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Restaurant Nightmares

Tiffany wrote asking about how business travelers 
deal with restaurants. Actually that's the toughest
assignment VLF vegetarians have. Conversation at
the business dinner usually revolves around your
"weird" dietary choices, rather than getting the
accounts you came for, or advertising your
employer's business. 

So what do you do? 

It's almost an impossible situation. You
should always try to contact the restaurant
in advance, by phone. Ask them the usual
questions, and try to get them to understand.
If you don't speak the language of the country
you are in, try to have a hotel clerk call for
you in advance. 

It is always best to try to eat in advance.
You can pick up some items at a local food
store. You should always carry some "ememgency"
food in your suitcase.

I know of some business travelers who pack a
small steamer and some packages of Dixie Diner's
food--and some plain brown rice. These don't 
spoil, and need no refrigeration. In a pinch
you can buy some bread and prepare these in
your hotel room. You can supplement these
with some salad at the restaurant. 

You need to offer your other diner cohorts
some excuses...I try to stay away from the
food topic. Some of your customers may be
very overweight and even smoke. Your dietary
choices will make them feel uncomfortable because
they know they should be doing it also. So it's
best to stay away from the food topic. If you
are starved it just makes the experience worse.
Better to try to go to the restaurant almost
full--of the food you brought for yourself.

Mike Rosenblatt