We tried D’Vegan on a recommendation from staff members at Spiral Diner. Happy to see people show they care about the community, we immediately headed over to this vegan, Vietnamese restaurant, nestled inside the food court of Hong Kong Market Place on Walnut Street.

D'Vegan #4 with crispy egg rollBefore we entered, we noticed a neighboring restaurant’s whole roasted ducks for sale. We’ve said before that we don’t judge lifestyle choices, but on future visits, we’ll probably try to look at the salon to the left, instead. We made it inside and asked if the restaurant was known for anything particular. The waiter/cashier/all-around-useful-guy asked us if we like noodles with soup or without, and recommended the #4 – Crispy Rolls Noodle (6.95) as the no soup option. Why this one? “This is more Vietnamese style” and he wanted us to experience it. We’ve had vermicelli dishes before, but never a group to turn down a recommended experience, we went for it. Twp crispy egg rolls cut into pieces atop vermicelli noodles with carrots, basil, and tofu. Our waiter said he has great egg rolls, and he was right. Crispy with tons of tofu inside, these are among the best egg rolls we’ve had, vegetarian or otherwise. Super crispy outside and not greasy at all, we’ll probably crave these from now on. Mixing the noodles and veggies together gives a fresh taste to each bite. Pour all the sauce on and mix it up for the best flavor.

D'Vegan #5, spicyA similar but more spicy dish, the #5 – Lemon Grass Noodle (6.95) comes with a spicy “not-meat” over vermicelli with small mushrooms, sprouts, carrots, peanuts, and mint. The spicy protein mixes well with the sweet side sauce. This is very good overall, but the spice builds up. Mixing the sauce helps keep the heat at a reasonable level. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the hoisin sauce option.

D'Vegan Number 8But we couldn’t ignore the soup. We had to try the #8 – D’Vegan Noodle Soup (7.25). It carry’s the restaurant’s name, after all. Chewy veggie pastes, vermicelli noodles and mushrooms provide texture in a mild broth. Fresh shredded vegetables on the side give crispness, but the tomato chunks in the soup taste like canned stewed tomatoes. The overall flavor doesn’t jump out, but some of the ingredients might. A pepper here, a pineapple there – your taste buds won’t know where to look next. This is definitely a nice lunch on a cold day.

Apparently it is common for diners to come in and look up ingredients for Pho, thinking there might be some meat stock in the soups, but this is a completely vegan restaurant. All the stocks are vegetable based, so don’t worry about the broth. Indulge and enjoy.

D'Vegan Number 12AAll this attention to soup and vermicelli noodles might give the impression that’s all D’Vegan has to offer, but that would be wrong. An entire menu column dedicated to flat noodles says otherwise. #12A – Deluxe Flat Noodles (8.95) comes with the same beef-like protein that the #5 sports, but this version tastes very much like peppered beef with brown sauce, noodles and fresh vegetables. This has so much pepper that the pepper smell overpowered everything else when it came to the table. And the top layer is crunchy with black pepper. Red peppers hide inside and the spice builds, so be warned. A good dish, if you like pepper, this is a large enough portion to share.

D'Vegan Number 16Another recommendation that is large enough to share is the #16 – Shredded Tofu Broken Rice (6.95) We asked which is better, #16 or the #6 – Rice Porridge (6.95), and while our waiter said they are both good, the #16 is “more Vietnamese style” and he wanted us to try it. Extra points for ensuring we remain open to new experiences. In addition to the shredded tofu, this has strips of a protein thing similar to fake chicken. Those strips are really good and if we didn’t like each other so much we might have fought over them. The shredded tofu has a gritty texture, but it’s interesting against the rice. Putting a little sauce on top and eating a bite with a bit of fresh cucumber or tomato changes the flavor completely. On top, we love the shredded ginger and carrots.

As mentioned earlier, there are other food vendors and a hair salon just outside the restaurant. Between the mixed food smells and beauty fumes, there is a bit of a petting zoo odor here. But the food is good and the people are truly kind, so don’t let that one little thing keep you away. And don’t wait for a check to come to the table. When you are finished, just walk up to the counter and a member of the staff will ring you up.

Overall, we like this place and plan to return. The people are nice, and the food is great. On top of that, this is 100% vegan. What more can we ask of a restaurant? Definitely head over and check it out.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.