Vegan food was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018, and that turned out to be true. According to data company Nielsen, sales of plant-based foods in the U.S. climbed to $3.7 billion in the year ending in August. The market more than doubled in the past year.
And sales of plant-based meat grew by 23 percent. As a matter of fact, plant-based meats are already forecast as one of the hot trends for 2019. Yay! More stories about vegan stuff for another year at least.
They say that much of the increase is from people who are not vegan full-time but are eating meat less often. That's why so many restaurants, even here in Dallas-Fort Worth, are adding vegan dishes, and entire standalone vegan menus.
Here are four Dallas-area restaurants who've recently stepped up their vegan offerings:
The acclaimed Dallas-based steakhouse is busting stereotypes with a new standalone menu of vegan dishes available at both locations, including the longtime original on Oak Lawn Avenue and the location in North Dallas. Namesake owner Al Biernat says he was inspired to launch the menu by trends he'd observed on steakhouses in Beverly Hills and New York.
The lineup includes the following items:
- Grilled portabella mushroom enchiladas, served over poblano rice with pico de gallo, avocado slices, and guajillo pepper sauce
- Tofurky Italian sausage lasagna, served with grilled vegetables and roasted cauliflower with a tomato ragout
- Stirfry of linguine pasta with stirfried vegetables, seitan protein, and a Thai Asian sauce
- Al's vegan bowl with brown rice, black beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and asparagus.
Al's vegan menu is such a unicorn that it's been covered internationally including a story by U.K.-based website LiveKindly.co.
Blatt Beer & Table
Sports bar pub with big selection of craft beer has always dabbled in offering vegan and vegetarian options. Their vegan dishes include a "root burger" — a patty made from red quinoa and roasted beet, served on a wheat bun with classic lettuce and tomato. Vegan currywurst is served on a pretzel bun with caraway kraut and German rosemary mustard.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
A sibling to Blatt, this small sushi chain has been a vegan sushi pioneer since its early days in its hometown Omaha, with a separate menu of vegan offerings that includes irresistible delicacies such as the Eden Roll, with crunchy sweet potato tempura, grilled asparagus, edamame hummus, sun-dried tomato, brown rice, soy paper, and olive oil.
The restaurant just introduced three new plant-based sushi options that all incorporate "ahimi," a spin on raw tuna that's made from tomato
that's been dehydrated from Ocean Hugger, a company that's created a patent-pending process that changes the texture of fruits and vegetables to mimic fish and other meat alternatives. The new offerings include:
- Ahimi, vegan tomato tuna nigiri
- Avo Ahimi, vegan tomato tuna sushi with avocado, sesame seeds, sweet soy, and scallions
- Spicy Ahimi, spicy vegan tuna sushi with cucumber
Blue also offers Nasu Tempura, Japanese eggplant tossed in vegan tempura and seasoned panko, served with vegan charred scallion aioli. Finding a vegan rendition of tempura batter is unusual.
A restaurant that specializes in cheese fondue might seem like the last place to find vegan food, but this Addison restaurant is on the case. They're celebrating the fact that November is World Vegan Month with a special all-vegan menu.
- Vegan cheese fondue is made with Follow Your Heart brand cheddar, Redbridge gluten-free beer, garlic, and spices, served with French bread, pretzel bread, apples, and veggies for $10.
- "Vegan Good Earth" is a fondue-style entree with onion rings, artichoke hearts, vegetable polpettes, asparagus, ginger teriyaki tofu, and mushroom caps for $36.
- Dessert is a vegan chocolate fondue, made with Enjoy Life dark chocolate, served with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, blackberries, and raspberries.
Cooking styles include vegan "bourguignonne" with European-style canola oil, or a cast iron grill for tabletop grilling.