Upon first referencing Vegan Eating Out and then perusing the menu, I was not thrilled about having chosen Applebee's for dinner tonight. Their pasta is made with egg, and they had very few vegetable mixes to choose from. I told the waitress that I'm Vegan and I ended up ordering a house salad minus the cheese, bacon, and crutons with Italian dressing, and then a side of roasted onions, red peppers, and portobello mushrooms.
I forgot to request the vegetables be cooked in oil, so I got up just about 10 seconds after our waitress left to find her. She's was talking to her manager, and when she'd finished I apologized for interrupting her, but that I'd forgotten to request the oil. Another manager was standing right there, and he said, that's what we were just talking about, we have canola oil and we'll make sure they are cooked in that for you, not a problem. So I thanked them both and walked away feeling impressed with the waitress and grateful that she had put that much thought into my order.
After this I was greeted with my house salad, which also impressed me, as it contained a mixture of both iceburg and romaine - yay! My vegetables were cooked well and a great combination. So, even though it wasn't the most ideal meal it was a pleasant experience after all. So, if you're looking at a menu with dismay, just remember that you're allowed to be creative, unapologetic, and give your - likely experienced - waitstaff the benefit of the doubt.