Remember back in the day when mall food courts consisted of nothing more than a pizza place, a hamburger joint, a Chinese-style place, a french fry shack, a fried chicken stand and maybe (if you were lucky) a sandwich maker? Your choices were essentially deep-fried something or deep-fried something. I'm no young bird or anything, but the 1980s weren't that long ago and it's nice to see that progress is being made in the food-on-the-run arena.
You know by now that I obviously don't condone an overindulgence in fast food and as much as I would like to say I am highly adept at managing my time so that I don't ever need to rely on it, the truth is that life often gets in the way of making healthy, at-home meals with fresh ingredients every single night. Sometimes, the convenience (and your sanity) on particularly crazy days is worth more than avoiding fast food. Although relying on certain chain restaurants does call into question the ethics of supporting companies that employ seriously questionable methods of running their businesses and so regardless of the veggie options available to you, you may elect to not partake in them. This is something that is up to each individual vegan, of course.
The good news is that these days there are a lot more options for vegans in the mall food court than a veggie burger and fries from the fast food standards many of us have come to know (and loathe). You may even be able to get something on your plate that resembles an actual vegetable.
While doing some shopping with my mom today I sat down to this meal, from Tandori. It's a mixed vegetable curry, masala potatoes, basmati rice and a garden salad. The staff at this particular Tandori are great for recognizing what vegans choose to not eat and know exactly what is in all of their selections. Sure, it's still fast food, so the nutritional breakdown and caloric content may be a bit hazy. And at $10.00, this meal is admittedly more than the food-court favourite slice of pizza, but at least you're eating real food.
I do wish, however, they (and all the other food court franchises) used more sustainable and easily-biodegradable packaging and utensils.
I'm sure this isn't news to all you big-city folk, but I honestly never thought I'd see the day when my lil hometown would have an Indian-style option and fresh vegetables available in its mall food court...I just had to share!
550 King Street North (Conestoga Mall)
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5W6