Where Can I Take a Vegan Friend and a Meat-Crazy Husband?

If this mixed couple can stay married for 19 years, you can bring a carnophile and a vegan together for one dinner.

This morning, I got a series of tweets from @aynsavoy, whom I'd helped out a few months ago:

My (mostly) vegan best friend is visiting this weekend from Texas. My husband is a bit of a carnivore. Where can we go for lunch or dinner Saturday that will make everyone happy? (She prefers not Mexican, coming from Texas.)

Ah, the mixed dinner party, the etiquette conundrum of our age. I get this question a lot more frequently than I field questions about anniversary dinners or graduation parties. If we were talking about a group that included meatlovers and ovo-lacto vegetarians, coming up with a few dozen recs would take a minute or two. Scouring menus for dishes without eggs, milk, and honey does slim down the pool of choices.

I spent the morning looking over menus. A few notes: One veg dish and a couple of salads doesn't count as “vegan-friendly” ― more like vegan-tolerant. That said, anyone who sneers at a tapas-style meal of vegetable side dishes hasn't eaten out much in San Francisco, where they can be as polished as the entrees.

The easy solution would be Gather in downtown Berkeley, whose chef, Sean Baker, cooked under Eric Tucker at Millennium and sells a vegan charcuterie plate, along with vegan pizzas and entrees, alongside Prather Ranch burgers and barbecued young chicken. But if you don't want to travel to Berkeley, here are a few San Francisco restaurants that serve more than one vegan-friendly dish. Not surprisingly, they're primarily non-Western:

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