Sad news in Richardson: Asian restaurant Veggie Garden is closing May 31. Tucked away in a small strip mall on Arapaho Road east of US 75, the restaurant was treasured by vegans for its no-meat menu and by budget diners who turned out for the daily buffet.
Co-owner Joy Vidheecharoen, who has run the place with her husband, Jimmy, for the past couple of years, announced the news on the restaurant's Facebook page. She thanked regular customers and organizations that had been supportive, including Sea Shepherd Dallas, Mercy For Animals and the Humane League.
Veggie Garden is not the only vegan Asian restaurant with a bountiful buffet, but none has quite as successfully cultivated the same sense of community.
But she also offered a note of optimism, saying that she planned to open another restaurant in the future.
"I have some minor surgery that can no longer wait," she said. "My husband/executive chef, Jimmy, must also have surgery for an injury that happened on the job. The restaurant business can be painful in more ways than one could ever imagine. Once surgeries are completed, we will travel to Asia to try new foods and get inspired for our new menu. I need time to refocus on the business and the menu."
Veggie Garden is not the only vegan Asian restaurant with a bountiful buffet; there is also Loving Hut in Addison and D'Vegan, just south of Veggie Garden. But none of the others has quite as successfully cultivated the same sense of community. The restaurant will host a closing celebration on May 31, when it'll be open from 11 am to midnight. They will serve a lunch buffet from 11 am to 3 pm and a dinner buffet from 5 to 9 pm.
So it will be goodbye potato cakes with garlic sauce. Goodbye bean curd rolls in ginger sauce. Goodbye Chinese okra with vegan squid, and goodbye tofu fried sushi. Farewell potato curry soup with mushroom, carrot and cabbage. Adieu to salt and pepper cauliflower, vegan pumpkin bread, Chinese BBQ soy pork and sesame soy chicken. Goodbye to the cinnamon pillows and sesame raisin bars. We'll especially miss you, Chinese green tea cake.
"I would like to thank those of you who have supported Veggie Garden," Vidheecharoen said. "Be proud that you supported veganism and rejected animal cruelty in your diet even if it was for that one meal you ate at Veggie Garden that particular day."