At a lunch meeting in a Durham restaurant a few weeks ago, Indy Editor Lisa Sorg and I sat down to plan this week's Dish issue. Our waitress caught Lisa's attention with a yummy, vegetable-filled description of the soup du jour. A longtime vegetarian, Lisa knew to ask: "Is it vegetarian?"
"Oh yes," the waitress assured us. "It's made with chicken stock, though, so it's vegetarian but not vegan."
Exchanges like that are one of the reasons we decided to examine local dining options for vegetarians, vegans and even those carnivores among us who occasionally crave a meatless meal.
Our diagnosis: We could use a few more options. More veggie-only restaurants. A wider variety of regular restaurants that offer truly "veggie-friendly" fare. Waitstaffs that know the vocabulary. Chefs who embrace the challenge of non-animal-based cuisine.