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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.

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.

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