I’m not going to sugarcoat it: it’s a hard life for a vegetarian. The meat-free options available at so many carnivore-catering restaurants only seem to involve a limp side salad or a soda. My high school cafeteria definitely thought that peanut butter and jelly was the only thing vegetarians like to eat. And most annoying of all, at home Grandma always tried to convince me that her famous soup was vegetarian—that chicken stock “doesn’t count.”
When I went off to a liberal, modern, exciting university, I was optimistic for the plentiful and diverse vegetarian options that Emory would provide. Images of Mediterranean veggie burgers and Tofu Vindaloo swirled in my head. Stepping onto campus, I was met with a different culinary world than I had so happily envisioned. The options for me weren’t as abundant, and the variety was lacking, but there were silver linings. Here are some key tips for maintaining a healthy and varied diet with a campus meal plan:
#FreshmanFears: Vegetarian Choices at the Duc
The biggest complaint about vegetarian dining, and all Emory dining, is the lack of variety. But to this I say, try harder! There are many options for vegetarians that we just don’t think off:
1. Just because you can’t eat the turkey and salami doesn’t mean you can’t get a sandwich from the deli line. Don’t worry about the Duc workers’ stares when you say “no meat”; they’ll forget about you as soon as they notice another kid trying to steal a backpack full of bananas up front.
2. Check out the stir-fry station. It always has tofu.
3. Try mixing fresh veggies from the salad bar into pasta from the pasta station.
4. Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
5. Top your salad with a veggie burger.
The combinations are everywhere!
Dooley Dollar Veg Havens
1. If you are looking for places other than the Duc, head on over to Organic To Go at the Rollins School of Public Health. It may seem far, but it’s really only a five minute walk from Longstreet. Organic To Go offers many vegetarian sandwiches (hot and cold): soups, pastas, salads, and pizza! All of these options are delicious and well worth the Dooley Dollars, trust me.
2. Behind Woodruff you’ll find Goodfriend’s Grill at the Marcus Hillel Center. This restaurant is kosher, so it has a whole menu without any meat, except for fish. They take Dooley Dollars and have delicious options like a Ricotta, Nutella, Fruit Preserve Panini and a Quinoa Salad.
At first glance, the vegetarian options at Emory seem paltry, but if you look a little deeper there are options and variety for everyone. Mixing and matching stations at the Duc, or walking an extra eight minutes for dinner can make the world of difference for us herbivores. I’m just glad I no longer have to constantly reject my grandma’s soup!