Finally, Dallas, FINALLY! We got one. Our very own casual, yet finer-dining, plant-based restaurant. I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy similarly innovative veg spots and have been awaiting the day one would pop up in my home base.
Ta-da! Executive Chef Troy Gardner gives us V-Eats Modern Vegan, which opened in Trinity Groves last fall. Troy has dipped his culinary skills into the veg pool at his other spots, such as Samson’s Gourmet, but this is his first fully plantbased restaurant. What does that mean? It means no animal products whatsoever — no dairy, meat, animal stocks, fish, or derivatives of any of those things. Instead, the kitchen makes in-house plant proteins, creams, and cheeses that are top of class.
You can find Salisbury steak, smoked artichoke and sausage pizza, beautiful and delicious nutrient-dense salads, chicken fried steak, mac and cheese, a brisket sandwich, gelato, and cheese cake on the menu.
Chef Gardner wanted to offer dishes familiar to and beloved by Dallas diners —
hence all the “meat” choices. “We wanted to make it approachable,” he says. “Somebody who is not vegan can come with a couple of vegans and not feel awkward trying to figure out what to order.”
Let me tell you — I have tried many variations of faux meat and I have never, ever had a patty that emulated the red meat experience like they have created here. I inhaled the Salisbury steak plate. I haven’t tasted vegan southern comfort food that solid since Kate’s Joint in New York City’s East Village in the ‘90s. They nailed a Worcestershire, concocted a winning mushroom gravy, whipped up the perfect mashed potatoes, and topped it all off with a couple of onion rings and some sprouts.
I know, I know — you might be asking — what’s the point? Why not just eat actual meat? There are many reasons to choose eating plants instead of animals, the main ones being your health, the environment, and animal welfare. There is zero cholesterol in plants so subbing in plant-based proteins and fats every now and again (or always) will cut that offender from your diet. Three quarters of the world’s antibiotics are fed to livestock so you are cutting out ingestion of those as well. It takes immense amounts of resources to farm animals for meat and dairy — land, water, feed crops, energy. And, of course, most animals slaughtered for food are kept in stressful, unnatural, cramped environments you wouldn’t dare allow your family pets to endure.
Listen, I’m not vegan. Neither is Troy Gardner. You don’t have to be to enjoy this stuff. To choose it sometimes. Every other major western city has had many of these types of restaurants for at least a decade, and more commonly for several decades. I’m so excited to have this new option locally and hope it means others will pop up, too!
Find more innovative food spots and plant-based ideas at realfinefood.com