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! As in the past, we'll have folks with TVS making sure you're comfortable and can certainly help to seat you and introduce you to others. We will also have a designated singles table.
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 reserve a group of 10 or larger, we will reserve a specific seating 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. This year, we will have a separate line from 1-2 for TVS members to help them get in with minimum wait.
Q: Do we have the restaurant to ourselves?
A: Yes, we do! We will have the whole restaurant, including the main dining room, more intimate club room in the back, and additional seating in Verde, the restaurant next door also owned by Giorgios Bakatsias, the owner of Parizade.
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: I have particular food allergies. Will I be able to find a variety of food I can eat?
A: All of the food will be plant-based. There will be a wide variety of food but if you have a concern, feel free to contact us before the event to see how we can best accommodate you. Please ask us at the event for questions on ingredients of any particular dishes and we'll do our best to help you.
Q: How many people will be at the TVS Thanksgiving?
A: Last year, we had 281 guests [a growth of 30% over 2002], including 68 members, 200 nonmember adults, 5 children ages 5-10, and 8 children under 5. In 2002, we had 214 guests [a growth of 29%], 166 [66% growth] in 2001, and 100 [20% increase] in 2000. We seem to be growing at 20-30% annually, so we may have 330-370 this year!
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 are expecting to have a significant but perhaps smaller raffle this year (we had 150 prizes worth more than $3,200 in 2003!); check the raffle page to see details. We can't predict sales for this year, but last year we sold 870 raffle tickets for the 150 prizes. In 2002, we had 91 raffle prizes of total worth approximately $2000 and sold 730 raffle tickets. In 2001, we sold 435 tickets and had 71 prizes.; in 2000, there were 368 tickets sold and 86 prizes offered. 1999, our first year at Cafe Parizäde, was the year that our raffle took off; we sold 238 raffle tickets toward 62 prizes. Compare that to 29 raffle prizes in 1998, the year the raffle began.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 everybody 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 2002, 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. Student and low-income membership is $10 per year.
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. We want to continue to provide fabulous food at a great price and are keeping the price unchanged for the third year in a row, in spite of increased cost to us from the restaurant. If you want bar service beyond provided drinks (apple cider, cranberry juice, 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 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. In 2003, brimming with 281 attendees sharing the restaurant with the general public in the back, we had excellent coverage by both of the major local newspapers (Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News and Observer) and were on at least one evening news program.
Q: Is our vegan Thanksgiving unusual?
A: The truly "traditional" Thanksgiving was probably vegan, with the possible inclusion of deer, according to historian Rynn Berry. Here are what a few other groups in the U.S. are doing. All of these meals, like ours, are fully plant-based. There are many other vegan Thanskgivings planned; see, for example, the Gentle Thanksgiving event listing.
In 2003, the Vegetarian Society of Washington, D.C. had their dinner on Thanksgiving from noon-5p along with a talk by Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM. The cost was $45 for members, $48 for non-members, and $30 for children 7-13. Their menu included sweet corn and pepper chowder; fresh vegetable crudite; marinated wild mushrooms and sweet pepper salad; arugula, chickpea, and roma tomato salad; grilled vegetables; butternut squash with leeks, vanilla bean, and toasted walnuts; candied yams; julienned vegetables with Asian peanut sauce; stuffing and gravy; hot tofu special; wild mushroom ravioli with a light tomato and fennel broth on a bed of sauteed spinach and shallots; country harvest rice pilaf; fresh tropical fruits and seasonal berries; pumpkin pie; tea, iced tea, lemonade, and coffee.
The San Francisco Vegetarian Society served Thanksgiving at Dilip's favorite restaurant, Millennium for $45, $25 for children. Their menu included hors d'oeuvres, salad, entree, dessert, coffee, tea, & vegan nog.
The Boston Vegetarian Society had their Thanksgiving the evening before from 5-9p for $14, with children 3-4 $4, 5-6 $7, 7-8 $9, and 9-10 $12. Their meal included pumpkin sweet potato soup and creme of corn chowder; baked delicata squash with wild rice stuffing; seitan cutlets with cherry tomatoes; peppers, onions, and pineapple in Hawaiian barbeque sauce; mashed potatoes with nut gravy; bread stuffing; peas; cranberry sauce; a 30-item salad bar; cracked wheat dinner rolls and assorted breads with spreads including apple butter, nut butter, and tahini; tofu cheeze cake with topping of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; carob crispy squares; fresh fruit salad with nine toppings; and grain coffee, herbal teas, and spring water.
The Vegetarian Society of Hawaii had two seatings the day before Thanksgiving in Honolulu for $12 adults and $8 children. Their menu included salad, rolls, gluten turkey, faux ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, green beans almondine, pumpkin pie, baked apple, and herbal tea.
The Chicago Vegetarian Society had their Thanksgiving the Sunday before the holiday from 4-9p, and had animal communicator and author Dr. Kim Ogden-Avrutik, Dr.P.H as a speaker. They charged $43 for members (children 5- 12 $26) and $49 for non-members (children 5-12 $28). Their menu included Alsatian onion quiche, “chicken style” fingers with orange, aioli sauce, assorted crudite of fresh seasonal vegetables, boston sea vegetable chowder, fresh field green salad with pâté francaise, cranberry sorbet with candied orange peel, thanksgiving tofu roast, open-faced ravioli of new england, baked acorn squash with vermont maple glazed seitan and chestnuts, barley corn pilaf with sunburst zucchini, pumpkin cream torte, calvados cream glace’, wild plum glazed pear with candied ginger & fresh mint, and swiss burnt-pecan torte.