Chain restaurants are not exactly the definition of prime place to eat at, especially when you are on a diet and limiting certain foods.
Chain restaurants all have one thing in common – the menu is always uninventive and lame, and there is little room for creativity when it comes to ordering custom foods for certain diets.
You are better off going to a small restaurant from your local area.
Among these, Macaroni Grill vegan attempts to stand out from the crowd of these chain restaurants by offering something different.
It is not that bad compared to others, but there are numerous elements they can improve on, especially keeping in mind that numerous foods they serve contain some form of animal protein.
There is something that makes them stand out though – their option of ‘Create your own Pasta’.
What is this option about?
When you want to order this option, there is a form the restaurant provides on their website, and you will fill it out to create your own dish.
The process involves:
- Choosing the pasta itself, with the website specifying that all pastas are vegan-friendly except the whole wheat fettuccine and four cheese ravioli. The vegan-friendly pastas include rigatoni, spaghetti noodles, penne and capellini (angel hair noodles).
- Selecting a sauce. There are two options you can work with – pomodoro and garlic olive oil. If you are working with vegan options, be careful not to select the garlic cream sauce because it contains dairy in its recipe.
- Choosing vegetable toppings, and there are three you can work with per serving. Note that any three toppings are free, which is great because you can add as much of them as you want. The options are caramelized onions, roasted peppers, roasted mushrooms, fresh spinach, asparagus, artichokes, roasted tomatoes, snap peas, cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted garlic. If you want Premium toppings, you need to keep in mind that they are not vegan and you will pay an added charge to get them. For instance, roasted eggplant contains dairy products.
- In case you want a salad to come with the pasta, you can choose peasant bread or fresh greens (these should have Mediterranean or balsamic vinaigrette as dressing though).
Macaroni Grill Vegan Menu options you can explore
- Tomato bruschetta (order this without the cheese)
- Crispy Brussel sprouts
- Olive oil herb dip
- Peasant bread
- Sourdough bread
Note that you will either get sourdough bread or peasant bread, not both.
They are all vegan, although they are quite similar to each other. In addition, if you want to spice things up, you can request for Mariana sauce if you do not want oil dips.
The options here are two, namely:
- Minestrone (make sure to confirm that it should have vegetable broth)
- Tomato basil
Minestrone is a good soup, but in some locations, they might use chicken stock to prepare it – so always confirm it just to be sure.
- Garden salad (but request that it should not come with croutons or cheese)
- Side fresh greens
- Vinaigrette (any of them is fine) – just explain that you want a big vegetable-only salad
If you would like other salads, there are some bigger ones on the menu. However, make sure to request for no croutons, dressing, cheese, fish or meat.
- Crispy Brussel sprouts
- Grilled asparagus
- Hummus plate
- Tuscan potatoes
Are there alternative restaurants to macaroni grill vegan?
The good news is that you do not need to rely on this establishment alone to give you a good meal, as there are plenty of chain restaurants that do the same. They include:
Acapulco – this has a similar feel to what you would expect from a Mexican-inspired restaurant, with a lot of spicy food.
In addition, their appetizer guacamole is among the best compared to numerous restaurants, making it quite a great fit if you know someone who is into the Keto diet as well.
Their best vegan dish however, is their veggie fajitas – just make sure to request for no creamy or cheesy sauces and condiments.
El Torito – this is similar to Acapulco, as their tableside guacamole is among the best rated in the country. Go for that option, as well as their salsa.
The most popular option is the veggie burrito, since it has plenty of tasty vegetables. To make it even more filling, get it with the vegetarian beans.
Another great option is the vegetable enchiladas (but request for no dairy).
Pick Up Stix – the cuisine you can never go wrong with when it comes to a vegan lifestyle is Asian cuisine.
There is always some form of veggie dish that is stir-fried, and the same case applies here. You can go for the tofu and veggies, rice bowls, steamed vegetables, and salads.
Just make sure to watch out for the teriyaki and soy if you happen to have gluten and wheat allergies.
Buca di Beppo – best option to go for is their bruschetta, but make sure to request for no sprinkled cheese.
Order this with a bowl of mixed green salad that has balsamic vinaigrette dressing. If you are vegetarian, you can go for their pastas with vegetables and plain marinara – it is always satisfying and never goes wrong.
Claim Jumper – for the starting dish, get avocado rolls or fire roasted artichoke (request for ponzu sauce to come with it).
Their salads can be tricky, but you can make them vegan by removing the dairy and meat elements, while sticking to balsamic vinaigrette or citrus as a replacement.
If you want a heartier meal, then get the veggie sandwich (minus cheese), and combine that with their veggie stuffed baked potatoes (minus cheese).
Daphne’s – this is among the best restaurants, as they have a wide selection of Mediterranean choices.
In particular, the veggie combo plate is quite impressive; it features salad, pita and hummus, falafel, and dolmas.
That alone makes for a filling and delicious meal, but make sure to request for no cheese.
Basically, macaroni grill vegan is not the best option to eat at if you are following a vegan diet, since they do not have as many options as you would want.
You can make your own pastas at home, but this is a nice place if you are heading there once in a while with friends or family.
Check out our other vegan articles:
Is the bread at Macaroni Grill vegan?
Everything Vegan at Macaroni Grill
macaroni grill vegan 2019
Macaroni Grill Vegan Menu