Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the directions to Cafe Parizäde?
A: Cafe Parizäde is at 2200 W. Main in Durham. A map is available. Take the Durham Expressway (NC 147) either north from I-40, or south from I-85/15-501, and exit at Swift Avenue. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right if coming from I-40, or left if coming from I-85/15-501. At the light just ahead, turn left onto Main Street. Go through one light at Ninth Street and in 100 yards or so, turn right into the Erwin Square complex.
Q: How should I dress?
A: If the past is any judge, expect to see people dressed neatly. Some will be in suit and tie, many will be in more casual but neat attire.
Q: Is it okay to come alone?
A: Absolutely! We'll have folks with TVS making sure you're comfortable and can certainly help to seat you and introduce you to others.
Q: I'm coming in a large group. Can I reserve a table for our group?
A: Generally, we have both small group and community seating and, though our event is always crowded, we haven't had a problem seating groups. If you have a large group of 10 or larger and you ask us when you make your reservation, we can make arrangements to reserve a specific seating layout for your party.
Q: What can I expect at the event?
A: Besides great food in a superb restaurant, we'll have a raffle, and a table with free information about vegetarianism. The press is often at our Thanksgiving Feast, so don't be surprised to see a TV camera or two, or a newspaper reporter.
Q: When should I arrive?
A: You can arrive anytime between 1 and 4, but we'll start the raffle around 2:30 or 3. We recommend coming between 1:15 and 2, but you should expect a line. We may run out of some dishes if you arrive after 3. Our setup is made much easier if we don't have to host arrivals before 1.
Q: Do we have the restaurant to ourselves?
A: Cafe Parizäde will be open to the general public, but TVS will have reserved much of the main dining area, as well as an overflow separate (and very lovely!) room in the back of the restaurant.
Q: The menu sounds great but I'd like to also have wine with my meal. Can I?
A: Sure! We are providing apple cider, herbal tea, and water, but you can certainly also order from the restaurant's bar. Wait staff will help you; you will need to pay when a waiter delivers your drink. (Though the meal price is all-inclusive, you should tip for bar service.)
Q: How many people will be at the TVS Thanksgiving?
A: Last year we had 166 guests and this year we passed 200 reservations (including 20 children, 7 of which were under 5) several days before the event! We did expect attendance would continue to grow this year (we had over 100 in 2000 and 83 in 1999), and are expecting around 220 people.
Q: How does the raffle work?
A: We have many generous donors who have donated gifts to TVS, including cases of food products, books, gift certificates for area businesses, t-shirts, various services, and much more. Many of these donations value $25-50. Please visit the raffle page to see the many gifts and do visit the companies who've donated on the web with the links we have provided. We will sell raffle tickets for $1 apiece and draw for these prizes around 2:30 or 3:00 pm.
Q: Are my chances good to win a prize in the raffle?
A: We expect many raffle prizes this year; check the raffle page to see details. We sold 435 raffle tickets in 2001, but can't predict sales for this year.
Q: I can't attend but would like to enter the raffle. Can I?
A: Yes. You can buy tickets by contacting Dilip Barman at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime before the event and arranging to buy tickets. For each dollar, we'll enter one ticket with your name on the back of the ticket. If you win any prizes, we'll set them aside for you and contact you to make arrangements so you can get them.
Q: I am planning on coming but will also be attending another Thanksgiving event after I eat. What happens if I leave early and miss the raffle drawing after I enter?
A: See the previous question. When you buy tickets, if you think you may not be here for the drawing, please write your name and phone number on the back of each ticket you enter. We'll contact you for any prizes that you may have won. Please note that if we draw a ticket and the winner isn't there and there is no name on the back, we'll simply draw again.
Q: I have something that I would like to donate to the raffle. Can I?
A: Yes; please contact Dilip Barman at email@example.com before Thanksgiving.
Q: What does vegan mean?
A: The food at the event will all be vegan, which means that no animal products will have been used. There will be no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or honey in any of the dishes, and we also won't have any refined sugar. If you're new to veganism or vegetarianism, you may be surprised at how delicious and diverse our menu is!
Q: Why vegan?
A: This event is hosted by the Triangle Vegetarian Society, and we invite you to browse our links section and other resources for more context. Not only is veganism great for the environment, human health, and the animals, but also we want to ensure that most vegetarians will be comfortable eating anything at the Feast and to showcase to the public how easy and exciting vegan food is!
Q: What is TVS?
A: The Triangle Vegetarian Society was founded in 1986 to promote the nutritional, ethical, ane environmental aspects of vegetarianism. TVS is an active group with monthly potlucks and restaurant reviews, as well as many special events like our Thanksgiving Feast. We encourage membership not just for vegetarians, but for all who have an interest in any aspect of vegetarianism.
Q: Do I have to be a member of TVS to come?
A: Absolutely not; in 2001, for example, about a third of the attendees were members. But if you decide to become a member (which you can do at the door), you can pay the lower member price for the Feast.
Q: I'm a member of TVS but my membership is due for renewal. Can I pay the member's price?
A: Yes you can, if you renew your membership before or at the event. Annual membership is $15 for individuals and $20 for families; 27-month memberships cost double.
Q: I'm a member. Can my out-of-town family members get in with me at member prices?
A: Yes; we're delighted that your family has come to town and are joining us.
Q: What is the price?
A: The all-inclusive price is $20 for current members, $23 for other adults, and $9 for children aged 5-10; children younger than 5 eat for free. If you want bar service beyond provided drinks (apple cider, water, herbal tea, and coffee), wait staff will help you, but you will need to pay your waiter when s/he delivers your drink.
Q: Can I pay by check? Credit card?
A: We prefer cash. We are happy to take checks for membership. Sorry, we can't take credit cards.
Q: What is the history of the TVS Thanksgiving?
A: TVS was formed in 1986. In 1986 or 1987, we apparently had turkeys for Thanksgiving - i.e., live turkeys eating alongside us at a potluck dinner, and made it on national TV. We continued to celebrate Thanksgiving as a potluck dinner for several years at a church meeting room near Duke University in Durham. Around 1994, we decided to try a restaurant Thanksgiving, and ate at Govinda's in Carrboro. If memory serves, since Govinda's went out of business, we had our feast at the Regulator Cafe in Hillsborough 1995 and 1996. (Every year from 1996 on, we have made it to the evening news!) Unfortunately, they, too, went out of business, so in 1997 we had our feast at the Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh; we had about 100 guests and were on both channel 5 and FOX TV. We were again on the news, but just for a 20-second spot, in 1998 at Irregardless, and, again if memory serves, began having a raffle. We made our move to Cafe Parizäde in 1999, had 83 people, sold 238 raffle tickets, and had exceptional media coverage (Channel 17 did a piece a few days before, and Channels 11, the News & Observer, and possibly the Spectator all covered the event). In 2000 at Cafe Parizäde, we had over 100 attendees, sold 368 raffle tickets, had 86 raffle prizes, and were on 3 or maybe 4 of the evening news programs.