RE: Travel & Eat on the Road All Week - HELP!
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:42 PM
My favorite for road trips is Ruby Tuesday. They're everywhere and the salad bar is great--lots of raw veggies (obviously) but also chickpeas, edamame, and sometimes black beans or a three-bean salad too. You can also order the guacamole with chips (made to order, so just ask for no cheese garnish), and the side vegetables can be made without butter/margarine, just be sure to specify.
Other popular chains are also vegan friendly--Chipotle's black beans and rice are vegan, so you can always get a burrito or bowl there, just skip the cheese and sour cream and choose a salsa instead. Almost any place can accommodate you if you ask and stay flexible. Go to the restaurant's website and look for nutrition information, and the allergen pages are especially helpful because they have to list out dairy and eggs. There are orgs that also publish lists which you can find by googling "vegan fast food" or "vegan chain restaurants" etc. Here's one: http://www.vegcooking.com/ChainRestaurants.asp and there are many others. Google Maps is also usually helpful, or if you have an iPhone I think VegOut is worth the small application price. (It's basically Happy Cow on your phone.)
Beyond those options, I take a soft-sided cooler, freeze some bottles of water before I go (and drink them as they melt) and pack it with stuff like baby carrots, hummus, whole wheat pita bread, and boxed soymilk (which doesn't need chilling until opened). Unsalted nuts or a jar of natural-style peanut butter also travels well. Lara Bars are a good snack (vegan, just dried fruit and nuts). And you can also find instant soups that work with the hot water dispensers on most water coolers or in the microwave, like the MacDougall ones. I've done this daily for up to 2 months on the road. Trust me, you'll feel a ton better than eating restaurant food all the time and it saves money too.
I also look up Whole Foods, large grocery store, or health food store in every town, before I go. Try http://www.happycow.com (restaurants too). And the Kickstart site has a vegan restaurant guide as well.
I've never starved! And the friends I've traveled with actually enjoy our little picnics. That's what those rest stops are really for.