Archives for category: Restaurant

One of the most vegetarian friendly food types we’ve encountered is Mediterranean. From tabouli to dolmas, you can fill up on a dozen or more dishes before you encounter a meaty option. This week we looked at Fadi’s and Dimassi’s, both of which we already knew we liked.

Fadi'sVeggieSamplerFadi’s Mediterranean Grill offers many dishes, but the vegetarian sampler has to be the best idea we’ve encountered outside of a buffet. With the option to go through and point to what you want, or just leave it up to the server to give you a little bit of everything that doesn’t contain meat. Since we always like to try new things, we went with the latter option. Of course, items mixed and we found rice buried underneath the center, but the flavors are so diverse that they go beautifully together. We particularly liked the fresh mint in the fattoush, as it seemed to almost cleanse our palates whenever we had some. The cauliflower also stood out and although we were trying to be courteous and share, we each kept taking bits of it until nothing but a hole remained where it used to sit on the plate. For something as simple as cauliflower and lemon juice, that stuff is incredible!

Fadi'sFalafelOn the recommendation of a very helpful man behind a counter, we also tried the falafel sandwich. More of a wrap, really, this is quite nice with pickles, tomatoes and dressing rolled in a thick pita bread, then toasted. The chickpea patties are packed into this sandwich with enough dressing on the side to ensure every bite can drip as much s you’d like.

Serving sizes are huge at Fadi’s, so you get plenty for the price, and the food is wonderful.

If you are in the mood for a buffet, try Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet on Campbell in Richardson. We went through half of the buffet without encountering one item with meat, and we filled our plates with only the smallest sampling from each vegetarian offering. While one of the rice dishes does contain meat, they do a great job of keeping the dishes separate and labeling everything. We liked the dolmas quite a bit and fell in love with the baba ghanouge’s smokey flavor. Whatever you like, this is a must try buffet for vegetarians.

Both Fadi’s and Dimassi’s are equally wonderful with fresh ingredients and delicious dishes. Spend an evening or even a lunch hour at either one for a healthful meal you’ll love.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Sometimes we just crave Thai food, so this week we’ll cover Bambu in Richardson, TX. A small restaurant, holding maybe a dozen tables, this place has an incredible atmosphere and staff. The food is beautiful as well as tasty, making Bambu a must try for Thai.

With windows on two sides, the light becomes part of the experience during lunch. Subtle music and genuinely friendly staff would probably bring us back even if the food was only OK. But as it stands, those are nice additions to a wonderful meal.

Edamame from BambuEdamame (4) comes out piping hot, so be careful. Steam pours off the soybeans when the bowl comes off the top and that heat brings out the most of the flavor. We found ourselves actually enjoying this appetizer rather than just going through the motions while we talked.

Thai Fried Rice with Tofu from BambuThe vegetarian tried Thai Fried Rice (9), after being assured it contained no chicken broth, of course, and loved it. Large onion chunks in and around the mound of rice are just sweet and very crisp. A large tomato in the middle gave a fun texture combination with the egg while scallions added crispness and flavor throughout. Perhaps the nicest surprise was the contrast in flavor and texture when the fresh cilantro mixes with oils from rice. We’ll definitely get this again.

Cashew Chicken from BambuOn the carnivore’s side we had Cashew Chicken (9), which was just spicy enough to build up and get the nose running at a spice level of two. All white meat chicken with fresh, large-cut vegetables and a dark sauce came together for the perfect meaty dish.

On a previous visit, we watched a friend ask for Pad Kee Mao at “Thai Style” and tear up when he ate it. His face was red, nose running, and eyes streaming with tears, yet he wouldn’t stop eating; it was that good.

We like Bambu because has something delicious for everyone and the staff works as a team, which makes the experience a little more pleasant. The next time you are near Coit and Campbell in Richardson, stop in for a bite.

When we pulled up to Thai Tanee on Alpha Rd. in Dallas, we were a little unsure about going in. Situated between a laundromat on one end and a pool hall on the other, we weren’t sure what we were walking into; but when we found an elegant room and a friendly staff inside.

Fried Tofu from Thai TaneeFrom the many appetizers, we went with Fried Tofu (4.95). Fresh from the pan, this was hot, hot, hot with very crispy corners and a soft interior. With pretty much the same flavor all tofu has, the sauce made the dish delicious with its light sweetness and crushed peanuts.

Pra Ram (Peanut Sauce) from Thai TaneeThe Pra Ram (peanut sauce) with veggies (8.5) is a wonderful dinner. This came out like a curry, with plenty of sauce and vegetables beside a cone of rice. The sauce was thinner than other peanut sauces we have experienced, but it was so full of flavor we were surprised. A strong peanut smell filled the area surrounding our table as we tried the amazing dish. Sweet and nutty, this comes with plenty of peanuts crumbled over the top of mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, cabbage and baby corn. We can’t recommend this enough. If you can only come here once, we encourage you to try the Pra Ram.  

Pad See Ew from Thai TaneeWe always like Pad See Ew, so tried it here with tofu (8.5). The dish is sweet, but not so much so that it builds to a sickly sweetness before finishing. Always mild, this is one of our favorite versions. The tofu is firm and big noodles are well cooked. The sauce is darker than others we’ve tried, but also more delicious.

Pad Woon Sen from Thai TaneeThe Pad Woon Sen (8.5) is also quite nice. Crisp celery, carrots and onions with whole mushrooms accent wonderfully chewy glass noodles that perfectly cooked to a complimentary texture. We had this with tofu, which is pretty basic, but if you prefer meat, that is an option.

Pad Thai from Thai TaneeWe also enjoyed Pad Thai (8.5) with its spicy green onions and sweet sauce. This is extremely flavorful and the noodles are thick and well coated in sauce. The spice from a green onion spice took us off guard at first, but it worked with the sweet to create a wonderful dish.

We were only one of three tables on our first visit, and one of two on our second. This is most likely because of the variety of ordering options. Dine in, of course, carry out, and delivery are all available. And, you can even order online, so the lack of visible customers is not indicative of the restaurant’s quality. The atmosphere is nice, the staff friendly and the food ranges from great to amazing. Thai Tanee is an instant favorite we can’t wait to visit again.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

We’ve noticed several Five Guys Burgers and Fries locations popping up in the greater Dallas area and decided we had to see what they were all about. Walking in, we were hit with the stark white and red of the very 1950s style decor. The service was what we would expect from the stereotypical happy 50s diner, too; friendly, smiling, and fast. The woman who worked with us even took the time to run us through the Five Guys Burgers and Fries method.

Peanuts are free, so help yourself while you consider the menu. Options here appear simple, with burgers, hot dogs, a veggie sandwich (cheese optional), or grilled cheese. But appearances aren’t always indicators, and when we got to the veggies, we froze. Already there is more on the menu for vegetarians than many burger places with three sandwich options. But what makes this more interesting is the control we had over our meals. Veggies are plentiful and you can have any or all that you want on your sandwich; even the grilled cheese.

Five Guys cheeseburger with grilled onions and mushroomsReminiscent of the chain’s starting point as a take out business, the food comes in a brown paper bag. The omnivore grabbed a cheeseburger with grilled onions, mushrooms and mayo. This comes standard with two hand-formed meat patties, but you can get a “little burger” with one patty if you aren’t starving. The cheese was running out onto the wrapper, so he instinctively grabbed a bit and ate it. Unfortunately, this cheese tastes like the wrapped American cheese singles from the grocery store. He tried the burger expecting something terrible, but was pleasantly surprised. The beef patties saved this burger. The meat is so incredibly greasy and delicious that it is almost easy to forget about the cheese. The patties literally dripped onto the table. Cooked to well-done, these are not the least bit tough or dry. In fact, this burger is surprisingly tender and juicy. The grilled onions and mushrooms are slightly sweet and very delicious, but honestly they absorb the grease and become an added texture. When you come in, skip the cheese and load a burger with toppings to make it your own.

Five Guys grilled cheese with mushroomsOf course, the vegetarian stayed away from the meat and opted for a grilled cheese. Expecting the typical kids’ meal of cheese and bread, she froze when the counter attendant asked what veggies she’d like on that. Toppings on a grilled cheese? Really? She went with mushrooms, mostly because that was the first option she saw when frantically searching the menu, but also because, well, mushrooms are just downright good. The grilled cheese here comes on an inside-out burger bun. The bun is grilled, just like any other, then the cheese and toppings go onto the “crust” parts and the grilled side stays out. We probably wouldn’t have known had it not been for the sesame seeds around the outside edges. Pretty smart thinking on that one. And the buns are thick, so it actually makes for a good sandwich. Unfortunately, we’re back to that pre-wrapped cheese flavor. Adding mushrooms helped, and they were delicious, but next time we will definitely need more veggies to counteract the cheese. Or we may just opt for the veggie sandwich. Anything seems to be possible here, so we’re glad to try again.

No matter what you get on your bun, when you come here, try the fries. Cooked in 100% peanut oil, these are amazing. A sign beside the register said the potatoes were from Hatch Farms in Washington, so not only did we get real potatoes (skins and everything, yum!) we knew whence they came. The Cajun fries are wonderful, but if you don’t like spice, go for Five Guys style.

While there is no veggie patty, the fresh, grilled vegetables, abundance of options and fresh cut fries will keep us coming back.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

A recommendation from a friend put Sal’s Pizza Restaurant in Plano, Tx. on our radar, and we couldn’t be happier. With fresh made dough, delicious pasta, and friendly staff, it’s no wonder we like this place. We walked in and immediately felt like we were visiting friends.

Sal's Angel Hair with Garlic and Olive OilOn the first visit, the angel hair with olive oil and garlic (7.95) set the bar for everything else. Clean pasta with large slices of garlic may sound simple, but this was definitely art. The garlic was flavorful and the pasta cooked just right to layer the flavor and texture for a perfect meal.

Sal's Cheese Ravioli with Tomato SauceLater, the vegetarian tried some cheese ravioli with fresh tomato sauce (6.95). We asked and were told the sauce does not contain any meat broth. The sauce was tangy and plentiful, almost to the point of drowning the huge ravioli. The ravioli are filled with ricotta cheese and herbs, so given their size, this is an intense flavor on its own. Balance the sauce to cheese ratio in each bite for the best meal.

Sal's SaladPasta dishes here come with a basic salad and bread. The salad is nothing special, just some iceberg lettuce, a cucumber slice, a cherry tomato, and a pepper, but the house dressing is amazing. A thick tomato-based vinaigrette tangy enough to make you pucker, this is our new favorite dressing.

Sal's Pepperoni and HamburgerAll of us like the pizza here, and prices ranging from $9 to $18, we can actually afford to love it. The carnivore tried pepperoni and hamburger and noticed it is not nearly as greasy as other pepperoni pizzas he’s had. The cheese and meat are piled onto a hand-tossed crust that is the perfect thickness to appeal to both crisp and chewy pizza lovers.

Sal's Slice of Margarita PizzaThe margarita pizza is heavy with cheese and contains no sauce. Fresh basil cut into large strips and generously spread over the fresh sliced tomatoes give this an artful appearance. When the waiter said he liked how it looked, we had no idea it would be this colorful. Beautiful and delicious, we absolutely recommend the margarita pizza.

Sal's Veggie Pizza with added Sun Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke HeartsWe also tried Sal’s Veggie pizza, but we added sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Those were absolutely worth adding as they changed the dish from what would have been a better than average mushroom, black olive, green pepper and onion pizza to an amazing texture and flavor combination.

None of the pizzas are overloaded with red sauce, so if you prefer heavy sauce you should ask for it. We love the dough, so are happy to be able to taste the bread without an overwhelming sauce presence. All the pizza we tried was dry on the bottom, so we could use our hands without worry.

In short, Sal’s Pizza Restaurant offers delicious pizza and pasta, is a good choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and delivers everything we could want from a great pizza place.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Nam Hua's Vegetarian Menu
We have loved this little place off Beltline and Jupiter for quite a while and tend to lean toward the vermicelli dishes, but decided to branch out this week. Given that Nam Hua has a vegetarian menu with 28 options, we have no excuse for taking this long to try new things. Well, other than the staff making some of the best vermicelli dishes around and we really do love them. Even the omnivore prefers the vermicelli here, it’s just that good. But, in the spirit of adventure, we’ll look at the Bành Canh Chay and Mì/Hủ Tiếu Xào Mếm Chay Thập Cẩm, both from the expansive vegetarian menu.

Nam Hua's Vegetarian number 17The number 17. Bành Canh Chay (6.95) came in a huge bowl with fresh sprouts, lime and parsley sprigs on the side. Chewy veggie shrimp and various other meat substitutes dominated the soup and each type had its own unique flavor, but the textures were pretty similar. The fun part of this dish, for the vegetarian anyway, came in combining fresh, crisp sprouts with big chewy noodles. The noodles are short enough to manage and thick as a garden snake, so pairing them with the sprouts created a wonderful contradiction in texture. The broth comes steaming, so we dropped in just a few sprouts at first so they wouldn’t cook soft while we ate, but we have seen diners dump the entire plate into their bowls before. There are enough to keep you busy however you enjoy them.

Nam Hua's Vegetarian number 20The omnivore tried the number 20. Mì/Hủ Tiếu Xào Mếm Chay Thập Cẩm (9.95) with egg noodles. This dish comes with the option of egg or rice noodles, so you can make it vegan if that is your preference. The noodles were perfectly cooked and covered with large vegetable chunks and sauce. Green and red peppers dominated the vegetable selection and the sauce was slightly salty, but good. Young, long-stemmed mushrooms were flavorful, maybe more so than the fake meat, which tasted closest to ham, but not really like any meat that would come from an animal. It was good, though. Celery, snow peas, cabbage, and leafy greens are all just kind of there, not making any impact on the dish. Crisp vegetables, chewy fungi and wonderful noodles make this a decent dish. Not the best Nam Hua has to offer, but still quite good.

Our favorites, of course, remain any of the vermicelli dishes. The number 7. Bún Thịt Nưóʼng Chả Giò Chay is always amazing and comes with a vegetarian version of the house fish sauce upon request. Cool fresh sprouts, mint, cucumbers and carrots join fried onions, tofu paste and egg rolls atop vermicelli noodles to create the most wonderful flavor and texture combinations a mouth could ever want.

Come for lunch or dinner and know you’ll have enough to keep you full. The service speed varies by day, but we are always greeted by friendly people upon arrival. We’ve brought friends in for a while now and have never had a complaint. Nam Hua definitely has our recommendation. Go in, try either of their menus, and share a meal with friends.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

New to Ethiopian food, we here at the VICC Project have been looking for places to try it around Dallas. We have been pleasantly surprised by several restaurants around the Dallas area, but by no means have tried them all.


(On Greenville at 635)

When we sat down we first noticed the decorations in the tables. Combs, jewelry and other items preserved with shellac in the table tops bring color and before even the menus arrive. The staff, or at least the one woman we encountered, is welcoming, friendly and willing to take the time to explain each dish to newcomers.

When we saw the menu, we commented that there is only one vegetarian dish under the veggie dishes heading, the rest of that section is dedicated to fish dishes. Of course, the vegetarian went with the Daily Assorted Ethiopian Veggie Combo (9.99), while the omnivore branched out for ZilZil Tibse.

Ibex Vegetarian CombinationThe vegetarian combo offers a variety of split lentils. The pink lentils look like they are cooked in a meaty sauce, but we were assured they are vegetarian. And they are amazing. The spice builds a little bit, but not so much we can’t take it.

This was our first experience with Injera, a fun sourdough bread with fermentation holes all over. Of course we love it. While it smells like wine, it tastes like a sourdough base with some type of wine or tartness to it. And we don’t just like it because, as the plate, utensil, and napkin of the meal, it lets us use our hands. This stuff actually tastes great by itself.

We also liked the cabbage and carrots. They are sweet, like a pickled dish, and look like they might contain mustard seed or powder, but have no heat. Along the same lines, the beets and onions are incredible.

There is definitely enough food here to share. Two of us got the same thing, so now we know to split it next time.

Because the injera crepe lines the plate, there’s more food here than ya’ think.

Ibex ZilZil TibseThe omnivore’s zilzil tibse were quite nice, too. Prime beef sauteed in seafood and Awaze sauce with onions and tomatoes to accent the beef are amazing. Again, the injera plate and a bit of salad add to the sizzling beef to make this a huge meal.

On the side came a sauce that the omnivore described as “horseradish wasabi death sauce of the flaming apocalypse.” It’s actually quite good, but the he has a tender pallet when it comes to horseradish, so keep heat thresholds in mind when ordering.


(In Garland at Buckingham and Jupiter)

A very small restaurant, we were pleased to see drawings on the walls and small areas set up for hookah and music. Definitely the least expensive of the places we visited, we were still able to fill our bellies and carry some home for later.

The veggie combination plate came with four items plus a salad in the middle, but this was still enough to fill up and have carry leftovers home. Again, the injera makes this a much more filling meal than your eyes will register, so be ready to indulge. The lentils are a little spicy here, and the injera is delicious.

Again, the omnivore went for zilzil tibse, and discovered that there is a difference in the dishes. Here, the jalapenos mixed with the beef were incredibly hot and delicious. He had advised the waitress, who we thought may have been the cook as well, that he liked spicy dishes and she obliged with a wonderful balance.

The sweet tea (which, let’s be honest, is not the first choice if you want an authentic experience) tasted like a lemony instant variety, but the food was amazing.

Queen of Sheba

(Off Beltline and Inwood in Addison)

We happened to walk in while a person we took to be the owner was outside on a call. She opened the door for us and welcomed us personally into the restaurant, which is by far the most upscale (fancy napkin folding and ambient lighting kind of upscale) of the places we visited. Queen of Sheba offers vegetarian a la carte items as well as a vegetarian combination plate on the Ethiopian menu. We also found an Italian menu on the back, making this the perfect place to bring those friends or family members who outright refuse to try anything new.

Queen of Sheba Vegetarian CombintaionAt about $15 a plate, Queen of Sheba offers the most food per plate of anyplace we tried. The vegetarian combination includes a variety of dishes from lentils to pickled cabbage, and every one of them is wonderful. The Gomen and Shiro are our favorites, but all of the items on the plate keep us coming back for more.

Yet again our omnivore went with Zilzil Tibse, so we may have to stage an intervention at some point, but he noticed that this version has a medium spice and comes with three vegetable items on the side.

As always, the injera filled us rather quickly, but there was not as much, nor was there an offer of more, even at an additional charge. There are forks on the table, though, so had we not been overstuffed by that point, we would have been fine.

Again, there is more than enough for three people on any one plate, but be prepared to ask for a to-go box before the waitress stacks your dishes. She asked if we were finished, we said yes, and she piled them up to be washed. And she’s a quick one, so ask fast.

We did not partake in the had washing ceremony, but it sounded like an interesting experience.

While all of these places are Ethiopian restaurants, each one brings a unique cooking style and piece of culture to the business. Our recommendations would honestly depend on what you want. If you are looking for great food on a budget, try Gojo. For what we thought was the most immersive experience, go to Ibex. And if you want that fine dining experience, Queen of Sheba is for you. We found wonderful food and friendly service at each restaurant and will return to each one in the future.

If you know of a great place we should try, please let us know. From what we have seen, we are huge fans of this type of food and would love to try more.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

If this week has taught us anything, it has taught us that Forrest Gump had it right when he said, “you never know what you’re gonna get.” We eat at recommended, trendy restaurants that are not as good as the hole in the wall, family run places we tend to frequent. Yet, while in Denton, a friend recommended Rasoi, the Indian Kitchen, for a quick dinner before a meeting, then drove to a gas station and got out of the car.

A gas station! Needless to say, skepticism ran high. We noticed the cars at the pump area were actually parked and not filling up their tanks, so that helped. As we walked in to what appeared to be a convenience store, we saw bags of dahl in various colors, a cigarette rack and a small buffet. A friendly woman came from the back and asked what we wanted. Nothing was labeled, so we asked for whatever was vegetarian. While the woman loaded our plates with rice and what seemed like everything from the buffet (which was not, in fact, serve yourself), we noticed a menu with specials of the day that included one main dish and rice for $4.99.

Vegetarian plate at Rosai, the Indian KitchenCheap food at any place can be scary. Cheap food out of what still registered as a gas station in our minds prompted a strong fear response, but we soldiered through. It was a good thing we did, too, because this place proved to be a great find! We are pretty sure there was a saag and potatoes dish, and maybe chana and some dahl on the plate, but honestly we didn’t ask and she didn’t tell. She plopped one scoop of everything vegetarian atop the rice, asked if we wanted salad, which she centered on top of the pile, and we went around the corner. The space where the merchandise shelves once stood now houses maybe a dozen tables. The reach-in coolers stay stocked with drinks, but there is also a soda fountain if that’s more your speed.

We sat down and dug in to find nothing was overly spicy, and everything tasted great. The potatoes seemed like new potatoes rather than the large Idaho variety and all of the vegetables stood out on their own merit. The “everything vegetarian” option was only about $7, so definitely not expensive and we left so stuffed we almost opted out of the meeting for which we were in Denton in the first place. And we couldn’t even finish! Two vegetarians could split this plate and have plenty of nutrition to keep them going from lunch to dinner.

From the time we pulled up to the time we drove away, we went from skeptical, to curious, to a little fearful, and finally landed on genuinely pleased. Overall, this place is a great find. Bollywood movies on a large screen television and comfy couches between the dining area and convenience store add to Rasoi’s atmosphere that you really just have to experience to understand.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

For about three years a little Indian restaurant has stayed tucked in a shopping center off Belt Line and Central Expressway in Richardson. But Udipi Cafe is not just another Indian buffet. Everything served at this restaurant is vegetarian. Not just vegetarian friendly, but 100% meat- and broth-free vegetarian food. How have we missed this for so long?

Whatever kept us away before, we’re definitely going back now. The wait staff is a mix of people from friendly and helpful to curmudgeonly yet somehow easy to like. The food, however, is absolutely wonderful. On our first visit, we were so overwhelmed by options that we had to ask for a recommendation. Yes, it was strange and wonderful to have an entire menu from which to choose; so strange that we couldn’t make a choice.

Udipi Cafe Soup AppetizerDuring dinner, an appetizer of soup came to the table. If this is a standard item, be aware that we dubbed it “Death Pepper and Cauliflower Soup.” We felt it in our tear ducts, yet we it was extremely flavorful and we kept putting our spoons back in the bowls. Definitely try it if you can take the heat.

Per our request, our waiter gave us a few options. He first recommended a dosa, which one of us ordered, then said the mutter panner or butter paneer masala would be good. We went for the second option and were delighted with the dish.

Udipi Cafe Huge Butter Masala DosaUdipi Cafe Butter Masala Dosa FillingWhen the food arrived we discovered that Udipi Cafe is very generous with portions. The Dosa was huge, possibly the biggest one we’ve had so far. The beautifully crispy crepe is monstrous, but the filling is centered over a plate so we were pleased to find that this is actually manageable. We still had enough to take home, though. The spicy yellow potato filling definitely builds the heat, but it takes a while. The sauces are not going to cool anything down, either. This is delicious, but bring tissues if you aren’t used to spicy foods.

Udipi Cafe Butter Paneer MasalaOnce we tasted the butter paneer masala we had to ask and discovered that the paneer is made in house. It is firm, yet doesn’t crumble, and has a nice flavor on its own. The sauce is not spicy at first, but give it a minute to build and you’ll fall in love as fast as we did. Creamy and tomato based, this had a slight anise seed flavor that made the thick sauce stand out.

Udipi Cafe Buffet PlateIf you are in the mood for a buffet, come in for lunch. At about the size of any other buffet, this one holds only vegetarian dishes, so you get twice the normal variety. Try all of your favorites, of course, but be aware that they will bring you a fresh, yet slightly smaller, dosa, so save some room.

The only negative we encountered was the dessert cart not holding gulab jamun. That’s not actually a negative so much as our being spoiled by most other buffets we encounter offering it. We were honestly too stuffed for much dessert, so it’s probably a good thing it wasn’t there.

Overall, we were delighted to find an Indian buffet where we didn’t have to deal with goat meat while reaching for the spinach and we were even more pleased when we discovered the food is delicious. We will definitely add Udipi Cafe to our must frequent list. Maybe we’ll see you there on our next visit.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

Sometimes people just want a burger, there’s no getting around that. Even vegetarians enjoy the experience of opening our mouths a little too wide to sink our teeth into a toasted bun, toppings, and a juicy patty. But not every burger is created equal. We’ve run into a few awesome, and some awful, veggie burgers and thought we’d share what we found. If you agree, disagree, or have other information, please share. As always, if you have a place you recommend, let us know so we can try it out.

Red Robin: Veggie Burger

Known for its burgers, RR should also get our respect for the veggie burgers. Not only does this restaurant offer a veggie burger with a Gardenburger patty, it also offers the vegan Boca patty. And, as if two vegetarian patty options wasn’t enough, you can substitute either alternative on any burger at no additional charge. That’s right, Red Robin accommodates vegetarian and vegan diets without penalizing us for our choices.

The Whiskey River BBQ burger with a bocca patty and no cheese makes a delightful vegan dinner with enough food to share. Thin and crispy onion straws soften as the sweet BBQ sauce drips down the patty to the edge of a toasted bun.

Since the kitchen uses soy based oil to fry, the endless steak fries and panko-crisp onion rings offer perfect compliments to a great, and meatless burger.

Denny’s: Veggie Burger

Surprisingly good, Denny’s starts with an Amy’s Organics patty, then throws in mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach to make this a rather healthful burger. Well, healthful enough to counteract the scrumptious pepper jack cheese melted on the patty. They are open all night and appear to have the same menu throughout the country, so put this on your list of safe road trip stops.

Carl’s Jr.: Definitely an F-you Veggie Burger

We saw their “veg it” option and thought we’d give it a try with a quacamole burger. Boy were we disappointed. Pulling the meat off of the regular burger and charging the same price is not the best plan if you are trying to keep vegetarians in your dining room. Bun, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. That’s what we got. Not even the avocado that would have been on the regular version of this $6 burger. And the saddest part is, they put this on their website as a valid vegetarian option. How about when you sell half the product, the charge half the price? Just a thought, guys.

Burger King: Veggie Burger

We didn’t ask if this was made in house, but it’s pretty good either way. There are water chestnuts that give the patty added crunch, so that’s a little different, but we kind of like little texture surprises. The usual BK fixin’s go on top, and as always you get to make it your way, so this is a nice fast food burger option.

JG’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers: Veggie Burger

We only recently discovered this fun little burger joint that has been in business for 27 years. (Yes, we wondered how we missed it, too.) A sign on the soda machine boasts “Best burger in Dallas First Runner Up” and we can see why. The veggie burger comes with a wonderful vegan patty that holds together well and has incredible texture. If you enjoy cheese, that’s available, too. The bun is toasted with butter, so vegans should let them know to hold that when you order. You choose your toppings from a condiment bar we honestly thought was a salad bar when we walked in. While here, try the onion rings. Sweet onions encased in sweet batter push these near the dessert section, but we couldn’t get enough. And speaking of dessert, JG’s has Blue Bell ice cream and shakes! Regular burgers here are greasy and delicious, so keep this on your mixed group dining list.

Chili’s: Veggie Burger

The black bean patty is good if you like those, but we’re split here. The vegetarian dislikes them, the carnivore loves them, and the omnivore is indifferent. While it’s a veggie burger, it’s not our first choice. But, if you find yourself at Chili’s with a group, you know the menu offers at least something to eat.

BJ’s Brewhouse: Veggie Burger

Just like any burger, you get a TVP-based (according to our waitress) patty on a wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo. There is garlic either in the patty or on the bun, so this is not a “make out later” option, unless your partner just loves garlic breath, but it’s quite good. A little dry, but we still recommend keeping the ketchup on the side because the dryness seems to make it better. Just try it and you’ll know what we mean. Served with beautiful steak fries, this is a very good veggie burger.

Jake’s Hamburgers: Veggie Burger

Jake’s makes all of their patties in house, and the black bean patty is no exception. This looks close to a real burger, but is still shaped a little to perfectly. This has great flavor and goes beyond what you expect from black beans. Of course, eating one of these next to someone holding the Atkins burger was a little funny, but it’s a great place for a mixed group.

Village Burger Bar: Veggie Burger

We tried the location in The Shops at Legacy and are so glad we did. This is by far our favorite burger. Instead of a veggie or black bean patty, the Portabello burger comes with a huge portabello mushroom cap on a toasted bun. We didn’t ask what they did to this mushroom, but it tasted incredible. And the burger is completely different from what we expected. Goat cheese and spinach are not obvious toppings for a burger, but they make this one a masterpiece. The shoestring potatoes are really good and just salty enough. If you like sweet potato fries, VBBar has some decent ones, but the shoestrings were the table favorites. Our neighbors’ onion rings smelled incredible, but we didn’t try any on this visit. We did, however, discover some yummy drinks in the mango margarita and watermelon mojito. This is a wonderful place for mixed groups, happy hour, or families. All of their burgers are great (even the meaty ones) and the atmosphere is extremely relaxed. Add this to the top of your list for the next time you crave a burger.

We’ve tried a few burger places and given our thoughts. Rather than taking our word for it, we hope you’ll be able to try a few. Now it’s your turn. Let us know where you have encountered the best, the worst and the most interesting veggie burger options.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

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