When it comes to North American dining, the bar and grill are what they’re best known for. Fire-grilled steaks, pizzas, burgers, pies, and other smokey-charred food are famed and widespread in the United States and have completely influenced the world with their bold, American-style flavors.
However, the ever-growing state of BBQ chains in both the United States and the rest of the world poses a dismaying problem to vegans. Grill restaurants usually have scarce or very limited vegan options, much less can they even present a vegan menu due to the nature of their cuisine. More so, billions of pounds of beef are being consumed every year, a significant percentage of which is accounted to beef service restaurants.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and Bar has some items for vegans. They do have the Impossible Burger, but recently, PETA has negated the Impossible Burger of its vegan status. They also have a Portobello Sandwich, which serves as a grilled meat substitute.
While beef-obsessed, bar and grill restaurants continue to thrive, the vegan-friendly diners refuse to back down and continue to gain popularity as more people are becoming aware of the sufferings of innocent animals and their importance to our environment. Thanks to this, more plant-based meat substitutes are being introduced to the market and immediately gaining customers.
There’s no need for us, vegans, to limit ourselves and try to fit into a place where we could barely have decent lunch or dinner, but rather that we can now count on other restaurants that would be more than willing to cater to our dietary needs and lifestyle choices. That’s exactly the type of eatery we’d want to look for.
So, what are the vegan options at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in greater detail, and what are the similar restaurants that do have a full vegan menu or can adjust voluntarily to our specific needs?
We’ve reviewed all the available items on their website, along with their full allergen and nutrition info so we can fill you in with the necessary details about their menu including what can be removed, what can be altered, and what cannot be changed.
If you come to visit the restaurant, it’s best to notify the manager about your dietary precautions. They’d usually be happy to oblige but remember, don’t be too demanding.
The meats and seafood are commonly prepared apart from the vegetables and fruits but may be prepared along with the cheese eggs. Also, the portobello mushroom steak may be cooked on a separate portion of the grill or pan that hasn’t interacted with the meats upon request.
When ordering cooked or sauteed meals, ask for no butter.
None of their Bar Bites, Shareables, and Soups are vegan. Their soups would contain any meat, milk, or seafood. Any of the mentioned ingredients can’t be removed or substituted due to their original recipe.
Their Caesar Salad can be served in small and large portions, but initially contains egg and shaved parmesan cheese. You can ask them to skip the eggs and cheese and request a vegan-friendly dressing such as vinaigrette. The salad has croutons so if you’re sensitive to gluten, you might want to avoid it completely.
A small-sized serving contains 170 cal (110 cal from fats), 12 g fat (3 g saturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 360 mg sodium, 9 g carb, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, and 7 g protein.
A large-sized serving contains 240 cal (140 cal from fats), 16 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 15 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 15 g carb, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, and 10 g protein.
The nutritional values would change due to the removal of the eggs and cheese. Mostly the calories, calories from fats, fat content, cholesterol, sodium, and protein content would significantly decrease.
Their Mixed Greens Salad is also available in small and large portions, but initially contains cheese, which can be skipped. The bowl comes with lettuce, tomatoes, San Saba Farms spiced pecans, and juicy slices of jicama; Chef recommends cilantro lime vinaigrette as dressing.
A small-sized serving contains 250 cal (180 cal from fats), 21 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 6 g fiber, 10 g sugar, and 4 g protein.
A large-sized serving contains 340 cal (240 cal from fats), 27 g fat (5 g saturated), 15 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 24 g carb, 9 g fiber, 14 g sugar, and 6 g protein.
The jicama, also known as the Mexican turnip or yam bean, is a root vegetable with a thick, bulbous form and brown skin. It resembles a potato but much rounder, darker-skinned, and has fewer carbs. It’s sweet and juicy like an apple, which is why you can eat it raw. Its texture is similar to a raw radish and it’s commonly used for fresh salads instead of cooked meals.
It’s almost entirely white flesh with a thin, rugged skin, and it’s rich in complex carbs, dietary fiber, and low in fats and sugars, making it an ideal weight loss vegetable and potato substitute for diabetic people.
On the micronutrient side of the bulbous vegetable, one cup of chopped jicama would already make up for up to 20% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that benefits the body’s cellular growth and repair. It also contains quality amounts of folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese which all help your body to absorb, convert, and use nutrients and energy.
You can learn more about the health benefits of jicama from MedicineNet.
Their Spinach Salad is traditionally served with crispy bacon bits and eggs, but you may be able to request the removal of the animal-derived items and be left with a mix of spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes drizzled with a vegan-friendly vinaigrette. Small and large servings are also available.
- Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Raspberry Chipotle Vinaigrette – no honey recipe here.
The portobello mushroom steak is available for both vegans and vegetarians. It’s their only other meat substitute besides the Impossible Burger, but you still can’t order the Portobello Sandwich on the get-go, you first need to request no butter, no cheese, no balsamic vinaigrette, no mayonnaise, and an egg-free and dairy-free pair of buns. The sandwich then comes with tomato, spinach, roasted red peppers, rosemary focaccia, and coleslaw.
Since ordering a Portobello Sandwich from Firebirds seems all too demanding and demeaning, it might be better just to order it on its own with a salad on the side.
They also have Bella Burger, but it’s neither for vegans nor vegetarians because it’s mixed with ground chuck beef.
Vegetables & Fruits
An article once reviewed Firebirds’ uniquely cooked and flavor-enhanced vegetables, and it turns out that Firebirds’ open secret to making bold-flavored veggies is sauteeing them in whipped butter and Firebirds steak seasoning.
When ordering your veggies though, you can ask them to sautee the greens in vegetable oil instead and on a separate pan not smeared with butter.
- Fresh vegetables
- Port mushrooms
- Mashed potatoes – no parmesan
- Cider slaw – no mayonnaise
- Fresh fruits
All of their beverages, seasonal mocktails, classic cocktails, and seasonal cocktails are vegan except the Dirty Bird Cocktail. Watch out for honey though, as they don’t have a disclaimer for this sweet ingredient.
They also feature meals fit for children, a few of which can be vegan. Broccoli, carrots without ranch dressing and butter, fresh vegetables and fruits, mashed potatoes, warm grain salad, and a pack of Oreos are available.
Kids are allowed to drink:
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Diet Coke
- Honest Kids Apple Juice
- Honest Kids Fruit Punch
The Best Vegan-Friendly Diners In The United States
- Southern Fried Vegan, Multiple Locations
- Homegrown Smoker, Portland, OR
- Brother’s BBQ, Denver, CO
- Compton Vegan, Los Angeles, CA
- Sandwiches by BBQ4LIFE, Boise, ID
- Monk’s Meats, Brooklyn, NY
- Vegan Mob, Oakland, CA
- The Acre, Albuquerque, NM
- Imagine Vegan Café, Memphis, TN
- The Southern V, Nashville, TN
- Vegan Time Food Truck, Mobile, AL
- Grass VBQ, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill may not be the best place for vegans due to its lack of vegan-friendly meals for lunch and dinner. However, they do have some salads and a mushroom sandwich, but you have to request them to alter these foods before they can even appeal to the vegan appetite.
They also serve the Impossible Burger, but due to Impossible Foods’ latest controversy with mice experimentation, PETA has turned them down and refused to endorse them to the vegan community. If you’re confused about the topic, then you might want to check our review of the Impossible Burger.
The restaurants that we ought to look for and praise are those which have already established a clear, vegan menu and are actively trying to cater to our dietary needs and precautions.
What makes a great, vegan-friendly diner is a well-accomodating atmosphere for vegans such as a full and lengthy vegan menu and employees that know our ways and dietary needs right off the bat.