Vegetarian Options @ College and Beyond

24 Nov

I discovered this new blog – Veg Blog and I was intrigued by one topic… what are the meal options in our former colleges.  It’s interesting,  because I am “lucky” that when I decided to go vegetarian, I did it in an environment that makes it easier for me… where I have the yoga center I attend to help educate me on recipes, etc.  And the “lucky” statement is a contradictory one… because maybe it would really been luckier if I had had discovered vegetarianism and a healthier lifestyle earlier in life, rather than later.

But what if I had been a vegetarian when I went to Northwestern?  Granted, back then, I would have laughed at anyone who would have told me that I would become vegetarian… that was just not in my realm of consideration back then.  However, I do remember we used to visit Norris Center to have stir fry and they did have tofu as part of the alternatives.  I may have even had it once.

Sparked by the Veg Blog Topic… I searched Northwestern University’s current  meal options.  I was kind of disappointed.  Even though, I’ve seen Evanston now has a Whole Foods, only one of the over 10 options to eat and dine for students sponsored by the university, only ONE mentions openly the have vegetarian options:


Foster- Walker

1927 Orrington Avenue (map, hours)
Phone: (847) 491-5086

Come watch the game on Foster-Walker’s big screen TV while enjoying your delicious meal. Foster-Walker’s West Dining Room offers a variety of made-to-order specialties like freshly tossed salads, grilled sandwiches, pastas, burritos, and stir-fry. The West Dining Room also provides soup, cereal and desserts. Vegetarian burger options are available. Halal items are also available upon request.

Attached to the west side of Foster Walker is the newly renovated C-Store. There you can find a variety of Smart Market salads, sandwiches and wraps, along with many bottled beverages, snacks, ice cream and toiletries. They also have a new section in the Foster Walker C-Store called nuGreen Market, which features organic and or natural products.

I would like to think, that vegetarian options are so prevalent across the campus, that they feel they don’t feel they need to particularly highlight them in the descriptions.

Here are my recommendations to those students (or some former students)  who want to follow a vegetarian lifestyle while still eating out:

  1. Ask for something made to order.  Order a sandwich with a whole-wheat bread, or a salad without animal based ingredients.  I ask at Subway for sandwich artists to change their gloves, and cut my sandwich using a disposable knife.  At Ponte Fresco, a local salad place, I ask people to use new cutting boards.  Most places will accommodate, and if they don’t, they do not deserve your business.
  2. Mix & Match.  Even though I am not a big fan of just eating side dishes, I have had great satisfying meals by mixing and matching the side dishes of several different entrees. 
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask how entrees are prepared.  Never tell people upfront you’re asking because you’re vegetarian.  People have very different ways of defining what vegetarians eat or not.  Just ask how the dish is prepared.  Meat-eaters are usually very eager to mention the bacon, the ham, the chicken stock, etc. 

And if you’re college-bound, try to have a mini fridge and a George Foreman grill in your dorm or apartment so you can help yourself to healthy eating without the limitations of people who are not ready to embrace a more healthful, vegetarian lifestyle.  You’ll never go wrong by making your own meals…  believe me, it’s made a blogger out of me.

One Response to “Vegetarian Options @ College and Beyond”

  1. Ryan November 26, 2007 at 9:43 pm #

    Great recommendations for eating out! It’s usually one of the most daunting parts about first going veg. #3 is the biggie, and continues to be for me.

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