Of all the places to find vegan food in Dallas, the last place you might think to look is a steakhouse. But Al Biernat's, the acclaimed Dallas-based steakhouse, is busting stereotypes with a new menu of vegan dishes.
Manager Cliff Bennett says that they're proud to offer a vegan menu available at both locations, including the longtime original on Oak Lawn Avenue and the North Dallas location which opened one year ago in 2017.
"It's a sign of the times," Bennett says. "We recognized the need for some of our guests to have true vegan options that are outside of the realm of the usual steakhouse."
The menu was devised by Miguel Cauich, executive chef at the Oak Lawn location, and ranges from pasta to a trendy bowl. There's also a lasagna, which is not an easy dish to execute in a vegan manner.
The vegan dishes include:
- 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 Aian sauce
- Al's Vegan Bowl has brown rice, black beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and asparagus with vegetable stock and jalapenos.
Prices run from $16 at lunch to $23 at dinner.
Although a consummate host, Al Biernat is not a typical steakhouse guy. Not only has he quietly supported animal causes, he's a regular at Spiral Diner, Dallas' pioneering vegan restaurant, and Tribal, the healthy restaurant in Oak Cliff.
"What we're seeing is that more and more customers coming in are asking for vegan dishes," Biernat says. "I want to be able to serve something more than just a plate of steamed vegetables. Our chef put together some dishes that were nice choices that vegans would enjoy."
Biernat also wanted to be with the times, not behind the times.
"In New York and Beverly Hills, steakhouses are offering a side menu of vegan options," he says. "If we host a party of 12, these days there is always going to be someone who wants something plant-based. I think a good steakhouse should offer options."