Vegan at TGI Friday

Those of you that follow me on facebook may have seen the picture I posted recently from an allergen menu. The menu was from TGI Friday, and it is cray-cray. You would think the menu is showing all the different ingredients each dish may have possibly come into contact with, and it seems like that’s the case, but it actually says…

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
These items contain the following. If that is true, it’s mind-blowing. Let’s take a look…

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
I do think it’s great they have an allergen menu to begin with, it makes it easier to order even if it’s difficult to find something that is both vegan and also somewhat satisfying.

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
So, on the first page, vegans cannot have:
Soups & More
Salads (unless you omit the meat and cheese and eat it with NO dressing)
everything on the Taste & Share Menu

But that’s only the first page.

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
You are in for a treat because on page two there are ALL KINDS of vegan options. And by all kinds, I mean there are two things. Skip over all the main dishes,

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
and you can have a side of fresh broccoli or ginger lime slaw. But if you have a sympathetic server,

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
she might let you order a double portion from the kid’s menu, even though it’s technically only for those 12 and under. Here we have the possibility of pasta with marinara (maybe you could add a side of that fresh broccoli from the grownups menu!), a fruit cup, or mandarin oranges. My little nephews did seem to enjoy the fruit cup.

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
The prices aren’t bad, either.

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
While my family enjoyed their appetizers, I had a tiny side of ginger lime slaw. I couldn’t taste any ginger or lime, but with a little salt it wasn’t bad. I was thinking of doing the pasta and broccoli for my dinner,

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
but then I saw this and figured I could just have chips & salsa with guacamole. The chips came out warm like they were freshly fried, but they didn’t have any of the greasiness of just-fried food, so I dunno…if they were fried I’m sure it was in a shared fryer, but the server didn’t mention it.

Vegan Menu TGI Friday
Not much to get excited about here. The guacamole wasn’t bad, just needed a little salt (doesn’t everything?). The server brought me out another little side of guac with about half the amount as the first – I think she felt sorry for me.

I think it’s kind of sad they obviously are aware there are people who need to avoid all these things, but then they don’t even bother to add at least a couple suitable menu items, or at least make it clear which items “may contain traces of” which some people wouldn’t find too objectionable. What’s the deal, Fridays?

Although the service was good, I would definitely recommend vegans avoid this place if at all possible. It’s just too hard to order. When we finished hanging out with the family, my brother and I headed over to Stella’s where I happily ordered vegan onion rings with vegan ranch dressing, and vegan Poor Man’s Potato Wings along with MORE vegan ranch dressing! I hope Fridays gets with it.

UPDATE: The Fridays in downtown Grand Rapids, MI is closing. Bet they would have gotten a ton more business if they were more vegan-friendly like so many other restaurants in our lovely city :p

UPDATE #2: Vegan @ TGI Fridays UK
I didn’t know Fridays is an international chain. I just looked at their UK menu and was surprised to see at the bottom of the page they have symbols for “suitable for vegetarian” and “suitable for vegan”. Now, if they have a “suitable for vegan” symbol you’d expect to see it next to a few vegan options, right? Well, sorry to disappoint. They have a vegan symbol, but no vegan options! I couldn’t the symbol actually used anywhere on the menu. Is this a joke???

15 thoughts on “Vegan at TGI Friday

  1. It is so lame when you go out to a restaurant and as a vegan I can’t eat almost anything! I understand your frustration, you are so lucky to have awesome vegan restaurants close to you. Fridays don’t want no vegans?We don’t want them either!!

  2. I’ve never liked how they do their allergen menu as “contains” rather than “doesn’t contain” – it makes it so much more time consuming to find options! And I agree, the allergen menu almost seems pointless since there are so few options!

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  4. WOW! I haven’t eaten there in ages for the same reason!!! It’s ridiculous. Especially when it is super easy to make changes that allow those who are vegan/vegetarians/gluten-free to eat. It’s not that complicated and just good business sense. A nice portabello ‘burger’ with a gluten free bun for example. A simple salad with an tahini based dressing or lemon and oil. Geez. It’s not rocket science. At any rate, there are very few places where you can get really good food. The best place seems to be a home. I recently hosted a foraged potluck and it was incredible. The food was out of this world. A give their menu a big fat F. Come on Fridays I double dog dare you to change your menu to include a full range of options for ALL your patrons. The side effect could be an increase in profits. And if you want good recipes, I humbly suggest you hire Katherine!!!!

  5. On the UK menu, some items are listed as not containing dairy or eggs on the allergens menu yet are still marked only by the Vegetarian symbol on the main menu, so it seems that some things are likely to be vegan, just not listed as such on the main menu? E.G. The BBQ hummus appetiser and the roasted veg pasta. FAQ directs vegans to duty manager but surely if you’re there and they have no options it’s already too late!

  6. It turns out that most of the items listed as containing seafood on the allergen menu don’t actually contain seafood products. It’s just that they are fried in the same oil as the shrimp is fried in, and they want to be careful about people with seafood allergies. Now, as a vegan myself, I don’t mind eating vegan food that shares a hot oil bath if there are no other options, but of course people need to make up their own minds on this issue.

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