All my exes live in Texas! Well, not really any of them…that I know of. Also, last week was my first time in Texas! My coworker joked that I wouldn’t be able to find anything vegetarian there, and he was waaaaaay off. Then I got reprimanded by a Facebook friend for saying that I surprisingly found vegan eats in Texas. I can’t win, y’all. Yeah, I say y’all now too.
I travel often for work, close to once a month, and I try to do something different or exciting on each trip. I’ve been to the Indie 500 track, to the top of the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier in Seattle, and when I was in Georgia I met Tricia from Chocolate Musings!
When I went to Texas last week, it was cold and rainy so I didn’t do as much exploring as I would have liked to, but I did go Vegan food spotting. And the two places I found, were fantastic.
Vegan Eats in Texas
The first night I found vegan Chinese food at Loving Hut in Addison.
I got the spring rolls, which didn’t make it out of my car. I honestly don’t know if a spring roll has ever made it all the way home with me:
the wonton soup:
and the Noble Broccoli
HOLY MOLY is was glorious!
I ate so much of this it made my stomach hurt. #worthit. Also, I rarely get to eat wonton soup, since it’s usually made with meat, so this was a real treat.
Here Comes the Rant
So, some background on vegan restaurants and why I love them so much. I became a vegetarian was I was 12 years old. For those of you who are not vegetarian, or vegan, or let’s say kosher, gluten free, or with any other dietary restriction, it’s not the easiest thing to do when you are eating in a restaurant. Especially when you are with others.
If you go out to eat with a long-time vegetarian, they probably won’t tell you that they are vegetarian right off the bat, and there are a few reasons for that. Here’s the list of responses to saying “I’m vegetarian/vegan”
- “Oh my god, I could never do that, I love meat too much”
- “Really? What do you eat?”
- “Oh, no! Is there anything you can eat here? Oh here! There’s [blank], [blank] and oh hey, [blank]”
- “But where do you get your protein from?”
In my younger days, as a fiesty new vegetarian, I would engage in any way I could. “I’m vegetarian because of all of the animals, and the environment; I don’t miss meat at all; I get protein from tofu, beans, nuts, vegetables…etcetera.”
But now, after 24 years, I’m over it. I’m vegetarian for the reasons I am, and unless you want to have a legitimate conversation about it because you are genuinely interested in why I am vegetarian, I honestly don’t want to talk about it. I’m not doing it as a statement at this point, which is why I didn’t bring it up, it’s just how I choose to live my life. And no offense, but I’m really not interested in how much you love meat, that’s why I didn’t tell you about how much I love tofu!
Also, if you eat meat, you don’t eat meat sandwiches on meat bread with a cup of meat juice, so just think of all the things that you eat that aren’t meat and assume those are the things I eat. And, serious y’all, the protein issue. I don’t know where this huge concern for protein intake came from, but it’s legit mind boggling. That’s like me asking a meat eater where they get their fiber from. Let’s make a deal, I won’t ask you about your sources of fiber if you don’t ask me about my sources of protein!Let's make a deal, I won't ask you about your source of fiber if you don't ask me about my sources of protein!Click To Tweet
And one last thing, I love you, I get that you’re just trying to be helpful, but my menu navigating skills are on point and chances are that I’ve found the vegetarian options before you made it passed the drink section; trust me, I got this.
Phew, OK, rant over.
Long Story Long
So, long story long, when I find an all-vegan/vegetarian restaurant it is an amazing feeling to have an entire menu to choose from. It’s honestly legit enjoyable to know that I can order anything without modification, because 98% of the time I’m picking one of 2 to 10 things from an endless menu of meat options. But I digress.
Spiral Diner and Bakery
The second night, I topped my first night at a place called Spiral Diner and Bakery in Dallas.
I went with an adventurous coworker who loves food as much as I do, which is a dangerous combination. Here’s what we got:
I wasn’t thrilled with this plate. The nacho cheese was really runny, and the tomato salsa was bland. The guacamole was great, but I’ve honestly never met a restaurant guacamole that I didn’t get along with.
This plate was fantastic. The mac and cheese was a typical vegan mac and cheese, creamy and savory. For those of you wanting to venture into vegan mac and cheese, please know that most of them aren’t going to taste anything like what you are used to. They have more of an earthy flavor, due to the nutritional yeast that is normally used to create that cheesy flavor, and the tumeric and paprika that are used for their yellow color.
The BBQ sauce on the chick’n strips was super flavorful, and had a nice kick.
I loved the added bite that the olives gave to this dish. I’ve never had a meatball sub with olives on it, and I am going to have to try it the next time I make it. This sandwich inspired me to come up with a vegan version of my meatless meatballs. The roll was great, the potatoes were great, gah! I’m salivating just thing about this sammich right now.
Hands down, this is the best vegan ice cream I have ever had. And I’ve had several different versions, including Ben and Jerry’s. I swear I am honestly having a hard time believing this really was vegan, it was so creamy and decadent. We got three different flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and maple bourbon pecan. And good god, holy moly, and boy howdy; this ice cream was amazing. AH-MAZING!
I love vegan food, and this was some really great fare that I wasn’t expecting to encounter in Texas. Though, the more I talk about it, the more people are unanimous that Texas has the best food, vegan or otherwise. I mean, Tim Riggins said it best when he said*:
*I can neither confirm or deny that Tim Riggins actually said this. But I’m pretty sure he did.