Thursday, August 9, 2007

Au Bon Pain

Creativity counts?

I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? Thank you for taking the time to research this.

Au bon Pain response:
Dear Erin,
We currently do not call any of our items “vegan.” Having said that, you could look through the nutritional information and creatively find some options, if you eat honey, you could create a sandwich on our lavash.
Donna Alsheimer
Hospitality Manager
Au Bon Pain
One Au Bon Pain Way
Boston, MA 02210
Office: 617-423-2100 x1264
Fax: 617-737-2310

The verdict:
It's up to you to come up with something vegan. Website displays full ingredient lists, which is helpful. However, Donna tells me the lavash is vegan except for the honey, but the ingredients list shows an additive that is not considered vegan (cysteine), in addition to several additives that may or may not be of animal origin (monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, and enzymes - see resources for a guide to vegan food additives). Being vegan is difficult, as we all know, and it's hard to expect a hospitality manager to fully understand the extent of ways in which a food might not be vegan. This is why it's so important for restaurants to provide full ingredient lists (kudos to Au Bon Pain for that), and for vegans to remember that any time someone else is making your food, especially someone unfamiliar with a vegan diet, there is a risk of consuming animal products. Donna was at least trying to be helpful in coming up with a creative solution for which she had no good answer.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Don't order the bruschetta. The menu said there was permassean cheese, so we ordered it with no cheese. It came out with bread toasted with diced tomatoes on top, and a film of butter in between. If you say no cheese or butter, then do you really want to eat just bread with diced tomatoes, when they already served bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar?