After my last negative experience at Zoe's Kitchen, I was really tempted to not even go to any non-vegan place again. But I remember the animals, and how they're the most important part. Remember that supply and demand thing from the other post? More demand for vegan options means more vegan options and less animals. So, I decided to give it another shot.
My husband got some great news at work, and we decided to go to dinner to celebrate! We called up my mom and invited her too. I told Kevin to pick since it was all about him and his exciting news! He settled on Bertucci's.
On their menu, literally nothing is vegan. Often times, when we go out to eat, I just don't eat. But this time around, I was gonna try and see what they could do to accommodate me. It's hard to find places we can both eat, and if we can add Bertucci's to that list, even better. We had an EXCELLENT waitress whom we all loved. She was so patient with all of my questions, and I had a ton.
I find that saying I'm allergic to food means they take more seriously making sure they avoid what I can't eat. I hate lying, I really do, but allergies pack a bigger punch than vegan. I had an idea of what I wanted after looking over the menu, and she went above and beyond making sure everything was vegan.
I wish I had taken photos, but I did not. But I wanted to share with you guys what I ate and learned from the experience so you have that knowledge, and next time you're out and someone suggests Bertucci's you can be like, I'm in!
The olive oil dip for their rolls contains cheese, so stay away from that. The basic Insalata can be made vegan. It originally contains: mixed lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers, red onions, and Romano cheese. Nothing is premade, so they put the salad together dry, and you can avoid whatever you don't want. I got mine without the cheese obviously, and without the onions because I hate them, and added extra tomatoes and black olives, because I love them both. Then, I got olive oil and vinegar for my dressing. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was still good!
I also ordered two sides as well. The first is Roasted Tuscan Vegetables. The original ingredients are: zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, and broccoli in olive oil with rosemary and crushed garlic. All of these are cooked in a large ramekin type dish in their brick oven. So, you can rest assure it's not cooked directly on a grill where they just had chicken. The second is the Roasted Red Potatoes. Turns out, these are originally cooked in butter, so I asked the waitress to add the potatoes to the ramekin of veggies, that way I know it's all being cooked in the same dish, not touching anything else.
Here's what's weird: apparently, all of Bertucci's olive oil they cook with, except for the dressing (like the olive oil and vinegar I had for my salad dressing), they include cheese. This also included my veggies. My waitress was knowledgeable enough to verify this before having my meal cooked, so she came out and told me that she told them to just roast the veggies dry, with no oil, and left me the oil and vinegar from my salad to add some of that if I wanted to.
Of course, I made my mom try some before I ate it to verify it was in fact oil free. Then, I picked through it to make sure I didn't see anything weird. She even put the ramekin it was cooked in in a plate, that way I knew where it came from and it didn't go anywhere else, which I greatly appreciated.
Everything was delicious! That brick oven really adds a great flavor to the veggies. I was pleasantly surprised by how much this waitress went through for me. And now I know for next time how to order what I want to ensure it's vegan.
In typical Lyle fashion, we basically became best friends with the waitress and she told us all about her and her adorable daughter and I told her to look into banking. Us Lyle's can't help but be friendly!
Also, I feel it's worth mentioning, their minestrone soup contains chicken broth. I would've asked her more questions about other products but I figured the 500 questions I asked her already was enough for the night. However, next time, I'm going to inquire about their pomedoro sauce, which is their tomato sauce. Since they have eggplant, I could get the eggplant, which is fire roasted on a separate plate just like the veggies, with the pomedoro and no cheese. One step at a time though.
If you head to Bertucci's, make sure you're very specific about ordering. If you have a good waitress that will make it easier, but either way, be vigorous! Most places are willing to work with you, but you have to do your part too.