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The Office: Working Toward Being Vegan-Friendly

The menu looks promising, but the salad leaves you craving more.

The Office has been one of my favorite Morristown bars for a long time. Whether for Happy Hour or Wednesday-night Trivia, it's just one of those local joints where my friends and I love to have a couple of pints. Before last Wednesday, I'd never actually looked at the menu.

As I sat down with friends, I was immediately at ease: the waitress brought over a bowl of fresh vegetables, rather than the traditional bread basket. What a nice way to start a meal. I munched on the carrot sticks, avoiding the cup of ranch dressing meant for dipping, as I started to browse the menu.

At first glance, it looked incredibly promising: build-your-own burritos, large salads, a veggie burger, a hummus and pita appetizer. "This is going to be so easy," I thought. 

Turns out the descriptions are better than the actual dishes.

The hummus platter was very small. While the hummus—a roasted garlic, lemon and tomato spread—was better than average, there wasn't enough to dip it in. It comes with four large cucumber slices and a ton of fried pita. Fresh pita, or more fresh vegetables, would've been much better.

We ended up getting a second vegetable bowl ($2.95) to dip in the rest of the hummus. The fried pita didn't even look appetizing—but if you like fried foods, this one's safe. It's fried in vegetable oil. 

For my main course, I debated between the build-your-own burritos, the veggie burger and the Brew House Salad ($6.49). The burritos (no vegetarian price listed) feature rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream and cheese in a warm flour tortilla—obviously, I'd be asking to leave the cheese and sour cream on the side. 

The salad features mixed salad greens tossed with red peppers, snow peas, celery, carrots, cabbage, toasted almonds, tortilla strips and choice of dressing. I appreciated the reasonable price and eventually went with the salad. I topped it with olive oil and vinegar rather than the fatty dressings.

Ordering a salad is not my normal course of action at a restaurant—I much prefer making salads at home. On Wednesday night, I remembered why I don't order them while dining out. The description sounded filling, but the large salad left me hungry. It had a ton of lettuce, but was light on toppings. I had to have a bowl of soup when I got home, as I was not at all full. 

Other menu options included chips with guacamole (you'd have to request it, as this isn't offered. I just saw guacamole on the nachos, so I know it's possible.), roasted vegetables (the server didn't know if they are roasted in oil or butter), rice pilaf (server was not sure if it has butter or chicken stock), baked potato, French fries and sweet potato fries. Essentially, it was salad or fried foods. 

I called back the next morning to check on a few other items. The nice woman on the phone assured me that everything is fried in vegetable oil, but didn't say if separate fryers are used for meat and non-meat items. She said the veggie burger roll does not have butter on it, to her knowledge, and the beans in the burritos are, to her knowledge, vegetarian. It wasn't the most convincing conversation.

Vegetarian and vegan options are always appreciated on a menu—and The Office offers more than most neighbourhood bars.

If I head back there for food, I'll be ordering the veggie burger ($8.49) rather than the salad. After all, who wants to have to eat dinner at home after going out to dinner?

Do you know of any bars or pubs in Morris County that offer better vegan options? 

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