Friday, May 12, 2006

Fast Food Friday @ FAZOLI'S

Well, I told you that I might do some fast food this Friday if I got to leave work early, and I did, so here it is. I decided to go to Fazoli's because last week, when I was thinking about starting to document some vegan fast food options on here, I sent Fazoli's an e-mail asking them about vegan dining options at their restaurant. Actually, I was really only asking about the marinara sauce to confirm that it was vegan. Well, I got this nice reply from someone at Fazoli's:

Thanks for your interest in the Fazoli's menu. Although we are limited in vegan options, we do offer a few. The list of these options include:
Spaghetti (or any of our other noodles)
Marinara Sauce
Dry Breadsticks - no garlic butter topping
Garden Side Salad - Lite Italian Dressing, no croutons
Lemon Ice

If I can answer any other questions about the Fazoli's Menu, feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to help.

Tanya Graf, M.S., R.D.
Quality Assurance Manager
Fazoli's Management, Inc.

I thought that was a very nice response, and it was quick too. So basically, I ended up going to Fazoli's today and ordering everything that was on this list. I did pick the whole wheat penne for my pasta just to make the meal as healthy as I possibly could. The picture above should be interactive, so as you move your pointer over the different items on the table, small text boxes should pop up and indentify each one for you. Fazoli's was actually one of my favorite fast food places back when I was an omnivore, but I hadn't been there since I became vegetarian and then vegan. I always preferred their food to the food at some of the other more expensive Italian places. Anyway, today's meal was very good. I will definitely go there again and get this meal. In fact, I am sitting here at home right now finishing up that Lemon Ice as I type this stuff up in my blog. So if you're vegan, and you need a decent fast food option sometime, I think Fazoli's would be a really good choice.

After receiving their e-mail reply, I noticed that there was a PDF file on their website which lists the ingredients in all of their food items (can you believe that they put fish in the honey mustard salad dressing?). There was only one thing on there that caught my attention, the fact that there was sodium stearoyl lactylate in their breadsticks. Now, if you've done any reading on the internet on this topic, then you know that this ingredient can be animal derived or plant derived. Normally, if it wasn't specified, I would assume that it was animal derived just to be safe. But judging from their response to my question, including knowing that the croutons on the salad were not vegan, makes me think that they know that theirs is not derived from animals. So I ate the breadsticks today, assuming that the sodium stearoyl lactylate was plant derived. They said in their e-mail to write back if I had any more questions, so I will probably fire one off to them just to ask about that and verify that the breadsticks really are vegan.

Well, that's it for Friday. I am actually stuffed after eating all of that. It was quite a bit more food than I normally can fit into the lunchbox. I thought it was a pretty good deal too. It only ended up being $6.65 for everything.

I'll be back with the lunchbox next week. Have a GREAT weekend and I'll see everybody on Monday.


Brooke said...

Oh wow, that is awesome. I loved Fazoli's when I ate cheese, and my husband and I used to go all the time before we had kids. He has been bummed lately that we can't go out to eat together too much anymore since most places are not vegan friendly (and he is VERY omnivore and loves fast food places). Thanks for doing this! Although I do stay away from fast food places for the most part, it's nice to know there are some more options for us vegans!


Cassie said...

Thanks! My gals love Fazoli's but I quit eating there after I went vegetarian. I figured they had meat in everything. We'll have to give it another try :)

Theresa said...

Well that doesn't look so bad, for fast food. I've never actually heard of Fazoli's, but if I see one, now I'll know I can eat a little something there. How was the lemon ice?

kennyboy said...

It was good.

I really like frozen lemonade.

Well, and unfrozen lemonade.

Ummm... Really, ANY lemonade.

Jane M said...

Lemonade rules! Looks ok, not as exciting as your own food but at least it looked filling. I think my motto is "I shall not starve!" BTW I tried the Tostito's Multigrain chips and they are sooooo goooodddddd!

Anonymous said...

Great idea about emailing to ask about ingredients. If companies sense an interest in healthier food, maybe just maybe they will offer more choices and variety.


KathyF said...

When we were vegetarians living in Ohio we used to enjoy Fazolis (about 7 or 8 years ago). I was pleasantly surprised to see they'd opened a restaurant in my hometown in Louisiana when I went back last week. I suppose this means they are thriving even in the vegetarian-unfriendly South, which is good news.

(I was also taken to the chain O'Charleys while I was there. This was a most unpleasant experience. Don't go there. Ever.)

kennyboy said...


I went to O'Charley's... ONCE.

I think I had the same experience as you.

appifanie said...

i love fazolis! i moved far from them though, and haven't been in years. so sad!!

trey said...

I was just wondering if you happened to ask the people at fazoli's if the sugar they used was bone-char processed or not?

kennyboy said...

No I didn't.

I just took her initial response and assumed that she new what the vegan requirements would be.

kennyboy said...

Let me know if you ever discover any different.