Sometimes your father-in-law just wants a burger and your mother-in-law would like a nice grilled chicken breast. And you don’t feel like compromising or explaining what vegan is and praying they get it right. And you don’t want to cook three meals or hit a drive-thru, you want to sit down. And you want it to be nice enough that your in-laws from Massachusetts feel it’s a special treat. And you can take your three kids 5 and under.
Where is this idyllic place you ask? No, it is not heaven. It is Squatters, a brew pub in downtown Salt Lake (also with locations in the airport and in Park City). None of us drink beer and I still like Squatter because they are more than just food and beer. Last night was a fundraising event for a local animal shelter featuring their Chasing Tail Golden Ale(on their patio, of course). They buy local, organic, and sustainable where they can. Check out their mission statement for more.
As we ate our dinner last night, my kids pressed their noses to the glass and watched as Mastiffs and Bijons circled each other and we all found something good to eat. Our server, Brittnee was very helpful in navigating their generous menu (with vegan and vegetarian identifiers – YAY!). She pointed out that SLC probably has a larger vegan culture than most people realize.
We tried the Veggie Burger, the Taco Salad, and I asked for a sample of the Quinoa Tabbouleh. My husband got their house-brewed root beer – good but not as spicy as I would have liked.
Veggie burger was good, but definitely not a one-hander (I was holding a cranky Pancho). A very generous portion size, and pretty good flavor (though I thought I tasted dehydrated veggies, but my less critical husband didn’t notice). It’s served on a bun that is at least partially whole grain, and you can get a salad or wedge fries, and I saw someone with sweet potato fries on my way out.
The Taco Salad can be made with tofu or without meat – I got it without since I wasn’t in a tofu mood. It’s made with black beans, mexican rice (white), and a variety of veggies in a somewhat pallid tortilla. It was pretty tasty, but I wouldn’t have minded a larger portion, brown rice, and more greens (Okay, so I eat a lot).
The Quinoa Tabbouleh was good, but I’m not sure I could have enjoyed it as my whole meal – it would be great as a side instead of fries. BUT it is whole grain and veggies, so it’s an excellent whole food option – Somer? The mint came through and it wasn’t overly salty as many tabboulehs are, so props on that.
There are several other options (curry, tofu tacos, hummus, etc), all designated veganizable by a green square beside them.
And I have been told, but haven’t tried yet, that they have FANTASTIC vegan breakfast options Saturday and Sunday. I’m totally down with that, so look for that post sometime in the next … year? Hey, I’ve got three kids and going out for breakfast on a Saturday morning near the Salt Lake Farmers’ Market in the summer sounds potentially life-threatening, and we’d probably also rather drop that cash at the farmers’ market if we’re in the neighborhood.
And as a side note, my FIL thoroughly enjoyed his Black & Blue burger, my MIL was tickled that the kid’s meal chicken breast was tasty and came with steamed veggies all for only $5.99, ZJ ate nearly all of her pretty good sized kid’s pizza, and my oldest cleaned his plate – which means they were all good. They didn’t have vegan kid’s meals but I’m sure they’d be accommodating.