Monday, March 23, 2015

Meat-Free Dallas

As a vegetarian, I must admit I was concerned about traveling to Texas. When I think of Texas I think of huge T-Bone steaks, smoked meats and lots of barbecue... at least I used to. I'll admit I'm a bit ashamed of my narrow-minded preconceived ideas of what Dallas had to offer in the way of dining. If you are looking to eat vegetarian or vegan in Dallas, here are some ideas and reviews.

Cane Rosso  Menu
My accommodations were near Deep Ellum, a neighborhood with several arts and entertainment venues that I wanted to check out. It was suggested that I try a place there for dinner.  Pizza is always on the top of my list to try in any city, so I headed to Cane Rosso for some Neapolitan style pizza.

The place was full of diners and bar-goers that Saturday night. The atmosphere was modern and hip, yet casual and comfortable. It seems like the perfect place to go on a casual first date or out for happy hour with friends. There was a 45-minute wait, and although there was a bit of confusion with the hostess finding us when our table was ready, my dining partner and I were eventually seated at a cozy table near the door.

Although vegan cheese is an option here, we opted for the Margherita Pizza with house-made mozzarella. The crust was thin and had the perfect crisp. It was easy to tell that the pizza was cooked in a wood-fire oven. The sauce had a subtle and fulfilling flavor that left us wanting more.

Besides the Margherita Pizza there were a few other menu items appropriate for vegetarians, along with the option to substitute vegan cheese. Overall I give this place a 6/10. The pizza and atmosphere were great, but I would love to see a few more meat-free specialty pizzas or sandwiches.
Cane Rosso

Dream Cafe  Menu 

For brunch on Sunday we found a cozy place Uptown called the Dream Cafe. We couldn't resist trying the cinnamon coffee cake to start. The decision was a good one. This was by far the best coffee cake I've tried. Next was the Granola-Crusted French Toast. While the overall taste was good, and unique, I would have preferred less granola on the edges since it made the overall texture awkward. We accompanied the french toast with some vegetarian sausage. Even though it was cooked from a frozen patty (Morningstar Farms) it was cooked to perfection and was a nice protein source to balance the "carb fest" we had going on.  The eggs we ordered on the side were tasty, and were cooked just as we requested.

The atmosphere is very laid back and casual. The staff was friendly and the vibe was chill. I noticed quite a line forming as we were leaving near 11:00 am, so earlier on the weekends is probably your best best. I would have liked to have seen some more vegan options, but overall this place was a 7/10 for me.

Outside of Dream Cafe 

Spiral Diner Menu 

This was such a find. If I lived in Dallas I would spend at least 1 meal a day here. Not only is the place completely organic, it's all vegan too. You can order anything off the menu and know that you aren't consuming any animal products. With so many choices on the menu, I consulted with a few patrons who frequent the Spiral Diner.

They suggested the nachos and cheese and said that it is considered the best nacho dish in Dallas, despite the fact that it's not even made with real cheese. They also insisted that I try one of the desserts the Death Star. One of the women ended the conversation with, "Really, anything you choose here will be great. I have never had a bad meal here."  We were feeling pretty confident that we would enjoy our food. The decision was hard, but I went with Ramsey’s Perfect
Protein Platter. The dish was black beans and quinoa cooked with homemade salsa,  avocado and tahini dressing.

Ramsey’s Perfect Protein Platter

My dining partner chose the Sketti and Meatballs. I had to try some, of course, and found that they had the a great texture, unique flavor and just the right hint of spice. I would definitely order either of these dishes again. 

For dessert, I took the advice I was given and chose the Death Star. Never in my life I have been more impressed with a dessert. This sundae  consisted of a brownie, covered with a shot of hot expresso, then topped with i-scream and whipped cream. This was the most delicious combination of vegan desserts I've ever had. I should mention, also, that I'm quite confident that anyone who tries this dish with the assumption that it is made with dairy products would never know the difference. It tasted like a real ice cream sundae. 

The Sprial Diner was my favorite restaurant in Dallas. I will return many times if I should travel to Dallas again.  This place was 10/10 for me. I wish they had a location in Cincinnati! 

No comments:

Post a Comment