgomery: Thank you! Kids can be SO picky! I think I actually WOULD have put her on the plane :)

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      You have a great attitude! It can be challenging to meet all the dietary restrictions in our family, too!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Your wonderfully humorous story reminded me of the time we took my husband's then-15-year-old daughter to San Francisco. We had to pass up a lot of wonderful restaurants because she would eat only prime rib, burgers, & cheese pizza. I was ready put her back on the plane to her mom. If I had it to do over again, I would buy her a burger to to, and make her take it into the very nice restaurant and eat it while we dined on fabulous food. Thanks for a very entertaining lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Brite-Ideas: Yuk, me too. I don't want to risk it. My neighbour has a pet bird NOT in a cage. If ever I go into his house, he has to lock the bird in the bathroom!

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 3 years ago from France

      Oh dear. I think I would have gone spare! Thank goodness you got sorted... kind of. Bird watching has just taken on a whole new meaning... Thanks for sharing a fun but for you I guess frustrating story. :0)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DreyaB: I did get my wine in the end though - that's the main thing :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Andromachi: Strange isn't it? So many of us have our own phobias. Your sister probably would think I'm crazy and I can't imagine anyone being dog-phobic :) Good job it takes all sorts :)

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I understand your phobia - although I'm not afraid to sit outside - I could never have a pet bird; to me they're fine from a distance only! If one ever flew around me, I'd be gone so fast!

    • Andromachi profile image

      Andromachi 3 years ago

      I didn't know the difference between the vegan and the vegetarian. thanks for the info and how on earth did you manage i really admire you. its hard to have phobias. My sister is afraid of dogs any kind of dogs so I can understand a little.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Vincent Fleming: What is it with these kids? Thanks for visiting!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Loretta L: We did, thank you :)

    • Vincent Fleming profile image

      Vincent Fleming 3 years ago from Indiana

      That had to be a rough one lol. Funny, I thought I had it rough with my family. We do share children that like to pick their noses though :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @alienbritt: It certainly is! The huge range in ages makes a difference too.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 3 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      Sp funny. Definitely a laugh-out-loud lens. And I have sympathy too. My mum is dairy intolerant, I am gluten intolerant and terrified of eating anywhere there are wasps. Even my dear old Dad had food problems. My husband is the only person who will eat anything so, like you, we traipse from restaurant - even when it is just my husband and I. Eating out with just one dietary problem is challenging, I can imagine how difficult your weekend was. I hope you had plenty of fun too. :)

    • alienbritt profile image

      alienbritt 3 years ago

      It's so hard to go out to eat with people who have different food styles, definitely!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @bpratt lm: Thank you! It's lovely to find someone else who appreciates the problem :)

    • nikahexplorer profile image

      nikahexplorer 3 years ago

      Your lens is delicious :)

    • bpratt lm profile image

      bpratt lm 3 years ago

      My mother is a soy and gluten free mostly raw vegan, I am slowly getting back into the raw vegan life style, my boyfriend is a meat with every meal kinda guy, and my entire family wont eat anything unless it is smothered with cheese or gravy. I completely understand the pain of finding somewhere to eat that makes everyone happy! I have found though that if you tell a restaurant what you want chances are they will make it the way you want. Granted I live in Wisconsin so I have had to send several meals back because no one knows what is a no go for vegan eaters. I just moved from California so it was a slight shock! Your lens was comical and completely relateable, thanks for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Steve Dizmon: Definitely! Thanks for dropping by.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @RinchenChodron: Thanks for reading - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 3 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Enjoyed the Lens. And yes, food militants are very difficult folks with whom to deal.

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      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      I had to laugh! Thanks for a good read.

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 3 years ago

      I love my veggies, especially raw, but enjoy fish and poultry and gotta have a good steak occasionally!

    • profile image

      gkglsquidoo 3 years ago

      As a serious vegetarian I can appreciate all that Dude!

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      I can't imagine having to satisfy that group at all. Oh my, I think I would have lost it! "It" being my sense of humor........not funny at all when you are hungry!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      You are a brave soul. That is all I can say. LOL

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @RoadMonkey: It's similar - I worry about large butterflies because they remind me of birds! But I'm OK with them - it's more of a 'feathers thing' with me.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      Very funny. I sympathised with your hunger and laughed at the comments. I have only previously met one person who didn't like butterflies - they were "fluttery" and I wonder if that is the same as bird phobic?

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Adventuretravels: Thank you!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from Perth UK

      So funny - I admire your energy! Great lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Arachnea: Enjoy your lunch :) To be honest, I knocked back the wine so quickly, I don't remember what I had to eat!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Great lens. Love the Hitchcock moment. The title caught my attention so I couldn't pass it by. So, you got the wine, but what did you eat? ;) Gave me a chuckle. Thanks. It's lunch time.

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      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      I love vegetables as much as i love meat, i take it all, well done Florida :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CherylsArt: Oh, what good idea.I need to add it. Thanks!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      That makes for an interesting story. Did you mention the restaurant name some place, in case anyone else has a similar situation?

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Peggy Ingalls: I love that glass-to-go idea. I'll remember that next time!

    • Peggy Ingalls profile image

      Maggie Crooks 3 years ago from Purgitsville, WV

      I would have been in a liquor store buying one of those glass-to-go Merlots by this time. They're not the best, but they're not bad. I'm the one who will eat absolutely anything you put in front of me. You have some great recipes there. For the 9-year-old, I suggest goat's milk ice cream . He'll love it.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Kylyssa: I must work on that joke idea :) We all love Indian food - except the meat and two veg man who even considers quiche & mayonnaise to be 'foreign food'!

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Oops...and fairly often they have outstanding meat dishes as well.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      There's a joke in there somewhere, a vegan, a vegetarian, a meat eater, and a nine-year-old walk into a bar... or something like that. Accommodating a wide variety of tastes and beliefs can be difficult. I still don't see what's so hard about skipping meat to go out with veg friends or loved ones. I suggest you try some Indian restaurants. They often have awesome veg dishes and fairly often.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      @BritFlorida: HA!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @gottaloveit2: Aaaaaaaggggghhhhhhh!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: Thank you Rose! Or maybe there should be a Rubber Tofu Award too :)

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      Congrats! You're a Rubber Chicken Award contender. Thanks for the reminder, R

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 3 years ago

      Loved this! You and I could NEVER eat in the same restaurant - I sometimes feed the birds (only when others aren't around....)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Very crazy! Yes, I can remember exactly what I ate :)

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Isn't it crazy? Good job finally finding something and I hope you enjoyed your dinner. :-)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DeborahDian: If you come across that problem again,check out my vegetarian recipes!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      Our daughters have all gone through vegan and vegetarian stages, which has been challenging when I cooked for them.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      The title alone sounds like dinner at my parents house when all the kids are home. In the good news we have found one place near by that covers us all. I know how to get there but their name has escaped me at this moment. Sorry.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TerriCarr: It was a truly funny (and weird) situation. I so agree about restaurants - they should see that having a better selection is actually going to be profitable for them.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      Hilarious! It is amazing that restaurant chefs/owners have not caught on to the veggie/carnivore dining out dilemma. As the lone vegetarian, I get pretty tired of ONE choice. Alas, things are changing rapidly in many places, though maybe not as fast in the keys.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @joanzueway: Thank you for visiting!

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      joanzueway 3 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful lens

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @andyroyston: Thank you so much. It's fun but completely true :)

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      andyroyston 3 years ago

      I do love this one - such fun to read. Love your work!!!

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      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thanks for sharing your interesting experiences on being a half hearted vegetarian. :-)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @fotolizard: Thank you for visiting!

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      fotolizard 3 years ago

      Love the story. As an aspiring vegetarian I often find myself in these places and end up backing off of my own conviction so we can enjoy a meal together. Good to know I'm not the only one dealing with this. Thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing a great story. I am a newcomer to Suidoo and your lens helped me a lot to understand how to publish.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @favored: You're right:)

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      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      It may seem strange to some, but this type of thing does happen. Love the ongoing conversation. Some may not say these things outloud, but they are probably thinking it :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TanoCalvenoa: It's so tricky! If ever I had a restaurant (no chance) I'd be sure to make the menu SO flexible :)

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      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I guess the key is to find a restaurant with a wide variety of menu options. My particular family is absurd with meals for all. Some love red sauce, some hate it. Some love white sauce, others hate it. Some won't eat fish (I'm one of those), others love it. Two people can't have dairy, one person can't have red pepper in even the tiniest amount, I'm allergic to mushrooms ... etc ...

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you so much, Nancy. Good to know that we're not the only ones :)

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is so much fun to read and I enjoyed it tremendously. All this sounds rather familiar to me, when all my family get together, but I never looked at it this way. I love your humor and thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SteveKaye: Exactly :) We are so spoiled today.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Great story. This group had to work harder to find food that any group did 40,000 years ago. And back then people ate anything they could find. Sort of.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Doug48: Noooooo thank you Doug! I'm sure that your Birdy Birdy is delightful but I'd prefer it if he kept his distance :)

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      Doug48 4 years ago

      We have a Dove named Birdy Birdy I could Introduce you Brit? By the way You mean the tell me your Other Half (We all know you are the better half) Likes Beef Beans and Taters?

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      Enjoyed your humorous tale. I feel I can relate with trying to make a group of eaters with different eating preferences happy. Been there, done that. But, not in Florida.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      My thought is that it was all worth the fun just to get a view of that last photograph!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Amanda_Revel: Thank you! It was a very amusing weekend :)

    • profile image

      Amanda_Revel 4 years ago

      Great Lens, lovely photos, I really enjoyed reading.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice lens

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice lens

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @FlynntheCat1: As long as there's wine, I'm happy :) It's those blasted birds I can't stand!

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      Ha! This is a topic very close to my heart. I'm a terribly picky eater, people can't take me anywhere!

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image

      FlynntheCat1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: This and the post before are spam, you might want to delete ^_^

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: It's very, very complicated. There are different degrees of vegetarianism but loosely speaking, vegetarians don't eat anything that involves killing an animal. Cheese contains rennet which is an animal by product. Vegetarians who stick to the diet for health reasons don't always mind this so will eat regular cheese. People who are more concerned about animal rights wouldn't eat that so there are special cheeses made that don't contain rennet. It's extremely complex!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just want to know what the heck vegetarian cheese and vegetarian ice cream mean - aren't all cheeses and ice creams typically vegetarian??

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topicwww.autobahnindustries.com/casingpipe.php

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I really liked this article on food and cooking ..its great information..contents are understandable and worth to be noticedit is going to help people find their next insight into taste twisterswww.autobahnindustries.com

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: You raise a very valid point. Who are we to label people? Food manufacturers and restaurants need to be transparent and honest. Only then can people make their own decisions. Everyone has their own opinions about what they choose to eat and this should be respected.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I don't think it's important to label people as much as it's important to label food. I have a friend who raved to me about the food in the Keys, especially all the vegan options. It made me want to take a vacation there. There is a vegetarian restaurant in Chicago that has been meat-free since 1983. But they can make anything people order vegan if they don't want to eat eggs or dairy. My attitude is that everyone can eat vegan food, unless they have allergies. And in fact, I read once that some interfaith event a few years ago served vegan food, because they didn't have to worry about various dietary laws. So I consider it the universal option.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @getmoreinfo: It's so very complicated, isn't it? So many people, especially servers in restaurants, assume that vegetarians eat only vegetables. I find it easier to just say 'I don't eat meat or fish'. And then thee are some vegans who will eat honey and others who wont because an animal is involved. It seems that it's hard to label people!

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      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I found out the same thing about how different vegans are from vegetarians and there are several different types of vegetarians, some eat eggs and meat by products and others don't even use butter.