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First Look: VegOut, for your vegetarian dining needs

"I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens."

--Isaac Bashevis Singer

I've been a vegetarian for over a decade now, and I'm very familiar with the predicament of being in a new city and not having the foggiest idea where to look for a restaurant which caters to my particular lifestyle choices. When I heard about VegOut, I was immediately hopeful that my iPhone would, once again, provide a solution to a real-life problem. I was not disappointed.

VegOut is powered by happycow.net, an community aggregator for reviews and locations of vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants. VegOut provides location awareness, touch navigation and a great-looking front end for this very useful service. It provides ratings, contact info, maps and can filter by your specific vegan/vegetarian preferences. If you're going out with a group of omnivores, or trying to please a vegan in the group but still keep the rest of the carnivores well-fed, VegOut can help. In addition to "current location" search, it can also search any location you specify.

Reviews of a restaurant can be loaded from happycow.net in VegOut's internal browser, and you can easily jump from there to Mobile Safari to add your own reviews, email the page, etc.. I'm discovering new restaurants across the country, and all of my current favorite restaurants have shown up. My newest culinary crush (Soul Vegetarian East in Chicago) came up with a 5-star rating, and I found some reviews of dishes I can't wait to go back and try. VegOut is available in the App Store (iTunes link) for $4.99US.

Champ Bennett, author of VegOut, has announced a 24-hour sale for TUAW readers, dropping the price to $3.99US. You can follow @VegOutApp on Twitter for updates. I don't know how many TUAW readers have sworn off the meat for one reason or another, but this is one handy application for the traveling vegetarian.

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