Sara has been on a little excursion. Together with her fella Dilley they have been roadtripping across the USA in search of vegan food. First stop – Dallas
Dallas might be Texas’ third largest city, but it eminence is unquestionable. To borrow a maxim from my teenage self in the 90s, there’s shed loads to see and do. The Dallas Cowboys, live music on every corner, the poignant ‘X’ marking the spot where JFK died. The list is endless. But what about its culinary reputation?
Despite the sloppy Tex Mex and old school steak house stereotypes, Dallas is an edible melting pot that’s really starting to get recognised (Bon Appetit just named Dallas its 2019 Restaurant City of the Year)
That’s all very well, but what about its vegan offerings? Well, plant based diners won’t be disappointed. We spent 48 hours eating our way around the city. Here’s a list of what and where for anyone looking to head down to cowboy town.
Dinner at V-eats – it’s a bit out of the centre of town, but once you get over that you won’t be disappointed. This place is a recent addition to the vegan scene and it’s honestly some of the best food I’ve had in ages. Texans seem to have a thing for brussel sprouts, but not those horrible coagulated ones we serve in the UK. We had sprouts and pineapple as a side dish and they were charred and delicious. The mac ‘n’ cheese with hot sauce and fried cauliflower was a winner. And the Impossible Burger with fries was above average.
Late night tacos at Tiki Loco – after a few drinks in the trendy Deep Ellum neighbourhood, Dallas’ answer to Shoreditch, we ate our first tacos. The jackfruit tacos and nachos were cheap and cheerful, but they packed a beautifully flavourful punch. We ate in and the place had all the flair of an 80s style diner complete with rainbow coloured seating. It is a great spot for pre (or post) hangover food
Breakfast at Spiral Diner & Bakery – amazingly this place has been vegan since 2012. They have three branches in Texas and, my god, they’ve gotten (shit, have already picked up the lingo) really good at cooking up plant-based treats. We had blueberry pancakes and a breakfast including scrambled tofu and sausages that looked like burgers. The quality of the food was matched by the best 80s beats. Cindy Lauper, Whitesnake and Toto’s Africa blared out over breakfast at 7:30. That’s my kinda place.
Lunch at Mud Hen – this was near the farmers’ market, which was sadly closed on the day we went. We had a healthy grain salad and a mushroom bolognese with macadamia ricotta. Not the most intimate surrounding though, it’s in a huge old warehouse but definitely worth a visit if you need to eat some greens.
If this all sounds too perfect, it is a bit. We got a bit too cocky on the second night and went wrong with one mainstream Mexican place that was advertising a new vegan menu. It was bland and unimaginative and the portions huge, making our lack of enjoyment a little embarrassing. But you live and learn.
Dallas’ slogan is big things happen here. Well, for vegans, we wholeheartedly agree.
Btw check my new Bestie 😉
Want some great vegan tips on eating out, food to buy and a load more. Check out the Vegan Curious podcast – there’s info on how to tune in here