It's a glorious time for vegan dining in Dallas right now, what with all the many dishes and options coming our way. Restaurants big and small keep adding vegan items to their menus, and companies keep introducing exciting new products, making "vegan" one of the most exciting categories in food right now.
Here's five new vegan things that've emerged around Dallas-Fort Worth:
El Palote co-founder Aaron Arias began crafting a vegan fried chicken recipe during the pandemic. Now he's signed a lease on a kitchen on Commerce Street where he will offer vegan fried chicken by the box through Uber Eats, Door Dash, and GrubHub. He's awaiting approval on permits and other official business.
In the meantime, Desperados' chicken is available on weekends, meaning Saturdays and Sundays, at El Palote. Options include spicy Diablo drumsticks, regular Crispy drumsticks, and Diablo seasoned fries. They come with pickled carrots and jalapenos.
Jinya Ramen Bar
California-based Jinya, which has a location in Dallas near Victory Park, regularly introduces vegan dishes and specials, and now they have some new ones.
- Tsunami White Pearl, a noodle dish with vegan vegetable broth, Impossible meat, green onion, red onion, spinach, broccoli, baby leaf, crispy garlic, and garlic oil, served with thick noodles.
- Gluten-Free Ramen, a build-your-own bowl which you can make with vegan broth, choice of tofu or Impossible meat, and two toppings from kikurage, spinach, corn, mushroom, broccoli or bok choy, served with gluten-free noodles and green onions.
- Sautéed broccolini with crispy white quinoa, a new side
There is also a limited-edition Chef's Special: Vegan Crispy Rice with Guacamole, featuring guacamole with red onion and tomato on top of crispy rice.
The Tex-Mex chain recently introduced a special menu of fantastic plant-based selections featuring Impossible meat, black beans, and mushrooms. There's a sweet video on Facebook from a Cantina Laredo chef where you can see what the dishes look like.
- Vegetable enchiladas filled with red peppers, poblanos, mushrooms, artichokes, spinach, and spiced black beans with ranchera sauce, rice, and avocado.
- Black bean quesadilla with seasoned black beans, poblanos, mushroom, corn, and vegan cheddar in flour tortillas with guacamole
- Impossible bowl with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, corn, jalapeno, red bell pepper, and Impossible ground beef
- Impossible tacos with seared Impossible ground beef, vegan cheddar, lettuce, pico de gallo, roasted tomato salsa in corn tortillas, served with black beans
- Mushroom rellenos, with mushrooms, vegan cheddar, spinach, asparagus, corn, red bell pepper, and cilantro rice with tomatillo sals.
Maestro is probably best known for its birria tacos, but this authentic taqueria in west Fort Worth is also doing veggie street tacos, made with mushrooms, squash, onion, and pepper. You can get them vegan by ordering them with corn tortillas, which come on, are superior anyway.
Unreal first burst on the scene with one of the most amazing "vegan" meats out there: a vegan corned beef which is, among other things, the central ingredient of an acclaimed vegan Reuben sold at sandwich chain Mendocino Farms.
Unreal Deli's line of vegan deli meats is now for sale in 140 H-E-B stores and 30 Whole Foods locations. In addition to the corned beef, they've added two new products: roast turkey and steak slices.
CEO and founder Jenny Goldfarb came from a family that was in the real-deli business for 100+ years. Starting in her home kitchen, she founded Unreal after learning the hard truth about factory farming. Now Unreal has a local tie: After going on Shark Tank, Goldfarb got a big investment from Dallas' own Mark Cuban, who recently went vegetarian himself.
Unreal Deli's meat is made from vegetables and grains and has more than 20 grams of protein per serving, if protein is your thing.