Last week, I did an overview of some vegan options at College Park District. In this week’s post, I’m finishing up the list. Read part one here.
4. Pie Five Pizza Co.
I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to this place. The Treehugger pie on the menu is vegan if ordered on gluten free or Italian herb crust. The crust must be specified because the original crust contains dairy. I like to build my own pizza (sans cheese) so that I can get all the veggies I want. The staff at Pie Five is always very helpful, and they will even cut the meatless pizzas with a different knife if requested. I always ask them to do this because, otherwise, I will most likely experience a stomachache. Through the years, I have found that veggie pizza without cheese is oddly satisfying, but if I really want to satisfy my traditional pizza cravings properly, I will head to Loving Hut at 4515 Matlock Rd #123, or Mellow Mushroom at 200 N. Center St.
5. Blaze’s Sports Grill
Because this is a sports grill and bar, I guessed that the fries would be one of the only vegan options and was not proven wrong. Unfortunately, the veggie patties and bread products all contain egg and dairy. The hummus appetizer would be vegan, but I was told the pita chips contained egg. However, their fries and homemade chips are vegan and fried in vegetable oil. The house salad is easily made vegan if ordered without cheese. It contains lettuce, twisted carrots, cucumbers, cranberries and champagne-marinated red onions. As for the dressing, the house, balsamic and tomato vinaigrettes are all vegan. If I had to accompany friends at this bar, I would probably order the house salad and request the addition of avocado chunks and sun-dried tomatoes to add flavor.
People often ask me if alcohol is vegan. Some alcohols may contain animal products such as isinglass (fish bladder), carmine, gelatin, egg whites, seashells, honey, milk, casein and even blood, according to an article on Gentle World, a nonprofit vegan educational organization. I don’t drink, so I don’t have much experience in ordering vegan drinks, but I have plenty of vegan friends who do drink, so I know it can definitely be done. Barnivore, a vegan drinking guide website, is a great directory for vegan drinks.
6. GRIP Mediterranean Grill
GRIP’s menu is convenient for vegans. I was impressed to see that they mark all their vegan options with a “V.” Gluten-free options are marked with “GF.” My favorite thing to get at GRIP is the Falafel GRIP, a fresh and savory wrap with chickpea fritters, lettuce, tomato, pickles, parsley, mint, turnip and tahini sauce. The mint makes a refreshing addition. Other vegan options include fries, fried cauliflower, which comes with vegan tahini dipping sauce, pita chips, tabouli and dolmas. Their Mediterranean salad is vegan and really filling.
I was disappointed to learn that the hummus and baba ghanoush both contained Greek yogurt. The addition of dairy in hummus and baba ghanoush was totally unexpected. Luckily, my favorite ethnic place, Beirut Café, located at 1201 S. Cooper St, has vegan hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as a wealth of other vegan options.
7. Pho Xpress
Pho Xpress has several vegan options. I don’t go here often because I have vegan Vietnamese food at home. Its soft flat noodles can be ordered vegan with tofu, but must be requested without egg or sauce. As for the grilled plates, the rice and vermicelli can be ordered with tofu, but must be requested without egg, without fish sauce and without seasoning (seasoning contains chicken broth). The staff suggested mixing the vermicelli with a mixture of peanut sauce, hoisin and soy sauce, for those who order without seasoning. The tofu sandwich can be ordered vegan if requested without mayonnaise. The tofu and veggie spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce are vegan, but not the egg rolls.
I am vegan pho enthusiast. Pho Xpress offers a veggie pho bowl, with tofu and an assortment of steamed vegetables, including broccoli. I have tried this and it was a satisfying bowl of noodle soup, but I wouldn’t exactly call it pho. The spices in the broth are key, and this broth was not as aromatic as I would like. For the best vegan pho broth, I would personally recommend D’Vegan at 9780 Walnut St. in Dallas, or the spring pho appetizer at Loving Hut. Or you could try your hand at making vegan pho at home. I’ll have a blog post up about that when the weather gets cooler.
What are your favorite vegan eats in the College Park District? Did I miss anything? Please tell me in the comments below.