Posted by: conradvisionquest | May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I wasn’t going to mention my birthday, but the huz did something so cool that I had to blog about it.  Of course, it involves food.

There’s this little town close to where we live that is really coming into their own.  They have cute little boutiques, a wine shop, a few restaurants, day spa, outdoor gear shops, bookstore, you get the idea.  All locally owned and operated.  Mom and pop places.  Also a cool art scene with festivals.  Dog friendly.  Anyway, we discovered this new restaurant on the strip and had planned to go back.

On the eve before my birthday, I was informed by the huz to be ready to go out by 6pm, that he was taking me to a secret destination.  On the way there, he told me that he called our new restaurant a few days ago and told them he was bringing me in for my birthday dinner, and that I was a vegan (huz is vegetarian) and could they make us a special dinner.  The chef spoke with the huz on a couple of occasions and told him what he was planning to prepare.  They even made a special trip to the grocery for our meal!  I was so impressed by this thoughtfulness.  And I was excited to be eating a meal out that wasn’t french fries and a side salad!

For appetizers we had stuffed zucchini, and the entrée was portabella mushrooms with squash, marinara sauce,  red pepper coulis drizzle and a side of rice.  It was amazing and satisfying!  The chef delivered our dishes, and the neighboring tables were ooohing and aaahhing!  What a thoughtful birthday meal.  I am still in awe.

I am learning, even where we live which is seemingly the most un-vegan-friendly area of the country for eating out, that most restaurants are very accommodating.  You just have to ASK.  That’s the trick. I think in the beginning I was too quick to dismiss a restaurant if the menu didn’t have a vegan dish.  Most kitchens have the makings for delicious vegan meals.  Rice, pasta, vegetables…  Just ask.  Make friends with the chef in your favorite restaurant.  Eating out vegan doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  It can be what you make it.  Buon appetito!

PS: Don’t ask how old I am.  I’m old enough that I don’t want to tell anyone how old I am.  Old enough that no one had to hold my hair back the next morning.  Old enough to remember when Barnaby Jones was still on tv.  Well, now I’ve said too much!



  1. Happy Birthday!! That was so sweet of your husband. I’d say he’s a keeper:)

    I live in Louisville, Kentucky and we’re lucky enough to have a few vegetarian/vegan options for restaurants, but most of them leave a lot to be desired. I dream of opening my own vegan restaurant here, but that would mean I’d have to be rich, and, well, I’m not. *sigh*

    But while we don’t have a lot of vegan options, we do have a great dining scene here in Louisville. My husband and I are thinking of starting a vegan dining group, and meeting with local chefs ahead of time to see if they are up to the challenge of creating a vegan meal for the group. To me, if you’re a good chef, you’re able to meet the demands of all of your clientele, including vegans. We’ll see.

    But I hope you’re having a great birthday!!


    • thanks for the birthday wishes, amanda!
      the huz and i always “joke” about opening up a veg restaurant, but we never would because we know how much work you have to put in. but i have great ideas for one! a vegan dining group is an awesome idea! let us know if that comes to fruition…

  2. Well happy birthday to you!!!
    It’s so nice you got to enjoy a beautiful dinner with your love. 🙂
    I’m fortunate to live in an area of the country that has a wealth of vegan restaurants. …including a local vegan pizza place with pie to die for!
    …but believe me…I don’t take it for granted….I’ve traveled enough to know that side salads and french fries are sometimes just a staple.

    • thanks! yeah, don’t take those vegan places for granted! i would love love love to have a vegan pizza place around.

  3. Happy birthday Wendy! Hope you had a great day 🙂 I am so happy for you that you had such a delicious vegan meal. I feel very lucky that I have discovered a vegan place in Brisbane that does amazing Asian-style food, but I understand how frustrating it must be to not have many options. How wonderful that the chef took on that challenge!

    • yeah, i thought it was pretty cool and made me realize you can eat vegan pretty much anywhere. thanks for the comment, esther!

  4. Happy birthday to you!

    • thanks!

  5. Happy birthday to you!!! That meal sounds SO yummy :D.

    And thank you for the restaurant tips! Eating out (as a new vegan) has been a challenge. But you are absolutely right (as I was slowly discovering) that you’ve just got to ask and be proactive about it.

    • thank you!

  6. Yay Wendy! Yay birthday! Happy Birthday! What a thoughtful hubby… 🙂

    • thank you, sosae!

  7. Happy belated birthday! This sounds like an amazing birthday dinner! What a thoughtful thing done by your husband. I agree, most restaurants will accommodate for vegans or vegetarians if you just ask.

    • thanks for the happy b-day! yeah, i was blown away both with the food and the gesture from husband. thanks for stopping by and commenting!


    • thank you!

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