The winner of our Dinner for Two contest has a special request for us: a vegetarian and/or vegan dinner. She was a little worried we wouldn’t be able to do it … but we certainly can. There are several restaurants that rate 4-5 (well, 4-4.6) stars that are very vegetarian friendly (and their reviews are all marked with the carrot symbol you see on the left). So no worries, Erin, we’ll feed you and your husband well!
Gone are the days when restaurants could steer vegetarians toward the salads and side dishes with a sniff and an odd look, even on Maui. The increasing awareness of the health benefits of a plant-based diet and an apparent increase in food-based allergies, intolerances and sensitivities has forced the chef’s hand — find a way to feed people what they need, or lose their business.
It doesn’t have to be onerous — for some it’s a challenge, and a welcome one. Watch a season of Top Chef and you’ll see that setting limits can actually inspire creativity. This is as true in cooking as it is in poetry (think haiku) or painting (the edge of the canvas means something).
This is a much better attitude than the one my father’s family took toward vegetarians. French Canadians from Fort Kent, Maine, they could not imagine choosing a meatless life. When my mother became a veggie in 1977, it drove them crazy. I remember her having to cover her plate with her hands to fend off my grampy’s chicken-breast-on-a-fork assaults. He and my grammy thought she was crazy. And I mean that literally. Of course, she looked like a moderate when we ate with her parents, who were macrobiotics in the 80’s.
Thanks to my mother and her younger sister, who opened the first vegetarian restaurant in Vermont, I grew up eating delicious vegetarian food. Today, James and I often eat an entirely vegetarian meal — even when we’re reviewing a restaurant. It’s not only possible, but you can eat well on Maui. Not every restaurant on Maui features enough veg-friendly dishes to satisfy everyone — and none is 100% vegan — but there are many places that aim to please. Not only are those restaurants marked with a vegetarian-friendly symbol in Top Maui Restaurants — but I am also adding a little article to the update email for the book on this topic.
(When y0u register the book with us, you get an “update email” that lists any changes or additional thoughts I have as the year progresses.)