I, myself, am not vegan. I don’t particularly label myself as anything too specific because it all depends. I have morals and foods I prefer to eat and others I rather not. I am educated in some of the food industry and try my best to eat smart for my body and the environment. I know many people who fall under this category. I also know people who are vegan or “basically” vegan.
It has been a struggle for those who have dietary restrictions in Bloomsburg. It also has been getting better over the years. If you were vegan at BU a few years ago, there probably were times you had to make some alternate decisions.
Currently, at BU, the voice of students were heard and more options were brought to light. At the Husky lounge and Commons dining hall, there is now more available food to choose from. It is still a small amount but it is a huge step from having none at all.
With BU slowly progressing, we also see a gradual change in the town as well. A favorite of many, Bakers Guild Cafe, had recently closed downtown a few weeks ago. Bakers Guild Cafe was a cozy spot to pick up some food and chat with a friend. It served Vegan pizza, black bean burgers and more. It was a sad day when they decided to close down.
Yet, we are still left with a great alternate restaurant, Root 11. This restaurant made their opening about a year ago. I made a visit to this place when it still looked under construction, interested in how the experience will be. To my surprise the food was great, the staff were friendly and the atmosphere was bright.
Root 11 has many different options to choose from whether you are vegan or gluten-free, they have options for you. I ordered the vegan french toast that makes my mouth water everytime I think of it.
Sometimes restaurants can only be good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Root 11 has a menu that can satisfy all cravings. They have recently joined shops with Bloom Naturally. This is a brilliant idea as once you eat at Root 11, you can shop at Bloom Naturally worry free of shopping with a hungry stomach. It coincides perfectly with the same vibes of one another.
The difficult part of being a vegan or having a restricted diet, is having friends who don’t. Going out to eat is a big discussion of which places can fit my diet. Here in Bloomsburg, it can be difficult because you will most likely end up with a salad. Which is not a bad thing. However, that maybe the only thing you can ever eat at a restaurant who doesn’t have options. This is not always the case.
At Marley’s Brewery and grille, there is a vegan menu which has a decent amount to choose from. If you are both vegan and gluten-free, you have to work with the servers to figure the best option for you as the vegan and gluten-free menus are separate.
Olive Garden, too, has a vegan/vegetarian menu as well. You can access them online or simply ask for it at the table. Panera has many options in their soups and salads. A new restaurant in town is called, Gramps Eatery has just opened with a fun and yummy menu to try out. It is not all vegan or vegetarian but it seems that changes wouldn’t be a problem.
If you are interested in foods around your neighborhood, check out the website, happycow.com. You are allowed to input your zip code to where it will show you all the places around you who are vegan or regular restaurants that provide vegan options. It is not easy having a dietary restriction, but it’s safe to say the world is changing. More restaurants are understanding the need for providing available options to all diets.-