Veggie Guy: Gluten-Free Vegan Joints
|A gluten-free vegan cookie.|
So imagine what it's like for vegans with an intolerance to gluten. Now that's gotta be rough!
Local vegan Alise St. Germain doesn't have to imagine it. Her severe gluten intolerance and ethical choice to follow a vegan diet makes dining out in Dallas quite a challenge. "As long as [a restaurant] has corn tortillas and vegan beans, I'm good," says St. Germain jokingly. But she is a little pickier than that. "The problem is," states St. Germain, "most vegan foods [are made with] wheat gluten, and most gluten-free foods aren't vegan...so I basically have like five places where I can eat."
So where can gluten-intolerant vegans eat in DFW?
Spiral Diner is up for this year's "Veggie Award" for "Best Vegetarian Restaurant in America" by VegNews Magazine, and St. Germain's got the scoop on their gluten-free offerings! Her favorite dish is Ramsey's Perfect Protein Platter, a hot plate composed of black beans, quinoa (a complete-protein grain), chipotle salsa, and olive oil. Other popular gluten-free items at Spiral are the Red Coconut Curry Noodles (brown rice noodles, tofu, broccoli, red bells, black olives, bamboo shoots, and carrot shavings in a red coconut curry sauce), Viva Las Migas (tofu scramble with black beans, corn, black olives, bacun bits, red bell peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, and salsa topped with avocado, soy-based sour cream, and served with corn chips or corn tortillas), and the Taco Salad, made with "taco meat" (texturized soy protein), black beans, corn, quinoa, black olives, avocado, carrots, and peas, served on a bed of greens with sides of salsa, sour cream, and choice of corn chips or corn tortillas. Locations in Dallas (1101 N. Beckley Ave.) and Fort Worth (1314 W. Magnolia Ave.) make Spiral Diner the top choice for DFW gluten-free vegans to get some grub!
Asian restaurants seem like a safe bet for gluten-free vegan dining, but St. Germain begs to differ. "I've only found a couple of [vegan-friendly] places that use wheat-free soy sauce." When visiting friends in the Fort Worth, St. Germain makes it a point to hit-up Tokyo Café (5121 Pershing Ave., Fort Worth), where she can get a Cucumber Roll, Avocado Roll, or a Vegetable Roll filled with cucumber, avocado, and carrot. All rolls are sprinkled with sesame seeds and wheat-free soy sauce is available upon request.
St. Germain also suggests checking out Whole Foods for some interesting gluten-free vegan products like Tempt (a hemp-based frozen dessert), Amy's Non-Dairy Rice Crust Cheese Pizza, and Hail Merry's Raw Macadamia Dip. And she points out that you can save some cash by stocking-up on nuts and beans in the bulk aisle.
Um, we'll stick to the hemp ice cream, thanks.
While she admits life as a gluten-free vegan would be easier in Portland or Austin, St. Germain is happy she's found a few accommodating digs here in Dallas. And she's counting the days 'til Bliss opens-up their second location far, far away from bikini-clad beer wenches.
Yeah, so are we.