A promising new restaurant whose menu is entirely vegan is coming to Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood. Called Vegan Food House, it will open at 832 W. 7th St., near the intersection of Tyler Street in a sweet little bungalow that was formerly home to the short-lived Nice Ice House shaved ice.
Slated to open in the spring, Vegan Food House comes from Elizabeth Anderson, who was previously involved with a restaurant in West Dallas called Da Munchies.
Opening Vegan Food House on West 7th Street puts her on the same side of town as Spiral Diner, DFW's original vegan restaurant, and Tribal Juice Cafe, the vegan-friendly restaurant in Bishop Arts.
Oak Cliff is suddenly the vegan center of town.
"I love Spiral Diner, and I like being over in this neighborhood, I live here as well," she says. "I'm glad for all of the vegan options that have cropped up in Dallas in the past few years. But I don't feel like anyone is doing exactly what I want to do."
At Da Munchies, Anderson offered vegan items as part of a bigger menu. When she decided to focus exclusively on vegan, she left Da Munchies (which is still open), to open her own place.
Anderson has also been doing a catering and manufacturing operation called Le Munchie Vegan Food Company, where she makes vegan versions of holiday dinners and other special-occasion meals, and is producing a line of vegan meats and sauces.
Vegan Food House will function as a one-stop spot, with a restaurant serving Creole vegan food plus a storefront selling her packaged meats and sauces.
"I've had different jobs in the music and nightclub industry, but I've been doing this kind of food since 1995," Anderson says. "I'd always intended to open an all vegan sit-down restaurant, and I've finally been able to get all the details together."
She says the theme is inspired by the cafés one finds in New Orleans' French Quarter. There are vegan po'boys, and a "cauli-burger" made from a breaded and fried cauliflower "steak," served with choice of vegan pesto or Buffalo sauce.
Her signature dish is her Big Mac N' Cheese Buffalo Chick’em Sandwich, in which oyster mushrooms stand in for the chicken. The mushroom is breaded in cornmeal, deep-fried, tossed in Buffalo sauce, and served on a bun with vegan mac 'n' cheese, pico de gallo, and vegan mayo.
"There are a lot of American classic dishes with some Creole influence," she says. "But I'll also do upscale things like flatbreads and avocado toast."
One of her dishes is a baked potato that's smashed, then seared in olive oil, so that it gets a nice crust. "We serve it with lightly cooked greens and Kalamata olive aioli — just simple and delicious," she says.
She's also into value. "I like to serve big portions at an affordable price," she says. "If you eat out, you want to feel like your money has been well spent."