Eating Vegan at Dave and Buster's As a vegan, dining out at restaurants can be difficult, if not downright stressful, due to many restaurants lacking vegan options on their menus. Not only do you have to ask a plethora of questions to your server, but you run the risk of getting weird looks or judgmental statements from those who are not vegan. While Dave and Buster's is known for its meat and dairy products, there are some vegan options that you can choose from.
Vegan Options at Dave and Buster's
While there are certainly not an abundance of vegan-friendly meal options to choose from on the menu, Dave and Buster's has a few vegan options. Before you consider ordering anything off the menu, always be sure to ask whether or not any of the products are made with butter or any other hidden animal products (like certain types of sugar), or if they are prepared in a way in which cross-contamination might occur.
Looking at the online menu, you will notice a few dishes that are vegan options.
- Steamed Edamame
On the started menu, you will find that Dave and Buster's has steamed edamame. These salted snacks are made out of edamame (a podded, immature soybean) and kosher salt, and they are steamed in water and pan tossed. In addition to being meat and dairy-free, they edamame are also naturally gluten-free.
- Potato-based Products
Dave and Buster's does have a lot of potato-based meal products. However, many of them come loaded with meat and dairy items like cheese and bacon. Dave and Buster's has tater tots, baked potatoes, and fries (regular and sweet potato) that you can order without additional toppings or butter. Since the base ingredient in these dishes are potatoes, you can ask your server that the potatoes be prepared to your specifications - no cheese, meat, or butter. Also, you can ask that your food gets prepared separately from other orders on cleaned equipment. That way, you can try to avoid cross-contamination from the kitchen.
If you are unsure about how the potatoes are prepared (for example, whether or not potatoes are seasoned with Parmesan or butter), there is no harm in calling ahead and asking for clarification.
- Side Salad Options
Dave and Buster's currently features three side salads on its menu, all of which traditionally contain cheese. Out of these three options, two are meatless - the fresh garden salad and the crisp apple pecan salad. If the salad is made fresh to order, the cheese can be kept off the plate. However, you will have to specifically ask your server whether or not this can be done. Also, there are many salad dressings that are vegan. Be sure to ask for their vegan salad dressing options or play it safe and opt for no dressing.
Unfortunately, it seems that all of the larger salad dish options are made with meat and are topped with cheese.
- Swapping to Portobello
At Dave and Buster's, you can swap out any of their burger patties for a portobello mushroom patty. You will have to be mindful of what else is normally placed onto the burger you are swapping out. Be aware that they will cook the burger to menu specifications (for example, adding cheese to a burger that normally is made with cheese) if you do not request it be prepared without those ingredients.
There is also a Grilled Portobello and Veggie Sandwich on the menu at Dave and Buster's. While this seems like it would be a great option for vegans, you should be aware that the onions used in it are caramelized. Caramel is often mixed with butter or cream, making it not vegan. You will have to ask that the chefs hold the caramelized onions and Swiss cheese.
Make sure to ask if the buns contain any dairy products. Burgers can be served without buns; just expect to get some weird looks from people when you ask them to hold the bun in addition to the meat and cheese!
- Chips and Salsa
When in doubt, go the chips and salsa route. While plain chips and salsa do not appear on most menus (in favor of loaded nacho dishes), Dave and Buster's can easily prepare this dish for you. Tortilla chips - the kinds of chips served in restaurants, as well as most unflavored kinds that appear on store shelves - are naturally vegan. Also, almost all brands of salsa are also vegan.
It is difficult to feel like you are getting a full meal from just chips and salsa, so be sure to ask if you can also pair your chips and salsa with other vegan sides and sauces, like guacamole and pretzel bites. Just be aware that you will have to request that the pretzel bites come plain; otherwise, they will put cheese on them, as the standard recipe calls for.
- Build Your Own Vegan Tacos
If your local Dave and Buster's location has taco options on the menu, you can request to build your own taco. Like chips, corn and tortilla shells tend to be naturally vegan. Black beans, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole can make for great tacos and do not contain animal products. If they list rice as an option, make sure to ask if they add butter or oil to their rice during the preparation process.
Bring Your Own Sauces and Dips
As strange as this sounds (and looks to onlookers), you are at your leisure to bring your own sauces and dips with you into a restaurant. There are a slew of brands out there that specifically made for vegans and some that are accidentally vegan.
If you order a baked potato, for example, you can ask that the potato be left plain so that, when it arrives at your table, you can dress it up as you choose.
Eating vegan can be challenging at times, but it is exciting when you find things on a menu that you can eat. For those of you who are new to veganism, or who have never been to Dave and Buster's, know that it is okay for you to ask questions about the food on the menu. Generally-speaking, you should be able to get potatoes and portobello and veggie burgers or sandwiches made specifically to your request, and chips and salsa are always available. It is also okay for you to bring your own dressings, sauces, and dips. You will not be the first or last person to ask a server about vegan options at Dave and Buster's.
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