It's quite easy nowadays to feel the tremendous push towards a vegan lifestyle. Although numbers vary and are still in single digit in the developed countries, the rise is evident with the proliferation of the means of easily maintaining a daily plant-based routine. While cooking vegan food for your household has become doable, durable and delicious, when going out to eat you depend on others to acknowledge the shift in people's dietary choices.
Vegan food on the menu
Food serving places are giving serious consideration to this growing segment of their target market. There are only a few places in our city that have no vegan food on offer, and I'm sure for some it's only a matter of time until they do. We live in times when all it might take is a social media post in the lines of: 'Great restaurant, but unfortunately we can't have our family dinner-out there, because my wife\son\mom is vegan'.
Those who do serve vegan dishes vary from making attempts at 'veganising' known dishes like hamburgers or omelets, with mixed results from lackluster to tasty and satisfying. And as more and more restaurant goers choose a vegan lifestyle, we also enjoy places that serve vegan food made with masterful chef work. But the effort of one and all is appreciated, as it leaves us with a lot of choice when we go out to eat.
And then there is unfortunate regression
Having all 3 of my brother's kids visiting together from the US was the perfect opportunity to go for burgers at Lahza,
In Lahza, vegans and non-vegans can wolf down together… or so we thought. 'Due to poor demand we no longer serve the vegan burger', was the apologetic answer our waiter gave.
And just like that a choice evaporated.
As much as we want our favorites to succeed as businesses, we still no longer have reason to come back.
Downtown Haifa coming alive
Lahza is a bar serving food but a 10 minute walk from our home. This is a typical downtown-by-the-port district that has been changing its face for the past 10 years. From the commercial backbone of a seaport turned into a modern container terminal, to a vibrant live-in district with over 5000 students staying in local dorms, and a never-ending stream of new restaurants, cafes, fast-food joints, bars and boutique hotels opening their doors all the time.
And then we move forward again
Pizza Linga is actually a 'veteran' of the current wave sweeping downtown Haifa. Just a block from Lahza (towards our home :-), it's still the favorite late-night pizza and beer hangout for the local students, and has been running a takeaway service for some months now.
It was just around the time we were disappointed to discover Lahza's was no longer on the table for us, when we learned that by popular demand pizza linga now has a vegan pizza on the menu.
Thinly baked just right, with a tomato sauce spread, vegetables, olives and basil on top. It’s an 8 minute walk from home, and a 2 minute drive for the delivery guy :-)
The future is for us
Although this tie presents the score in our local neighborhood only, the tide is on the rise. As a vegan and non-vegan couple going out to dinner we enjoy the increase in vegan options on the menu, and both of us can see the day when vegan restaurants will just be - restaurants.
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