Archives for posts with tag: vegan friendly

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.

Thanks to a link Dallas Vegan Roundup shared on FaceBook, we recently found a new (to us) place to eat. BEE (Best Enchiladas Ever) Enchiladeria on Davis Street has been in Oak Cliff for about a year and a half and given the tasty food and large portions, we hope it’s here to stay.

Slightly confused on our first visit, we walked to the pick up area thinking we could order there. A very nice woman at the cash register saw we were clueless and pretty much led us by the hand through the ordering process. Similar to Which Which’s ordering style, you enter and go to a counter with pens and two-sided order forms, check off your boxes, put your name on the form, and head to the cash register. (As always, we were trying to do everything backward.)

Bee Order FormWhen we asked if the sauces were made from chicken broth, our guide asked if we were vegan or vegetarian and proceeded to put little red marks on each of the vegetarian options. Of course the vegan options, which are marked with a heart, were included, but she showed us a few additional items. A few of the sauces that we might intuitively think were safe, like sour cream sauce, actually contain chicken broth, so we appreciated this personal tour of the menu.

 

Bee vegetarian enchiladas We went with the two enchilada plates (6.99) for the first visit. Completely customizable, you might find it difficult to put together an enchilada you don’t like without trying. But we went outside our standards and ordered things we hadn’t previously tried elsewhere. For the vegetarian, this was heaven. The Quinoa and Tofu in a corn tortilla with avocado verde sauce and Vegan Special in a blue corn tortilla with tomatillo sauce were both great. The tofu is cut into squares and has a nice smokey flavor. A close preferential second, the Vegan Special comes filled with julienne zucchini, carrots, potatoes, red peppers and more. All those thin veggies make it a little awkward to get onto a fork, but we somehow managed to clear our plates.

The omnivore tried the Chicken Tinga with sour cream sauce and Brisket with queso blanco sauce. While the chicken combo is good – comparable to Primo’s chicken enchiladas – the Brisket is incredible.

Never having been to an enchiladeria, we were surprised when they called our names and asked us which fresh toppings we’d like to put on our enchiladas. Everything looked good so we went with our favorites. The uncooked vegetables add a crunch factor to the plate as well as mixing cool and warm in each bite. We love juxtaposing opposites in our food, so this was a welcome addition.

While drinks are pretty standard anyplace you go, we recommend getting a cup of water here. BEE offers chilled water with lemon and lime that actually tastes good. Sure, it’s only water, but that little something extra makes it better and memorable.

As we started eating, our guide came around to see how we liked our food. She noticed the vegetarian’s plate contained mexican rice, which is made with chicken broth, and immediately brought a bowl of vegan rice. Honestly, she was more broken up over if than we were and she made it right before we had started on the rice or even realized anything was wrong. The fact that she made an effort to correct the error and apologize goes so far beyond what our paper plates and plasticware lead us to expect from this restaurant that we are convinced she’s the best staff member in town. (Although, another visit to BEE brought us another, equally kind staff member, so maybe it’s the training.)

Bee vegan riceThe vegan rice (which is lighter in color) was actually better than the mexican rice, according to the omnivore who tried both, and has a buttery flavor we all liked but didn’t ask how they created the flavor without using actual butter.

On another visit, we thought we’d branch out and try some other options. From the back of the order form, we chose a spinach and mushroom bee burrito (5.99). The menu says that all of the vegan burritos include a spoonful of guacamole but we didn’t see that scoop in our burrito. We did instantly taste the rice, and the mushrooms reminded us of the wild mushroom soup from La Madeleine, so we may just not have noticed the avocado if it was there. Either way, we didn’t miss it. Once the standard ingredients go in, you have the option to add your choice of fresh ingredients before the burrito is sealed. The tortillas are big, but our burrito maker had to have used a little magic to get everything inside. Like Freebirds or Chipotle, BEE gives you more food than one person needs.

Given that most people can find something to love here no matter where they fit into the dietary spectrum, BEE is a great place for mixed groups. We left our visits full and happy and we agree that this place lives up to its name.

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

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.

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.

You’re wondering why we would review a bar for a vegetarian food site, right? We wondered the same thing until we learned that several of the people involved when Anvil Pub opened its doors were vegan or vegetarian. As a result, this pub remains extremely vegetarian friendly.

Pretty much anything on the menu can be made to suit your lifestyle. Anything but the meat, that is. And with offerings like vegan cheese, soy chicken and a black bean patty, it’s hard to find something you can’t alter to fit your needs. You can even ask for Va-Va-Vegan Chili (4.95 on its own) on the Anvil Pub Nachos (8.75), which are amazing under some vegan cheese.

Securing their ingredients personally instead of relying on an anonymous truck is only part of what makes the food here, whether meaty or meat-free, better than most “bar food” around. Anvil Pub maintains a green kitchen and avoids grease, deep fryers, and greasy fumes. Because of this core method, everything here is less greasy than standard bar fare, but then again, nothing is standard about the food at Anvil Pub. Even the “almost famous fries” are baked to crispy perfection, so don’t come lookin’ for a heart attack in a basket because all you’ll find here a piece of heaven on your plate.

Anvil Pub's green kitchen description

Anvil Pub's Veggie Burger and baked fries

Alongside those fries – or should we call them bakes? – we enjoyed the veggie burger (8.50). With a slightly spicy black bean patty, Swiss cheese, avocados and bread-n-butter pickles this is one tasty burger. Huge onion slices add texture to the squishy patty and avocado slices, and the bun is slightly crisp. The pesto ranch dressing is interesting, but not so bold as stand out against the other flavors.

Anvil Pub's Kick Ass Mac-N-CheeseA member of the wait staff recommended the Kickass Mac-N-Cheese (9.00), saying it is amazing and she recommends it to everyone who comes in. This comes with rosemary cheese toast that is perfect for dipping into the smooth and creamy sauce. The macaroni is actually penne pasta, but we can’t find fault in bigger bites of something this good. Who would have thought you could find comfort food in a bar, but this dish has just enough black pepper to keep it from getting boring. The hot cheese strings and tugs when coming out of the bowl and the sauce feels like silk in the mouth. She was correct; this is amazing.

Anvil Pub's Veggie-normous and Texas Sage pizzasBut burgers and comfort foods aren’t all this place can offer. The pizzas here are incredible, too. Veggie-normous (10.95) looks like a standard pizza – roasted peppers, mushrooms, onions and olives – but the ingredients go a step beyond. Huge mushroom chunks are great, but what really gets us talking is the sweet onion. We were talking so much and examining what we thought might be a caramelized onion that our waitress came over to make sure everything was OK. (We admit that trying to deconstruct a pizza bits at a table is a little odd, but it’s too good not to know.) Once we assured her there was no problem, she explained that the cook takes the time to simmer onions in a tomato base until the flavors infuse, then those onions go on the pizza, not in the sauce. That’s dedication to flavor!

Speaking of flavor, put the Texas Sage (9.25) on your must try list. Don’t think about it, just write it down, tell Siri, or post it to your G-cal because you can’t miss something this special. This “unexpected signature dish” tells a twisted kind of a love story to your taste buds. A little raspberry jam, sweet and a bit tangy, met a spicy jalapeno under the pepper jack and mozzarella cheese and this fantastic pizza was born. This is honestly one of the most unique and exciting flavors we’ve had in a pizza.

With a vegan crust that makes “cracker thin” look deep-dish, these 12-inch pizzas are a little big for a person to finish off in one sitting. But fear not, single diners. We’ve tested and can confirm that both pizzas hold up to reheating quite well.

Only about a year old, Anvil Pub is an instant favorite. Nothing about the menu resembles bar food, but this is a bar none-the-less. While we’re usually in it for the food, over the course of several visits the wait staff has proven to be a group of friendly, helpful people. Yes, a waiter has to be nice to make a living, but even with our random questions and crazy requests (one even gave us a menu for future reference – thank you!), every employee we met kept smiling. And when a waitress comes across the room to make sure you are OK when she sees you examining something with your knife (the previously mentioned onion) instead of running to the back room and hoping you won’t say anything, that speaks volumes about the quality experience ingrained in the culture of Anvil Pub.

The only downside, if we can call it that, is an up-charge for some of the vegetarian alterations. Paying an additional $5.00 for vegan cheese on a pizza, $3.00 for soy chicken with pasta, and $1.00 to use the “Va-Va-Vegan” chili instead of the “Family” chili seems steep, but that is more likely an issue related to the lack of commercialization in vegetarian and vegan foods than one created by the kitchen.

Unfortunately, there is no dedicated website yet, but we have it on good authority that there is pressure from within to get one going. Until then, FaceBook and Twitter will have to keep us connected. The kitchen opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. on the weekends, and offers a full menu until 11 p.m., then pizzas until midnight. Oh, and for our fellow nerds out there, Anvil Pub offers free Wi-Fi to its patrons. You can eat, drink, bring your friends no matter their diets, and geek out at will. So far we’ve done it all and have experienced no judgment. You really can’t go wrong here.

Parking is a little tricky with pay lots and parking meters controlling the spots in Deep Ellum, but Dart’s Green Line Deep Ellum Station is not even half a mile away. However you get here, come hungry and come often.

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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