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belsaas

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I have a friend coming down I plan to bring to Busch Gardens, but zi is vegan, and I want to make sure I know what is available for ir. Does anyone have any experience being vegan at BGW? I checked the website but it's surprisingly vague regarding what is available. (Kings Dominion on the other hand, has really clear directions on eating Vegan, which is great).
 

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Apr 23, 2021
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Seems to only focus on food allergens on the website FAQ, which, typically, GF aligns pretty well with vegan options I find. Kind of concerning since they say to visit O’Tators which has been closed most of the time. I don’t think I’ve seen it open personally.

I do agree with what little information there is on the website that Marco Polo’s is probably the best option (at least from personal experience). I’ve taken some vegetarian and gluten free folks there in the past.
 

horsesboy

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Seems to only focus on food allergens on the website FAQ, which, typically, GF aligns pretty well with vegan options I find. Kind of concerning since they say to visit O’Tators which has been closed most of the time. I don’t think I’ve seen it open personally.

I do agree with what little information there is on the website that Marco Polo’s is probably the best option (at least from personal experience). I’ve taken some vegetarian and gluten free folks there in the past.
Marco Polo is closed unless something has changed in the last week.
 
Nov 12, 2019
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Squire's Grill typically has Impossible burger. Marco Polo's (which I believe is currently closed?) has a couple of options like veggie spring rolls and some pasta stuff that can be made vegan. Other than that, it's a crapshoot. I've been vegan for a decade and usually just plan to eat impossible burger twice a day when I go to BGW.
 

warfelg

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I'm going to try to say what I want to say here as sensitively as possible:

It's very VERY VERY difficult for parks to keep up with all the dietary restrictions and choices that people make these days. I'm glad you are doing your Research for your friend @belsaas , but I would make the same recommendation as I did for my cousin who has to eat gluten free when we went as a family reunion: pack some things in case they don't have anything prepared. Yes, Vegan/Veggie/GF is becoming more popular but some of the options are so limited with those items and BGW has so many options overall that it's hard for them to track exactly.

So as much as your friend really wants to just be able to enjoy the day I would be advising them to just be prepared un case BGW doesn't have anything fitting those dietary restrictions available at the time.
 
Nov 12, 2019
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I'm going to try to say what I want to say here as sensitively as possible:

It's very VERY VERY difficult for parks to keep up with all the dietary restrictions and choices that people make these days. I'm glad you are doing your Research for your friend @belsaas , but I would make the same recommendation as I did for my cousin who has to eat gluten free when we went as a family reunion: pack some things in case they don't have anything prepared. Yes, Vegan/Veggie/GF is becoming more popular but some of the options are so limited with those items and BGW has so many options overall that it's hard for them to track exactly.

So as much as your friend really wants to just be able to enjoy the day I would be advising them to just be prepared un case BGW doesn't have anything fitting those dietary restrictions available at the time.
My only push-back on this would be that so many other chains offer a multitude of options for vegan/vegetarian guests. SEAS seems to be one of the only remaining that haven't implemented widespread veggie options. Additionally, most other parks will tell you exactly where to get these options on their website. I went to Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World last week, and it was easy to find options and there were several things to choose from around the parks.
 

Jonesta6

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I wonder if the park's culinary team may have back-of-the-house issues where they can't guarantee food vendors or prep areas are set up to prevent cross-contamination to animal-based items.
 

warfelg

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Mar 16, 2016
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My only push-back on this would be that so many other chains offer a multitude of options for vegan/vegetarian guests. SEAS seems to be one of the only remaining that haven't implemented widespread veggie options. Additionally, most other parks will tell you exactly where to get these options on their website. I went to Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World last week, and it was easy to find options and there were several things to choose from around the parks.
Not saying that it's fine, just it's hard to create enough stuff everywhere across the park that it works. Look at the times people complain about foods served in an area that don't match the theme of the area.

Merely just making the suggestion that since you can't count on what you are looking for being there, its best to play it safe and have something that fits your dietary restriction. The likely reason we see BGW lack in vegan options compared to KK or HW is that those parks serve the same base menu throughout the park, so it can buy the (more expensive) vegan/veggie options in bulk. Since BGW's food varies by where you choose to eat, it's very hard to get something like those options in enough bulk to make it affordable from their standpoint.

Again, it's not to excuse BGW for being behind on something like this (they could do sausage at Trappers and Squires and do impossible sausage and dress it different ways). Rather a reason as to why they may be. Not to mention the staffing issues that are ongoing put a strain on everything.
 

warfelg

Advisory Panel
Mar 16, 2016
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I wonder if the park's culinary team may have back-of-the-house issues where they can't guarantee food vendors or prep areas are set up to prevent cross-contamination to animal-based items.
IMO that could be part of the issue with not being comfortable. I'll add in that mass product vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options is still in it's infancy and the options from a place like BGW is limited to receive, and if they don't have a dedicated prep spot for all of that it makes sense to be very limited in their options.

We need to keep in mind with this that some of these dietary restrictions are because some can't have this food as opposed to doesn't want to. When someone can't have it the requirements to have the sterile area are very difficult to maintain and is likely easier for BGW, at this time, to do it this way.

I'd expect if they ever overhauled area menus, they would do a much better job at adding this stuff in.
 
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horsesboy

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Squire's Grill typically has Impossible burger. Marco Polo's (which I believe is currently closed?) has a couple of options like veggie spring rolls and some pasta stuff that can be made vegan. Other than that, it's a crapshoot. I've been vegan for a decade and usually just plan to eat impossible burger twice a day when I go to BGW.
Squire's has been open Thursday-Sunday lately I assume in the next weeknor so it will be 7 days.
 
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Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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IMO that could be part of the issue with not being comfortable. I'll add in that mass product vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options is still in it's infancy and the options from a place like BGW is limited to receive, and if they don't have a dedicated prep spot for all of that it makes sense to be very limited in their options.

We need to keep in mind with this that some of these dietary restrictions are because some can't have this food as opposed to doesn't want to. When someone can't have it the requirements to have the sterile area are very difficult to maintain and is likely easier for BGW, at this time, to do it this way.

I'd expect if they ever overhauled area menus, they would do a much better job at adding this stuff in.

Yeah - I can't imagine how difficult it would be to ensure a vegan prep and cook area is maintained separate of regular spaces/equipment especially when most venues weren't originally set up to handle that.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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Agreed, Kings Dominion lays it out super evidently, in a table.
View attachment 23627
It's bizare that BGW is so far behind on this stuff.
That vegan bratwurst is really good, but it took a long time to make because I think I was the first person to buy it and they were figuring things out (preview day). I'm also a bit skeptical that they really avoided cross-contamination, though I don't know. Maybe they did. To me it seems like you can't really get a vegan meal at Grain & Grill. It's just appetizers and condiments, but maybe I don't know how to combine them into a meal. I wish they had a dish that was vegan and complete for those of us too dumb to be able to pick and choose and make something good. And I wish they offered a vegan protein like tofu or something.
 
Nov 12, 2019
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That vegan bratwurst is really good, but it took a long time to make because I think I was the first person to buy it and they were figuring things out (preview day). I'm also a bit skeptical that they really avoided cross-contamination, though I don't know. Maybe they did. To me it seems like you can't really get a vegan meal at Grain & Grill. It's just appetizers and condiments, but maybe I don't know how to combine them into a meal. I wish they had a dish that was vegan and complete for those of us too dumb to be able to pick and choose and make something good. And I wish they offered a vegan protein like tofu or something.
I had the beyond brat on sunday and it was actually SO good. I was pleasantly surprised.
 
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